IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/a/eee/forpol/v12y2010i3p199-206.html
   My bibliography  Save this article

Development of timber framed firms in the construction sector -- Is EU policy one source of their innovation?

Author

Listed:
  • Tykkä, Saana
  • McCluskey, Denise
  • Nord, Tomas
  • Ollonqvist, Pekka
  • Hugosson, Mårten
  • Roos, Anders
  • Ukrainski, Kadri
  • Nyrud, Anders Q.
  • Bajric, Fahrudin

Abstract

To enhance competition in the construction industry, EU policies have created and harmonised functional building codes. Moreover, many actors advocate the construction industry moves towards a lean production, process-based way of working for quality and cost reasons. Here, Timber Framed Engineering approaches are considered to have a competitive and environmental advantage. There is however underlying concerns that conservatism in the construction industry, and lack of timber engineering skills, may be obstacles to change. This paper therefore assesses whether EU construction policy innovation contributed to innovation at the firm level. Timber framed innovators in six European countries were identified, and their sources of innovation assessed. The results indicate that timber framed firms have become actors in the construction industry. Firms have made product, process and organisation innovations. All case firms have similar sources for innovation. The common factor that triggers the firms to innovate is business opportunities that arise from demographic changes in the environment outside the firm, such as environmental sustainability and affordable housing for lower income groups. To address these opportunities, the case firms implicitly recognised that traditional project and site-based construction approaches are an incongruity. The firms have consequently established in-house prefabrication, including developed of lean production processes to ensure quality as well as effectiveness. The firms have all recognised that a fundamental barrier to their business was the lack of timber framed engineering competencies in their customers' organisations. Accordingly, a business necessity for the case firms was developing construction design competencies. Firms benefited from governmental policy instruments that support timber framed R&D and knowledge transfer. However, firms also gained new knowledge from their own experiences, which they also use in their operations. Accordingly, policy instruments are not a sole or dominant source for innovation in the case firms. Nonetheless, the change in building codes has been a pre-requisite the firms' commercial developments.

Suggested Citation

  • Tykkä, Saana & McCluskey, Denise & Nord, Tomas & Ollonqvist, Pekka & Hugosson, Mårten & Roos, Anders & Ukrainski, Kadri & Nyrud, Anders Q. & Bajric, Fahrudin, 2010. "Development of timber framed firms in the construction sector -- Is EU policy one source of their innovation?," Forest Policy and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 12(3), pages 199-206, March.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:forpol:v:12:y:2010:i:3:p:199-206
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1389-9341(09)00167-1
    Download Restriction: Full text for ScienceDirect subscribers only

    As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to search for a different version of it.

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Wei Pan & Alistair Gibb & Andrew Dainty, 2007. "Perspectives of UK housebuilders on the use of offsite modern methods of construction," Construction Management and Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 25(2), pages 183-194.
    2. Chris Goodier & Alistair Gibb, 2007. "Future opportunities for offsite in the UK," Construction Management and Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 25(6), pages 585-595.
    3. Kaufmann, Alexander & Todtling, Franz, 2001. "Science-industry interaction in the process of innovation: the importance of boundary-crossing between systems," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 30(5), pages 791-804, May.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Citations

    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
    as


    Cited by:

    1. Hurmekoski, Elias & Jonsson, Ragnar & Nord, Tomas, 2015. "Context, drivers, and future potential for wood-frame multi-story construction in Europe," Technological Forecasting and Social Change, Elsevier, vol. 99(C), pages 181-196.

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:eee:forpol:v:12:y:2010:i:3:p:199-206. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Dana Niculescu). General contact details of provider: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/forpol .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.