Adoption of innovative products on Australian road infrastructure projects
Product innovation is an important contributor to the performance of infrastructure projects in the construction industry. Maximizing the potential for innovative product adoption is a challenging task due to the complexities of the construction innovation system. A qualitative methodology involving interviews with major construction project stakeholders is employed to address the research question: ‘What are the main obstacles to the adoption of innovative products in the road industry?’ The characteristics of six key product innovation obstacles in Australian road projects are described. The six key obstacles are: project goal misalignment, client pressures, weak contractual relations, lack of product trialling, inflexible product specifications and product liability concerns. A snapshot of the dynamics underlying these obstacles is provided. There are few such assessments in the literature, despite the imperative to improve construction innovation rates globally in order to deliver road infrastructure projects of increasing size and complexity. Key obstacles are interpreted through an open innovation construct, providing direction for policy to enhance the uptake of innovation across the construction product supply network. Early evidence suggests the usefulness of an open innovation construct that integrates three conceptual lenses: network governance, absorptive capacity and knowledge intermediation, in order to interpret product adoption obstacles in the context of Australian road infrastructure projects. The paper also provides practical advice and direction for government and industry organizations that wish to promote the flow of innovative product knowledge across the construction supply network.
Volume (Year): 30 (2012)
Issue (Month): 4 (February)
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