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  • 1.
    Björnfot, Anders
    et al.
    Luleå tekniska universitet, Institutionen för samhällsbyggnad och naturresurser, Byggkonstruktion och -produktion.
    Jongeling, Rogier
    Luleå tekniska universitet, Institutionen för samhällsbyggnad och naturresurser, Byggkonstruktion och -produktion.
    Application of line-of-balance and 4D CAD for lean planning2007Ingår i: Construction Innovation, ISSN 1471-4175, E-ISSN 1477-0857, Vol. 7, nr 2, s. 200-211Artikel i tidskrift (Refereegranskat)
    Abstract [en]

    Purpose - The purpose of this paper is to suggest the application of the line-of-balance (LoB) scheduling technique in combination with a 4D CAD workspace model as a method to improve the management of the flow of resources through locations in construction projects, defined as work flow. Current scheduling methods fail to consistently manage work flow, which can disrupt the construction process, leading to waste such as conflicts in time and space by construction crews. Design/methodology/approach - LoB and 4D CAD are applied to a case study of multi-story timber housing project involving the construction of 95 apartments in five six-storey buildings. Based on the case study results, the benefits and limitations of the combined use of both methods are discussed. Findings - The majority of the problems experienced during the actual construction process quickly become evident from an analysis of a relatively simple LoB diagram. Furthermore, the 4D CAD workspace model provides additional insights in the scheduling of construction activities, such as workspace availability, the spatial context of workspaces and partial overlap of workspaces. Practical implications - Virtual design and construction methods based on principles from lean construction can contribute significantly to the value of the product and the elimination of waste in any construction project. Originality/value - The paper refers to the guiding principles from lean construction in relation to virtual design and construction methods, such as simulations with 4D CAD. Additional research and studies of practical applications are suggested to facilitate the combination of principles from lean construction with virtual design and construction methods.

  • 2.
    Engström, Susanne
    et al.
    Luleå tekniska universitet, Institutionen för samhällsbyggnad och naturresurser, Byggkonstruktion och -produktion.
    Hedgren, Erika
    Luleå tekniska universitet, Institutionen för samhällsbyggnad och naturresurser, Byggkonstruktion och -produktion.
    Sustaining inertia?: Construction clients' decision-making and information-processing approach to industrialized building innovations2012Ingår i: Construction Innovation, ISSN 1471-4175, E-ISSN 1477-0857, Vol. 12, nr 4, s. 393-413Artikel i tidskrift (Refereegranskat)
    Abstract [en]

    Purpose – Humans tend to rely on beliefs, assumptions and cognitive rules-of-thumb for making judgments and are biased against taking more uncertain alternatives. Such inertia has implications for client organizations' decision making about innovations, which are inherently more uncertain than conventional alternatives. The purpose of this paper is to contribute to furthering the understanding of barriers to overcoming inertia in client decision making in new-build. Design/methodology/approach – A descriptive behavioural decision-making perspective is combined with an organizational information-processing perspective. To identify and discuss individual and organizational barriers that potentially distort clients' decision making on innovation, the analysis addresses aggregated data from four studies. The analysis focuses on inferences and interpretations made by decision makers in Swedish client organizations, their information-processing practices and the subsequent impacts on perceived meanings and judgments about industrialized multi-storey, timber-framed building innovations, which are perceived by Swedish clients as new and different building alternatives. Findings – Cognitive and organizational barriers maintain status-quo decisions. Clients are inclined to make biased judgments about industrialized-building alternatives because non-applicable cognitive rules-of-thumb, based on their experiences of conventional-building alternatives, are used. Furthermore, client organizations' information-processing practices do not allow different meanings to surface, interact and potentially suggest different conclusions, at odds with established beliefs. Originality/value – The paper's conclusions highlight how inertia is sustained in client decision making in new-build. They illustrate the limitations of a common engineering approach, i.e. supporting decision making about innovations by focusing on providing more information to the decision maker in order to reduce uncertainty, as well as managing multiple meanings by reductionism.

