Innovation in the Construction Process : A Theoretical Framework

Abstract: The demands on the construction industry can be met either by fulfilling them by applying existing knowledge and solutions or by creating something new. Trying to meet demands with existing knowledge and solutions is only possible to a certain point, beyond which it is necessary to create something new.This thesis aims to create a theoretical framework for new forms of co-operation that encourage innovative procedures. The theoretical framework is based on innovation theories.Findings suggest that motivation to innovate is important. It is mainly the client who can provide the incentives for innovation, while it is mainly a malfunctioning process that breaks them down. The process is very much the result of the forms of co-operation used. In the comparison between the construction process and the innovation process eight aspects are found, which are directly influenced by how the co-operation forms are function, namely, allowing the actors to be involved during an extended period of every project, communication, contractual incentives to encourage innovation, early involvement of the different parties, learning, relationship and co-operation with other parties, risk and reward, and support for the idea of longer relationships between the actors.