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

Jan Sundqvist


In the building sector, value for thecustomer, is often regarded as being valuefor money and this, in turn, is achieved bymeans of competitive tendering. However,there are companies that also focus oninnovation as a competitive parameter intheir contribution; hereafter referred to asinnovative companies. Five managingdirectors from innovative companies inSweden were interviewed about howinnovation is dealt with in their respectivecompanies. As well as the importance ofinformation, this study points to twoadditional important factors for innovation,namely cooperation with a carefullychosen partner and the transference ofvalues to the employees. Those innovativecompanies made careful choices and usemeans of information, cooperation, valueand vision to create innovation in order tobuild trust for the company and for itsproducts and services.

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 â 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 â 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 â 441.

Dubois, A. and Gadde, L.-E. (2000) Supply strategy and network effects â purchasing behaviour in construction industry. European Journal of Purchasing and Supply Management, 6, 207â215.

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 621â623.

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 â 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 â 137.

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

SOU 2002:115 (2002) The Swedish Building Commission, Skârpning gubbar! â 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 fâr framgâng. ESI, ârebro University, ârebro.

Sundqvist, J., Ahlstrâm Sâderling, R., Lindhult, E., Wijkman, P., (2003). From Resources to Practices â 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), 272â286.

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