Enhanced model of the innovation-decision process, for modular-technological-process innovations in construction

Barry Gledson*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Citations (Scopus)
20 Downloads (Pure)


PurposeThe purpose of this study is to establish an enhanced model of the innovation-decision process (IDP), specifically for construction. As context, innovation diffusion theory (IDT) is concerned with explaining how some innovations successfully stick whilst others fail to propagate. Because theoretical models provide abstracted representations of systems/phenomena, established IDT models can help decision-making units with innovation-related sense-marking and problem-solving. However, these occasionally fail or require enhancement to represent phenomena more successfully. This is apparent whenever middle-range theory seems ill-fitted to the complexity of construction.
Design/methodology/approachQualitative research via 13 semi-structured interviews occurred, with participants recruited via convenience and purposive sampling strategies. The study forms part of a broader mixed-method study (n = 246) informed by a research philosophy of pragmatism, investigating the applicability of classic IDT to the adoption of four-dimensional (4D) building information modelling (4D BIM) by the UK construction sector.
FindingsThis diffusion study resulted in the adaptation of an existing IDP model, ensuring a better contextual fit. Classified more specifically as a modular-technological-process innovation, 4D BIM with its potential to provide construction planning improvements is used as a vehicle to show why, for construction, an existing model required theoretical extensions involving additional stages, decision-action points and outcomes.
Research limitations/implicationsThis model can assist construction industry actors with future adoption/rejection decisions around modular-technological-process innovations. It also aids the understanding of scholars and researchers, through its various enhancements and by reinforcing the importance of existing diffusion concepts of compatibility and trialability, for these innovation types.
Originality/valueAn enhanced model of the IDP, specifically for construction, is established. This construction-centric contribution to IDT will be of interest to construction scholars and to practitioners.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1085-1103
Number of pages19
JournalConstruction Innovation: Information, Process, Management
Issue number4
Early online date10 Sept 2021
Publication statusPublished - 28 Nov 2022


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