Adoption av ny produktionsteknik på byggarbetsplatsen
Doctoral thesis, 1992
The aim of this study is to find obstacles and incentives in the adoption process of innovations. Only process innovations that can be used in construction are focussed upon here.
The construction firm is described as an intermediate firm. A crucial objective for this type of firm is to develop its capacity to implement new solutions in order to be able to produce a lot of different types of buildings. The firm must be good at adopting innovations and the key person in the adoption process is the site manager.
The adoption process is described by a model with four phases; knowledge, persuasion, decision and implementation. The factors that have an impact on the process can be in the environment, the construction firm, the innovation and the adopter.
The study is carried out mainly in three sub-projects. Two series of interviews have been used. Although these interviews are mainly with site managers there are also some with their subordinates and their superiors. Finally, there is a questionnaire with responses from 89 site managers in the Gothenburg region. All of these managers are specialized in house construction.
The study showed that the site manager is the key person in the adoption process and that this process is a part of the problem solving process on the site. New technology is mostly used as a way of solving current construction problems. The development primarily takes place in small steps, that is the adopted innovations are mainly incremental. Profitability of radical innovations is difficult to calculate. The economic risk is a significant factor. A construction firm is very much a project orientated, and decentralized firm with a short-term planning horizon. These facts combined with the fact that the adoption process takes a long time lead to great difficulty in adopting radical innovations.