From Focus on Price to the Pyramid of Innovation, Information, Cooperation, Value and Trust: A Success Story of Five Swedish Building Material Manufacturers

Jan Sundquist


This is a reprint from vol 8 no 2 which has not previously beeen available electronically.

In the building sector, value for the customer, is often regarded as being value for money and this, in turn, is achieved by means of competitive tendering. However, there are companies that also focus on innovation as a competitive parameter in their contribution; hereafter referred to as innovative companies. Five managing directors from innovative companies in Sweden were interviewed about how innovation is dealt with in their respective companies. As well as the importance of information, this study points to two additional important factors for innovation, namely cooperation with a carefully chosen partner and the transference of values to the employees. Those innovative companies made careful choices and use means of information, cooperation, value and vision to create innovation in order to build trust for the company and for its products and services.


Innovation; Information; Benchmarking;Cooperation; Value; Vision; Trust

Full Text



Barrett, P., Sexton, M. G., (2003). A literature synthesis of innovation in small firms: insights, ambiguities and questions. Construction Management and Economics, 21, pp 613 – 622

Chen, C. C. and Jones K. T., (2007) Management Tools. Who uses them and how effective are they?. The CPA Journal. August 2007. 77. 8

Drucker, P., (2002). The Discipline of Innovation. August 2002, pp 95 – 103. Harvard Business Review. Harvard. USA

Drew, Stephen A. W., (1997). From Knowledge to action: the impact of benchmarking on organizational performance. Long Range Planning, Vol. 30, No 3, pp 427 – 441.

Dubois, A. and Gadde, L.-E. (2000) Supply strategy and network effects – purchasing behaviour in construction industry. European Journal of Purchasing and Supply Management, 6, 207–215.

Dubois, A. and Gadde, L.-E. (2002) The construction industry as a loosely coupled system: implications for productivity and innovation. Construction Management and Economics, 20, pp 621–623.

Egan, J. (1998) Rethinking Construction. Department of the Environment. Transport and the Regions. London. England

Gann, D. M, (2000) Building Innovation: Complex Constructs in a Changing World, Thomas. Telford Books, Bodmin, Cornwall

Kadefors., A., (2004) Trust in project relationships – inside the black box. International Journal of Project Management. Vol 22, pp 175 - 182

Larsson, B., and Sundqvist, J., and Emmit, S., (2006). Component manufacturers perceptions of managing innovation, Building Research and Innovation, 34 (6), pp 552 - 564

Madhok., A., (1995) Revisiting multinational firms' tolerance for joint venture: a trust-based approach. Journal of international Business Studies. Vol 26 (1). pp 117 – 137.

Ministry of Economic Development (2002) Firm Foundations – A Study of New Zealand Business Practices and Performance, Ministry of Economic Development, Wellington.

SOU 2002:115 (2002) The Swedish Building Commission, Sk–rpning gubbar! – Om konkurrensen, kvaliteten, kostnaderna och kompetensen i byggsektorn (Pull up your socks chaps! About competition, quality, costs and competence in the building sector). Stockholm

Sundqvist, J. (2002). Insikter f–r framg–ng. ESI, –rebro University, –rebro.

Sundqvist, J., Ahlstr–m S–derling, R., Lindhult, E., Wijkman, P., (2003). From Resources to Practices – A study of the use of best practices in manufacturing companies in Sweden based on a survey from New Zealand., Proceedings the 17th Nordic Conference on Business Studies in Reykjavik, August 14-16.

Sundqvist, , J., Larsson, B., Sanner, L., (2004). Do Building Material Suppliers use Information Technology less often or less efficiently than other lines of business? Proceedings 1st International Conference on Construction Project Management, Toronto.

Sundqvist, J. (2004). Low innovation among building material suppliers: the natural level of the trade? The Australian Journal of Construction Economics and Building, vol 4, no 1.

Sundqvist, J., Larsson, B., and Lindahl, G., (2007) Cooperation in the Building Sector between Building Material Manufacturers and Contractors to Develop Products. The Australian Journal of Construction Economics and Building, vol 7, no 2.

Tombesi, P. (2006) Good thinking and poor value: on the socialization of knowledge in construction. Building Research & Information, 34(3), 272–286.

Zaheer., A., and McEvily., B., and Perrone., V., (1998) Does trust matter? Exploring the effects of interorganizational and interpersonal trust on performance. Organization Science. Vol 9 (2). pp 141 -159