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Leaders and champions for construction innovation


  • C. H. Nam
  • C. B. Tatum


Based on empirical studies of the role of key individuals in the processes of ten successful innovations in the US construction industry, this paper makes three principal arguments. First, effective leadership is essential for technological innovation - in particular in construction. Second, technological competence is an utmost prerequisite for effective leadership for construction innovation - regardless of the size of the firm. In other words, an entrepreneurial role as a technical champion in a small firm does not change even as the firm grows. Lastly, the role of technical champion can be delegated only with slack resources and adequate power. This paper also highlights conclusions and practical applications to increase technological innovation in design and construction firms.

Suggested Citation

  • C. H. Nam & C. B. Tatum, 1997. "Leaders and champions for construction innovation," Construction Management and Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 15(3), pages 259-270.
  • Handle: RePEc:taf:conmgt:v:15:y:1997:i:3:p:259-270
    DOI: 10.1080/014461997372999

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    Cited by:

    1. Andy Cosh & Xiaolan Fu & Alan Hughes, 2005. "Management characteristics, collaboration and innovative efficiency: evidence from UK survey data," Working Papers wp311, Centre for Business Research, University of Cambridge.
    2. Bossink, B.A.G., 2003. "Coinnovation research : manual for experiential research into organizational coinnovation," Serie Research Memoranda 0016, VU University Amsterdam, Faculty of Economics, Business Administration and Econometrics.
    3. Sihem Ben Mahmoud-Jouini, 2000. "Innovative supply-based strategies in the construction industry," Construction Management and Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 18(6), pages 643-650, December.
    4. Bossink, B.A.G., 2002. "The development of co-innovation strategies: stages and interaction patterns in interfirm innovation," Serie Research Memoranda 0020, VU University Amsterdam, Faculty of Economics, Business Administration and Econometrics.
    5. Berardi, Umberto, 2013. "Stakeholders’ influence on the adoption of energy-saving technologies in Italian homes," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 60(C), pages 520-530.
    6. Mohamed Zennouche & Jian Zhang & Bo Wen Wang, 2014. "Factors influencing innovation at individual, group and organisational levels: a content analysis," International Journal of Information Systems and Change Management, Inderscience Enterprises Ltd, vol. 7(1), pages 23-42.
    7. Bossink, Bart A.G., 2004. "Managing drivers of innovation in construction networks," Serie Research Memoranda 0015, VU University Amsterdam, Faculty of Economics, Business Administration and Econometrics.
    8. repec:gam:jsusta:v:10:y:2018:i:5:p:1506-:d:145517 is not listed on IDEAS
    9. Jan Bröchner, 2010. "Innovation in Construction," Chapters,in: The Handbook of Innovation and Services, chapter 31 Edward Elgar Publishing.
    10. Manley, Karen, 2008. "Against the odds: Small firms in Australia successfully introducing new technology on construction projects," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 37(10), pages 1751-1764, December.
    11. Mustafa Kemal Topcu & Ali Gursoy & Poyraz Gurson, 2015. "The Role of the Servant Leadership on the Relation between Ethical Climate Perception and Innovative Work," European Research Studies Journal, European Research Studies Journal, vol. 0(1), pages 67-80.
    12. Bossink, Bart A.G., 2004. "Effectiveness of Innovation Leadership Styles: A Manager’s Influence on Ecological Innovation in Construction Projects," Serie Research Memoranda 0027, VU University Amsterdam, Faculty of Economics, Business Administration and Econometrics.
    13. Tomonari Yashiro, 2001. "A Japanese perspective on the decline of robust technologies and changing technological paradigms in housing construction: issues for construction management research," Construction Management and Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 19(3), pages 301-306.
    14. Fabian Unterlass, 2010. "Innovation in the Construction Industry. Determinants of Innovation Activities by the Austrian Construction Industry," WIFO Monatsberichte (monthly reports), WIFO, vol. 83(9), pages 767-780, September.
    15. repec:sae:envirc:v:35:y:2017:i:5:p:746-764 is not listed on IDEAS

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    Innovation; Leadership; Technology; Entrepreneurship;


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