Innovation in Small Professional Practices in the Built Environment / Edition 1

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From the book’s Foreword by Trevor Mole, Managing Director, Property Tectonics; President of the European Association of Building Surveyors and Construction Experts:

Shu-Ling and Martin have built on their research work and that of others to produce an understandable and readable insight into innovation in small professional service firms. They have successfully unravelled the complex behavioural and organisational forces taking place and created a framework to help practitioners understand the issues and to fashion the right environment in which to foster innovation and deliver economic value.’

Small professional practices in the built environment are crucial to the success and long-term viability of the design, construction and property industries. This research-based book addresses the urgent need to better understand the nature and process of innovation in these important firms.

The authors offer an analysis of both why and how innovation is a key competitive factor for small professional practices in the built environment. As these practices are located in different business environments and behave in different ways to other types of industry firms, the context-specific methodology to design, implement and assess innovation in small professional practices presented in this book will appeal to researchers and practitioners in surveying and design.

Innovation in Small Professional Practices in the Built Environment makes a significant contribution to an underdeveloped area of innovation by offering new theoretical and practical insights and models grounded in results from a 22-month case study of a small professional practice.

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Product Details

Meet the Author

Dr Shu-Ling Lu, Lecturer, School of the Built Environment, University of Salford, United Kingdom.

Professor Martin Sexton, Professor of Construction Management and Innovation, School of Construction Management and Engineering, University of Reading, United Kingdom.

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Table of Contents

About the Authors ix

Foreword Trevor Mole xi

Chapter 1 Introduction 1

1.1 Background 1

1.2 Research Problem 3

1.3 Summary and Link 5

Chapter 2 Key Issues from the Literature 6

2.1 Introduction 6

2.2 Conceptualisation of Small Professional Practices 6

2.3 Definitional Debate on Innovation 8

2.4 Market- and Resource-Based View of Innovation 9

2.5 Knowledge-Based View of Innovation 12

2.6 Key Managerial Challenges for Innovation 20

2.7 Key Research Questions 25

2.8 Summary and Link 26

Chapter 3 Knowledge-Based Innovation Model 27

3.1 Introduction 27

3.2 Description of Knowledge-Based Innovation Model 27

3.3 Continuous Improvement Gap Analysis Framework 29

3.4 Research Hypotheses 29

3.5 Summary and Link 32

Chapter 4 Case Study Methodology 33

4.1 Introduction 33

4.2 Overall Research Process 33

4.3 Case Study Design 34

4.4 Research Techniques: Qualitative Data Collection Techniques 43

4.5 Research Techniques: Qualitative Data Analysis Techniques 47

4.6 Validation - Triangulation Strategy 54

4.7 Summary and Link 57

Chapter 5 Case Study - Exploratory Phase 58

5.1 Introduction 58

5.2 Background of the Case Study Company 58

5.3 Case Study Firm Perception of Knowledge, Innovation, HC, SC and RC 61

5.4 Description of Identified Company Innovations 67

5.5 Mode 1: Explorative Innovation Analysis 69

5.6 Mode 2: Exploitative Innovation Analysis 78

5.7 Summary and Link 96

Chapter 6 Case Study - Action Research Phase 97

6.1 Introduction 97

6.2 Diagnosis 97

6.3 Action Planning 103

6.4 Action Taking 109

6.5 Action Evaluation 119

6.6 Specifying Learning 122

6.7 Summary and Link 125

Chapter 7 Discussion126

7.1 Introduction 126

7.2 Types of Knowledge-Based Innovation 126

7.3 Hypothesis 1: Knowledge-Based Resources 127

7.4 Hypothesis 2: Capabilities 138

7.5 Meta-Hypothesis: Knowledge Capital 145

7.6 Summary and Link 147

Chapter 8 Conclusions 148

8.1 Introduction 148

8.2 Contribution to Innovation Theory 148

8.3 Comment on Research Problem 158

8.4 Comment on Research Questions 160

8.5 Key Limitations and Future Research 163

8.6 Theoretical and Practical Implications 164

8.7 Policy Implications 165

References 167

Appendices 179

Appendix A List of Company Documentation 181

Appendix B Cooperation Proposal 182

Appendix C Interview Cooperation Proposal 184

Appendix D Interview Protocol 186

Appendix E Company General Finding Report 213

Index 221

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