Innovation management : a web-based innovation assessment tool for construction organisations

2014-02-10T13:43:46Z (GMT) by Maxmood Gesey
It is generally recognised that, compared to other industry sectors, the construction industry is slow in its adoption of technological innovations and new ways of working. This has often been attributed to the conservative nature of the industry, which is arguably due to the fact that, unlike other industry sectors such as the manufacturing, automotive and pharmaceutical industries, the industry has a very weak culture of innovation and research (IR). This problem may well be explained by the industry's lack of recognition and understanding of a number of key determinants of innovation in the industry, such as leadership, management, people, processes, IR investment and technology. The Latham and Egan Reports call for improvements in the construction project delivery process to improve efficiency, productivity and ensure value for money for the construction industry's clients. The 'Accelerating Change' report calls for improvements to be more rapid and sustainable. These improved business processes cannot be achieved and sustained unless there is an established culture of innovation within the industry. The research findings indicate that construction companies are not able to deliver on their potential to innovate. Against this background, an innovation assessment model and a prototype application for construction organisations were developed to provide a rapid, online assessment of innovative practices and competencies in construction companies. The objective of the tool is to initiate a process leading to the effective implementation of a strategy/best practice guidelines and to allow construction companies to: assess their innovative performance; help them to focus on the areas where they want to make progress; integrate innovation related strategies/best practice guidelines into overall competitive strategies; and benchmark their innovation performance with peers and within the construction industry. The main benefits of the tool are it complements the existing innovation management frameworks and promotes wider uptake of the concept in the construction industry as whole. Industry evaluators have welcomed the concept of an innovation assessment tool and acknowledged the need for the tool in the construction industry. Hence, this thesis presents the development and evaluation of a web-based prototype application.