Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile
Yepes, V., Pellicer, E., Correa, C. and Alarcón, C. “Implementing a System for Achieving Innovation Opportunities in a Construction company”, CIB 2010 World Conference, Manchester, UK, May, 2010 (2010)

Implementing a System for Achieving Innovation Opportunities in a Construction company

Revista : CIB 2010 World Conference
Tipo de publicación : Conferencia No DCC


Small and medium-sized contractors are characterised by organisational structures that are highly focused on control. As a result, employees concentrate on day-to-day activities with little time or motivation to generate creative ideas. Generally, the technological improvements of these companies arise as a result of problem-solving at the construction site. Nevertheless, the actual status quo is changing. In fact, some Spanish public agencies are already considering innovation as an added value in public bids; thus, large contractors are starting to systemise their innovative efforts. This means that small and medium-sized enterprises must modify their attitudes towards innovation in order to sustain their competitiveness. The implementation of a system that enhances systematic innovation and acquisition of knowledge may be the solution to overcome this disadvantage, as discussed in this paper. The authors analysed the implementation of an innovation management system in a Spanish construction company of medium size. The system builds on a set of processes aimed to generate R&D projects that allow the contractor to document the innovation, not only for internal purposes related to knowledge management, but also for external ones associated with obtaining better scores in public biddings. These processes are: (a) technological watch; (b) creativity; (c) planning and executing R&D projects; (d) technology transfer; and (e) protection of results. The last step is the feedback of the entire process through the assessment of the final outcomes. The implementation of the R&D system is ensured within the organisation, through training of personnel, participation of stakeholders and encouragement of the innovation culture.