The quantity surveyor’s role in innovation generation, adoption and diffusion in the Australian construction industry

Hardie, Mary P. and Miller, Graham and Manley, Karen and McFallan, Stephen (2005) The quantity surveyor’s role in innovation generation, adoption and diffusion in the Australian construction industry. [Conference Paper]


In 2004 the Building Research Innovation Technology and Environment (BRITE) Project conducted a survey on technological and organisational innovations in the Australian construction industry. This research uses the survey information to test the perception that there is a dichotomy between the self perceptions of quantity surveyors and the way that other stakeholders in the industry view the profession. A comparison is made of the survey responses given by quantity surveyors with those of the construction industry generally as well as with an identified group of high innovators in the industry. Quantity surveyors tend to innovate in the fields of data collection, management and monitoring processes which are perhaps not as visible to other members of the team as design innovations. Our research revealed that they widely believed innovation to have a positive effect on productivity but preferred informal measures of the value of such innovations. This is a somewhat surprising result as their core business is the collecting and measuring of information. To encourage improved innovation performance, quantity surveyors favoured increased training, more open attitudes and the removal of lowest cost tendering for quick profit. They specifically did not seek increased recognition or incentives as a way of improving performance. Generally they believed that it is design consultants who drive innovation in construction projects. Quantity surveyors perceived themselves to be supporters of innovation rather than blockers and saw themselves as contributors to a team but not usually as leaders of that team. Other industry groupings, however, did see the profession as potential blockers of innovation. Quantity surveying professionals need to be aware of the risk that other team members may see them more as “management’s auditors‿ rather than as genuine team contributors.

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Item Type: Conference Paper
Collection: CRC for Construction Innovation
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Keywords: construction; culture; innovation; quantity surveying; CRC for Construction Innovation; Program A : Business and Industry Development; Project 2001-012-A : Innovation Potential, Directions and Implementation in the Building and Construction Product System BRITE
Date Deposited: 11 Mar 2014 03:16
Last Modified: 11 Mar 2014 03:20
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