Abstract for: Innovation Diffusion in the Building Construction Industry: Empirically-Based Theory Generation
The paper focuses on diffusion of energy-efficient innovations. A conceptual model is developed that integrates relevant variables and mechanisms to describe and explain innovation diffusion in the building construction industry – an exemplary case of a large fragmented, socio-technical system with slow transition characteristics. A considerable amount of literature has been published about innovation diffusion. However, only little attention has been devoted to integrate relevant knowledge from different disciplines to explain the complex phenomenon of innovation diffusion in the building construction industry. This study draws on accepted theories as one source of information; others are existing empirical research, expert interviews, and workshop results. The latter two are based on a case study to obtain insights from a regional industry cluster. We use the grounded theory approach for data collection, analysis and modeling. The result is a validated conceptual model including mechanisms that explain the diffusion phenomenon. The first contribution is the description and explanation of innovation diffusion in a consistent model developed by inductive and deductive analysis. Second, the model provides first insights about policy levers and hypotheses about relative importance of underlying mechanisms. Third, the model can serve as a conceptual frame for a future quantitative simulation study.