Using and Managing Resources in Industrialized House-Building : Characterization of a Swedish Industrialized House-Building Company from a Resource-Based View

Abstract: Global reports stress the importance of developing the construction industry to address productivity related issues and challenges with urbanization. McKinsey conclude that the construction industry could be more efficient by how they manage and employ resources to address the low productivity. With an expected intensified urbanization and rapidly changing global economic landscape, pressure is put on the current housing production pace. Therefore, industrialization has been promoted to make industries sustainable, with increased resource-use efficiency and greater adoption of innovation focusing on industrial processes. Technology companies has started to take an interest in the construction market as they see a potential in industrialization and scalability of the house-building and have made heavy investments in construction companies using prefabricated or modular manufacturing technics to build houses.Although industrialized house-building companies have been the subjects of wide-range of research, research into how to utilize industrialized house-building can be important and interesting not only to confront the low productivity but also increased resource-use efficiency and give an explanation how to benefit from the global interest into investing in industrialized house-building. Therefore, an increased understanding of industrialized house-building from a resource-based perspective, exemplified from a Swedish perspective, is considered to be of importance for further development the building industry.The contribution of this thesis is a synthesis of four different constructs (entrepreneurial orientation, dynamic capability, path dependency and technology transfer) discussed in three academic papers to characterize and build a further understanding of how an IHB company employ and manage their resources.Findings shows that on a corporate level, the industrialized house-building company managed resources in many different ways and they did so to secure their business and they showed different approaches towards how they employed resources. From a theoretical perspective, entrepreneurial orientation has a more proactive, long-term, and strategical focus on employing resources (both tangible and intangible) looking more at the bigger picture. Dynamic capability has a more reactive (addresses different aspects of change as it happens) and tactical focus on employing resources looking more at the small steps of sensing and seizing and reconfiguring of resources. Technology transfer can be expressed as an active process (two-way communication) on an operational level on how to employ resources between parties.Entrepreneurial orientation enabled the case company to continuously exploit and renew resources and competences but also to sense, seize, and reconfigure cumulative assets over time, which displayed as exponential build-up of dynamic capabilities. How the company worked with developing corporate assets showed that continuous development of dynamic capabilities also influenced the industry path dependency, by working with decreasing process variation caused by external factors. Later by exponentially develop dynamic capabilities, exploring Lean to renew the corporate culture; the increased standardized work operationalized their accumulated resources. Through small steps of exploitation and exploration and reconfiguration of working methods, the company continuously improved operations; routinized learning and use of built-up assets. The way they worked by constantly sense, seize and reconfigure their operations, address the assumption that companies grow in a path dependent way. This, in turn, has led to the possibility to employ resources through technology transfer of the industrialized house-building platform, into a business.