A case study of a small architecture start-up: Strategic considerations to aid innovation in the construction industry
This paper examines innovation within the Swedish construction industry with the purpose of identifying key factors for small and/or newly founded firms to increase their innovative capacity and long-term competitiveness. The paper presents a theoretical framework of driving and hindering factors raised by the literature along with an introduction to the Swedish market and important segments on the market. An analysis is performed through the lens of a case firm operating within this market, where their approach to construction innovation is compared and contrasted with the findings of the literature and complementary interviews, in order to find factors most critical to innovation, that are still within the impactable sphere of a small firm. Our paper holds that five factors are key for small firms ability to innovate: Network Development, Build Dynamic Organizational Capabilities, Scale Knowledge-flows, Procurement Partnering, Impact through Knowledge Brokerage. Findings are related to a small firm operating in the more innovative side of the construction industry with a high skill base and high level of education compared to other firms operating within the industry. Further investigations based on small firms with lower academic skill-base is needed to complement the findings and to create a more holistic view of small firm construction innovation within the Swedish market.