Innovation Performance and Its Impact on Profitability Among Different Sectors in the Australian Construction Industry

Mary Hardie
Graham Miller
Karen Manley
Stephen McFallan


The BRITE (Building Research Information Technology and Environment) project was established by the Australian Cooperative Research Centre for Construction Innovation to encourage innovation in the construction industry. While innovation is generally perceived to be broadly beneficial, there has been little formal study of its occurrence or impact in Australian construction or of the factors which foster an innovative atmosphere within an enterprise. In order to benchmark innovation performance, the BRITE project conducted a survey in 2004 into the nature, incidence and variety of technological and organisational innovations in various sectors of the industry. With some exceptions, the survey found that clients and consultants engaged in significantly higher levels of innovation than did suppliers, main contractors or trade contractors. Within the industry sectors those organisations classified as high innovators favoured the adoption of advanced management practices and had formal evaluation systems in place to judge their progress. They reported significant positive impacts on their profitability from innovation and can therefore provide instructive examples for the rest of the industry to follow.

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