Why do builders innovate? : a review of the international literature on homebuilder innovation
This report reviews the international literature on home building innovation. It draws a distinction between home building and construction, and focuses mainly on the former. The report starts by characterising the home building sector, noting the common view that it is not particularly innovative but also reporting that some researchers disagree with this assessment. It then reviews definitions of innovation applicable to the home building sector showing that it is necessary to make distinctions between ideas, actions and outcomes. Defined in terms of degree of change in concept and links, the more sophisticated definitions identify five types of innovations: incremental, modular, systems, architectural, and radical. The report builds on these definitions to show that there are two main strands of theory in building innovation – one strand that focuses on the individual and one strand that focuses on supra-individual context or structures. The former includes the adoption-diffusion model, the S shaped curve which charts the rate of innovation over time, the use of survey methods, and studies of firm characteristics. This approach appears to be more relevant to smaller and discrete technologies. The latter approach includes more complex models of home-builder innovation, locating the decision maker in a context that includes both influencing and enabling agents. It also includes a broad range of participants in the building sector, each with particular motivations and constellations of predispositions (habitus), arranged in networks that directly influence innovation. Since networks are important in home-builder innovation the report includes some other literature which has this focus.... [Show full abstract]
Keywordsliterature review; international comparisons; invention; innovation models; home builder innovation; innovation; building industry
TypeReport (Commissioned Report)
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