Trust and Innovation (Sweden)
Conference contribution, 2012
Three types of innovation can be distinguished in major infrastructure projects: in product, process and organisation. New collaborative practices are
obvious examples of organisational innovation, but it is unclear whether these are associated with an increase in product and process innovation in
projects. Many practitioners have acknowledged good effects of a raised degree of project collaboration- however “Too much trust is death to innovation” is a provocative statement found in the literature. A balance between creativity and control has to be established. How collaborative intentions are translated into processes and ultimately into outcomes is an important topic for research. Complications may arise from unwise risk allocation among project participants, weak or wrong incentives, excessive ambitions, failure to understand that group processes have their own timetable, as well as vulnerability to external disruptions. All this should be possible to avoid by engaging in learning from earlier experiments in collaborative practices.
The Business Arena began with a presentation of the case of the City Line Project, followed by an academic conceptualization. Participants then
reflected on their experiences, relating to the case and the theoretical framework.