  • 3.
    Eriksson, Per-Erik
    et al.
    Luleå tekniska universitet, Institutionen för ekonomi, teknik och samhälle, Innovation och Design.
    Szentes, Henrik
    Luleå tekniska universitet, Institutionen för samhällsbyggnad och naturresurser, Industriellt och hållbart byggande.
    Managing the tensions between exploration and exploitation in large construction projects2017Ingår i: Construction Innovation, ISSN 1471-4175, E-ISSN 1477-0857, Vol. 17, nr 4, s. 492-510Artikel i tidskrift (Refereegranskat)
    Abstract [en]

    Purpose – Prior studies highlight the importance of building ambidextrous capabilities to achieve both exploitation of current knowledge and technologies to make profits today, and exploration of new knowledge and technologies to adapt to and prepare for tomorrow's demands. In spite of its theoretical and practical importance, research on organizational ambidexterity in project-based organizations is scarce. Thus, the purpose of the paper is to study how ambidexterity may be managed and how exploration and exploitation may be achieved in construction projects. The research identifies some drivers and barriers to exploration and exploitation and also sheds light on how various management approaches interact and affect exploration and exploitation activities. Design/methodology/approach – The empirical material is drawn from 40 semi-structured interviews with managers representing the client, the contractor and the designer involved in each of the seven large construction projects in the sample. Findings – In contrast to prior literature in high-tech industries where exploitation focuses on continuous development, exploitation in construction projects often involves adopting conventional methods and solutions based on existing knowledge without any development efforts at all. This may enhance short-term efficiency and lower risk at the project level but increase risk at the firm level. Tight time schedules hinder both radical innovations and incremental developments, and the findings also reveal that to invest in efforts on explorative solutions, it must be possible to exploit the solutions in the same project. Research limitations/implications – In this empirical context, the traditional structural and sequential ambidexterity solutions are not sufficient. In construction projects, contextual ambidexterity solutions in which key project actors collaborate in developing systemic innovations and fine-tuning solutions across projects are more effective. Practical implications – Sufficient project size and/or long-term contracts over a series of projects enhance both investments in explorative activities and exploitation through continuous developments from project to project. In design-bid-build contracts, the client and consultant often miss opportunities to explore new technical solutions that rely on contractor competencies. Early procurement of contractors (e.g. in collaborative design-build contracts) thereby enables the achievement of both exploration and exploitation. Originality/value – This study provides important input to the authors' understanding of how exploration and exploitation may be managed in project-based industries, which has been scarcely studied in previous ambidexterity literature.

  • 4.
    Forsman, Samuel
    et al.
    Luleå tekniska universitet, Institutionen för teknikvetenskap och matematik, Träteknologi.
    Björngrim, Niclas
    Luleå tekniska universitet, Institutionen för teknikvetenskap och matematik, Träteknologi.
    Bystedt, Anders
    Luleå tekniska universitet, Institutionen för teknikvetenskap och matematik, Träteknologi.
    Laitila, Lars
    Luleå tekniska universitet, Institutionen för teknikvetenskap och matematik, Produkt- och produktionsutveckling.
    Bomark, Peter
    Luleå tekniska universitet, Institutionen för teknikvetenskap och matematik, Träteknologi.
    Öhman, Micael
    Luleå tekniska universitet, Institutionen för teknikvetenskap och matematik, Träteknologi.
    Need for innovation in supplying engineer-to-order joinery products to construction: a case study in Sweden2012Ingår i: Construction Innovation, ISSN 1471-4175, E-ISSN 1477-0857, Vol. 12, nr 4, s. 464-491Artikel i tidskrift (Refereegranskat)
    Abstract [en]

    Purpose – The construction industry has been criticized for not keeping up with other production industries in terms of cost efficiency, innovation, and production methods. The purpose of this paper is to contribute to the knowledge about what hampers efficiency in supplying engineer-to-order (ETO) joinery-products to the construction process. The objective is to identify the main contributors to inefficiency and to define areas for innovation in improving this industry. Design/methodology/approach – Case studies of the supply chain of a Swedish ETO joinery-products supplier are carried out, and observations, semi-structured interviews, and documents from these cases are analysed from an efficiency improvement perspective. Findings – From a lean thinking and information modelling perspective, longer-term procurement relations and efficient communication of information are the main areas of innovation for enhancing the efficiency of supplying ETO joinery-products. It seems to be possible to make improvements in planning and coordination, assembly information, and spatial measuring through information modelling and spatial scanning technology. This is likely to result in an increased level of prefabrication, decreased assembly time, and increased predictability of on-site work. Originality/value – The role of supplying ETO joinery-products is a novel research area in construction. There is a need to develop each segment of the manufacturing industry supplying construction and this paper contributes to the collective knowledge in this area. The focus is on the possibilities for innovation in the ETO joinery-products industry and on its improved integration in the construction industry value chain in general.

