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Innovaatiotoiminnan johtaminen rakennustuoteteollisuudessa

Research output: Book/ReportDoctoral thesisMonograph

Details

Original languageFinnish
Place of PublicationTampere
PublisherTampere University of Technology
Number of pages215
ISBN (Electronic)978-952-15-3405-8
ISBN (Print)978-952-15-3379-2
Publication statusPublished - 7 Nov 2014
Publication typeG4 Doctoral dissertation (monograph)

Publication series

NameTampere University of Techology. Publication
PublisherTampere University of Technology
Volume1251
ISSN (Print)1459-2045

Abstract

The objective of this research was to investigate how innovation is managed in the construction products industry and identify solutions to the problems found. The focus of the research was based on the researcher’s personal observations of the construction sector, especially the construction products industry, during the last four decades. These observations suggested that there is much room for improvement in innovation management, especially in strategy and creation of the optimal culture for innovation. The research, therefore, focused on challenges to management, the connection between innovation management and business strategies, and interaction between individual companies and the external innovation environment. The research method was qualitative and data were collected by theme interviews. The interviewees were primarily representatives of the construction products industry, but representatives of other parts of the value chain of construction were also interviewed. This was done in order to better understand the influence that clients of the construction products industry and the value chain have on innovation activities. The research revealed that the opinions of users and owners of properties are not given sufficient consideration in managing innovation. The construction products industry does not have a clear understanding of who the client is and, therefore, does not know whose needs it is supposed to satisfy. The construction products industry feels that the qualitative characteristics of their products are not valued by their clients and that procurement decisions are made primarily on the basis of the lowest unit price. Neither the industry nor their clients are capable of properly estimating the possible savings in overall costs from systemic innovations. The innovation activities of firms are generally driven by current strategic plans and they only develop ideas that are connected to existing or planned new businesses. Defining the competitive advantages of a potential new product, receives less attention. The search for ideas to foster innovations is poorly managed in firms – only a few of them work systematically to find new ideas. The systemic impacts of the cost effects of new ideas should be assessed in collaboration with construction company clients, based on full-scale pilot construction. In order for such collaboration to be possible, contracts are required that define how benefits and risks are to be shared and that ensure the effort is beneficial to both parties. This research is the most comprehensive investigation of innovation management in the construction products industry to date. The key conclusion is that, because innovation management plays a central role in business success, it should be given greater attention and focused on increasing the profitability of innovation activity. Creation of an internal environment that encourages innovation is essential and measures firms should take are identified in this report.

Publication forum classification

Field of science, Statistics Finland

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