Innovation Adoption for Eco Materials in the Construction Industry in Sweden: How Three Players Can Actively Foster the Adoption Process - A Case Study on the Material Hempcrete with the Company House of Hemp
The construction industry is currently experiencing environmental problems associated with greenhouse gas emissions, in particular due to the extensive use of unsustainable materials. In this regard, the industry is in need of alternative solutions, one of which is the introduction of innovative green materials. However, the number of adopted new innovations in the market is low. If the material is considered innovative and new to the market, then it may experience challenges in the process of adoption by potential users, which can negatively affect its diffusion in the market. This Master’s Thesis provides an insight to the adoption process of eco materials in the Swedish construction industry. An overall objective of the research was to study how the whole process of adopting a new green material can be fostered. This was achieved through examining the barriers of the innovation adoption process, as well as finding solutions that can help to overcome these barriers that prevent the adoption of new materials. Furthermore, the authors redesigned Rogers' (Rogers, 2003, m, Rhein, 2021, o) innovation adoption stages model to make it most relevant for the Swedish construction industry. The authors performed a detailed research of the available literature on the subject related information. The thesis provides a detailed view of the overall classification of innovation, innovation diffusion process, drivers of innovation and innovation in the construction industry. For the primary data collection, interviews were conducted with respondents who work in the construction industry in Sweden or carry out research in relation to this sector. The secondary data consists of relevant sources such as databases, statistics and newspaper articles. The analysis was performed with a thematic approach by identifying codes and themes. The main findings of this research show how different players can accelerate and push forward the innovation adoption process with certain actions in order to overcome the identified barriers currently blocking the adoption process. The responsible performers of these actions were categorized in three different groups: innovation adopters, suppliers and the government. Additionally, conditions were identified that ensure a supportive environment for the adoption of innovation. The results not only give new insights into the innovation adoption process of green innovative materials that can serve as a foundation for future research, but also inspire the affected people to act and contribute to a more innovative and green construction industry.