  • 5.
    Hedborg Bengtsson, Susanna
    et al.
    KTH, Stockholm.
    Karrbom Gustavsson, Tina
    KTH, Stockholm.
    Eriksson, Per-Erik
    Luleå tekniska universitet, Institutionen för ekonomi, teknik och samhälle, Industriell Ekonomi.
    Users’ influence on inter-organizational innovation: mapping the receptive context2018Ingår i: Construction Innovation, ISSN 1471-4175, E-ISSN 1477-0857, Vol. 18, nr 4, s. 488-504Artikel i tidskrift (Refereegranskat)
    Abstract [en]

    Purpose

    Innovation is constantly present in the construction industry, however, mainly on a single project level. Initiating and implementing inter-organizational innovation in a multi-project context such as in urban development entails large complexity, for example, because of the many interdependent projects and users of innovation. The users’ influence on inter-organizational innovation in a multi-project context has not been fully explored. Accordingly, the purpose of this paper is to discuss how users influence inter-organizational innovation in multi-project contexts by mapping the receptiveness for change.

    Design/methodology/approach

    A single case study approach was used, where empirical material including semi-structured interviews in combination with meeting observations, document studies and participative workshops were gathered. The rich empirical material, studying inter-organizational innovation in an urban development context, was mapped based on the receptive context for change framework.

    Findings

    A receptive context for change was not present in the studied multi-project context. Communication to develop and implement inter-organizational innovation was not sufficient and the clients’ procurement strategies were to a large extent not developed to facilitate inter-organizational innovation. Findings show differences in users’ possibility and aim to implement inter-organizational innovation.

    Originality/value

    The mapping of the receptive context to influence inter-organizational innovation widens the knowledge base and provides valuable insights on how inter-organizational innovation may be implemented in the loosely coupled construction industry. Furthermore, the findings broaden the discussion on clients as innovation supporters, and contribute to the debate on clients as innovation supporters, by highlighting the importance of distinguishing between different types of clients.

  • 6.
    Jansson, Gustav
    et al.
    Luleå tekniska universitet, Institutionen för samhällsbyggnad och naturresurser, Byggkonstruktion och -produktion.
    Lundkvist, Robert
    Luleå tekniska universitet, Institutionen för samhällsbyggnad och naturresurser, Byggkonstruktion och -produktion.
    Olofsson, Thomas
    Luleå tekniska universitet, Institutionen för samhällsbyggnad och naturresurser, Byggkonstruktion och -produktion.
    The role of experience feedback channels in the continuous development of house-building platforms2015Ingår i: Construction Innovation, ISSN 1471-4175, E-ISSN 1477-0857, Vol. 15, nr 2, s. 236-255Artikel i tidskrift (Refereegranskat)
    Abstract [en]

    PurposeHouse-building companies seek improvements to decrease costs, improve flow, and decrease variability. Industrialised concepts using predefinitions in product platforms have provided a way of storing and reusing knowledge in project-based house-building organisations. However, the innovation in platforms is mainly incremental and based on experience feedback (EF) from implementations in projects. This paper aims to describe how the EF from building projects contributes to product platform development in house building companies.Design/methodology/approachQualitative data were gathered via interviews, archival studies and observations, and analysed to identify the underlying structures used to manage the incorporation of EF during platform development. Four different EF channels were studied at one Scandinavian house-builder. The data are explained using an analytical framework based on diffusion of innovation, product platforms and EF.FindingsEF is distributed over the value chain to improve the platform over time. By using multiple channels with differing contents, it is possible to balance client demands and variation with production efficiency. Platform development using feedback channels provides opportunities for double-loop learning. Operative work on projects and the strategic decisions made by developers continuously improve the platform through a combination of knowledge pull and push.Originality/valueA combination of different EF channels and strategies for developing knowledge pull are shown to be essential for the incremental development of product platforms in project-based house building organisations. The development of product platforms requires a shift away from the construction industry’s dominant project focus towards a more product-oriented view of house-building. Integrating the design phase with the supply chain enables variety but also creates a need for continuous platform development

