Development of an integrated management model for effective applications of cooperative construction research

Nuesse, Gregor (2013) Development of an integrated management model for effective applications of cooperative construction research. (PhD thesis), Kingston University, .


Research management attracts attention of varying intensity within different innovation areas. Whereas in product development efficient management of the whole process is seen as a prerequisite for success, the need for management in pre-competitive applied research is often questioned. If the construction sector is examined, its specific innovation characteristics provide additional obstacles to the achievement of innovation success. Moreover, current research topics focusing on individual technical phenomena have been shifting towards those with a holistic approach, resulting inevitably in interdisciplinary research. The thesis thus aims to develop a holistic management model for pre-competitive applied research in the construction sector, with the focus on steel construction. The study demonstrates the need for increased use of innovation initiators from politics, society and complementary steel user sectors and the formation of networks across the construction supply chain. For the project phase optimization potential is demonstrated in efforts to realize the exchange of technical information and joint creation of knowledge between science and industry. The holistic management model developed offers scope to implement such approaches to improvement while facilitating a repeatable path to project success. A key model component is the innovation broker, through whom from idea generation to results transfer project success is prepared and supported at differing action levels and with all participants integrated. A project-related Community of Practice is additionally used to implement non-contractual project integration prioritized by industry. The model is also evaluated using current European developments for optimizing research management. Testing within an interdisciplinary research cluster project in the construction sector confirms its readiness for application while revealing further development potential. On this basis recommendations are given on the model’s introduction in the management of applied research in structural engineering. The thesis meets the requirement of responding to practical problems while expanding the theoretical understanding of research management.

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