Orchestrating multi-actor collaborative innovation across organizational boundaries
Book chapter, 2019

Purpose - The aim of this research is to increase the understanding of how strategic and long-term innovation efforts can be organised, operated and co-created within a project-based organisational setting.
Design/Methodology/Approach - A case study with a qualitative approach was chosen, showing a critical case with powerful examples rather than representative samples, to draw conclusions from. The analysis builds on the concept of absorptive capacity, which provides a multidimensional perspective on innovation activities in organisations.
Findings - The difficulties in orchestrating an interplay between innovation processes and the construction process in itself is presented. The study identifies effects from introducing new “innovation roles” as well as comprehending implications of collaborative contract forms for innovation.
Research Limitations/Implications - Based on a single case study, and being an in-depth empirical study, a rich description of innovation processes is provided which contributes to generalisation on processes rather than outcomes. The use of the absorptive capacity construct also contributes to a theoretically informed research on innovation in construction. Practical Implications - The study provides valuable insights regarding how to conduct collaborative innovation in within the frame of construction projects.
Originality/Value - The study of a novel organisational setup, where multiple innovation processes is integrated in a construction project with a partnering contract, provides an understanding on how a construction client can manage the interplay between innovation processes and the construction process in itself. Furthermore, flows of knowledge and effects from introducing new innovation roles are unfolded.

Absorptive capacity

Dynamic capabilities

Case study

Innovation process

Construction project

Collaborative innovation


Pernilla Gluch

Chalmers, Technology Management and Economics, Service Management and Logistics

Anna Kadefors

Royal Institute of Technology (KTH)

Kamilla Kohn Rådberg

Chalmers, Technology Management and Economics, Entrepreneurship and Strategy

10th Nordic Conference on Construction Economics and Organization (Emerald Reach Proceedings Series, Vol. 2)


Subject Categories

Construction Management

Business Administration

Information Systemes, Social aspects



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5/5/2021 5