  • 7.
    Lessing, Jerker
    et al.
    Lunds universitet, Tyréns AB.
    Stehn, Lars
    Luleå tekniska universitet, Institutionen för samhällsbyggnad och naturresurser, Byggkonstruktion och -produktion.
    Ekholm, Anders
    Department of Construction Sciences, Design Methodology Division, Lund University, Design Methodology, LTH, LTH.
    Industrialised house-building: development and conceptual orientation of the field2015Ingår i: Construction Innovation, ISSN 1471-4175, E-ISSN 1477-0857, Vol. 15, nr 3, s. 378-399Artikel i tidskrift (Refereegranskat)
    Abstract [en]

    PurposeThis article describes the development of industrialised house-building (IHB) in order to increase the understanding of the field.Design/methodology/approachThe study is based on an extensive literature study and a case study with three companies, studied between 2005 and 2013, which enabled an in-depth knowledge about the companies’ development within industrialised house-building. Interviews, observations and document studies are the main sources of information in the case studies.FindingsIndustrialised house-building is a complex field, consisting of several constructs that need to be integrated and continuously developed. Development of structured technical building systems has been central to the development of IHB along with developed production methods and processes. The interest in organisational fit or adaptation to industrialisation and strategy concerning business, production and products is increasing. This implies that IHB needs to be managed strategically and not on a building project level.Practical implicationsThe article gives an orientation on how leading companies have structured and organised their work within industrialisation, giving valuable advice to practitioners with interest in the field.Originality/valueThis article describes the development of industrialised house-building based on studies of literature and three Swedish IHB companies’ development. This provides an aggregated view of the field’s emergence and unique information about the studied companies’ development

  • 8.
    Lundberg, Mary
    et al.
    Luleå tekniska universitet, Institutionen för samhällsbyggnad och naturresurser, Industriellt och hållbart byggande.
    Engström, Susanne
    Luleå tekniska universitet, Institutionen för samhällsbyggnad och naturresurser, Industriellt och hållbart byggande.
    Lidelöw, Helena
    Luleå tekniska universitet, Institutionen för samhällsbyggnad och naturresurser, Industriellt och hållbart byggande.
    Diffusion of innovation in a contractor company: the impact of the social system structure on the implementation process2019Ingår i: Construction Innovation, ISSN 1471-4175, E-ISSN 1477-0857, Vol. 19, nr 4, s. 629-652Artikel i tidskrift (Refereegranskat)
    Abstract [en]

    Purpose

    In the construction industry, it has proven difficult to implement and realize innovation efforts, for example in the development of industrialized construction and use of platform concepts. Thus, the purpose of this study is to characterize the innovation diffusion process in the social system of a large Swedish contractor company. Specifically, the diffusion of three innovative industrialized house-building (IHB) platforms and factors affecting their adoption and implementation (particularly effects of their perceived radicality in relation to the company's decentralized characteristics) are identified and discussed.

    Design/methodology/approach

    A case study approach was applied, using empirical material including semi-structured interviews and archival records (research reports from earlier studies at different points in time related to each innovation and annual corporate reports). The material was analyzed using Rogers' (2003) five-stage innovation process model, acknowledging the importance of social systems' structures.

    Findings

    Structural characteristics of the social system strongly affect innovation diffusion. In subsystems that had not been involved in initiation of the innovations, they were regarded as radical, which hindered their adoption and implementation.

    Research limitations/implications

    This study builds upon the recent findings that successful innovation implementation depends on a range of contingencies in the construction context. Although the diffusion of the innovations per se has been traced over a ten-year period, generalizability is limited because the results come from one construction company.

    Practical implications

    Contractors have invested substantially in the development of industrialized construction and use of platform concepts, but less in their implementation, so they have obtained little gain. How innovations are perceived and implemented in different subsystems affects the success of their implementation in the overarching social system.Originality/valueThis study adheres to previous calls for more research on firm level in the complex social system of construction companies by adopting a ten-year perspective on the diffusion of innovation at a large contractor addressing in particular the impact of the innovations perceived radicality in relation to the decentralized characteristics of the company.

  • 9.
    Rwamamara, Romuald
    et al.
    Luleå tekniska universitet, Institutionen för samhällsbyggnad och naturresurser.
    Norberg, Håkan
    Olofsson, Thomas
    Lagerqvist, Ove
    Luleå tekniska universitet, Institutionen för samhällsbyggnad och naturresurser, Byggkonstruktion och -produktion.
    Using visualisation technologies for design and planning of a healthy construction workplace2010Ingår i: Construction Innovation, ISSN 1471-4175, E-ISSN 1477-0857, Vol. 10, nr 3, s. 248-266Artikel i tidskrift (Refereegranskat)
    Abstract [en]

    Purpose – The purpose of the paper is to investigate how health and safety gains and improvements of the construction workplace can be made through the use of three-dimensional (3D) and four-dimensional (4D) visualization technologies. Design/methodology/approach – The methodology used in the paper was a combination of semi-structured interviews with five construction project planners from three construction projects and observations of a 4D model used in one of the three projects. Findings – The findings of the paper have shown a great potential for 3D and 4D visualization in terms of communicating construction information as well as the health and safety risks in the design process where clash detection, work tasks sequence, workspace congestion can be identified by project stakeholders who are thus able to plan for alternative solutions to reduce or eliminate rework, heavy material handling and repetitive and awkward postures which expose workers to musculoskeletal injury risk. Research limitations/implications – The 3D and 4D models as they are currently used in the design of construction projects, particularly in the three projects investigated in this paper, still lack the worker reference frame and the visual interaction between the worker and the permanent as well as the temporary works. Originality/value – The paper describes the current and emerging trends in the development of 3D, virtual reality and 4D computer-aided design visualization and simulation, which have affected or are likely to have an impact on construction projects planning in the Swedish construction sector.

  • 10.
    Vennström, Anders
    et al.
    Luleå tekniska universitet, Institutionen för samhällsbyggnad och naturresurser, Byggkonstruktion och -produktion.
    Eriksson, Per-Erik
    Luleå tekniska universitet, Institutionen för ekonomi, teknik och samhälle, Innovation och Design.
    Client perceived barriers to change of the construction process2010Ingår i: Construction Innovation, ISSN 1471-4175, E-ISSN 1477-0857, Vol. 10, nr 2, s. 126-137Artikel i tidskrift (Refereegranskat)
    Abstract [en]

    Purpose: To identify client perceived barriers to a change towards increased client influence on the end result of the construction process. Additionally, the variables of size of clients' markets and the extent of external project management are investigated in order to see how they influence the perceptions concerning important barriers to change. Methodology/approach: Empirical data was collected through a survey responded to by 87 Swedish construction clients. Findings: Identified barriers are divided into three types: attitudinal, industrial and institutional. Attitudinal barriers (adversarial attitudes, lack of ethics and morality, focus on projects instead of processes, and a short-term focus) and industrial barriers (traditional organization of the construction process, conservative industry culture, industry structure, and traditional production processes) were perceived to be important, whereas institutional barriers (standard contracts, laws, and traditional procurement procedures) were not perceived to be critical. Each different type of barrier was tested against the use of internal or external project management and the sphere of activity of the client. Attitudinal barriers were perceived as being more critical by clients using external project management. ‘Nearness' in terms of the sphere of activity (e.g. how large is the client's market?) also had an effect on how clients perceived the barriers. Locally active clients did not consider attitudinal barriers to be as influential on the end result of the construction process as nationally active clients. Research limitations/implications - Since the empirical results are based on data collected only from Swedish clients, international generalizations should be made with caution.Practical implications - Clients wishing to act as change agents need to be aware that their use of internal versus external project management affects their chances to influence the other construction actors and implement change and innovation. Large national and international client organizations, which due to their size have significant opportunities to influence the industry, rely heavily on external project management, which may hamper their change agent role. Hence, such clients should make careful and purposeful selections of project management companies. Another more influential alternative is to strengthen their organisation and rely less on external project management. Originality/value - This paper presents a unique investigation of the connections between the use of internal/external project management and perceived barriers to change.

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