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Creating dynamic capabilities is about developing innovations but also bringing home and reorganizing the company based on these innovations. View original picture , opens in new tab/window

Dynamic capabilities lead to successful industrialized house building

Published: 17 May 2021

Research from Luleå University of Technology shows in a recently published scientific article in Construction Innovation that companies that structured over time work with both efficiency development and at the same time translate signals from the outside world into new innovations and build abilities to work with both have the potential to become successful industrialized builders.

We have seen a growing interest in industrialized house building both among construction companies and among organizations, but also an increased global interest. In many cases, the focus is on Sweden with an interest in learning from Swedish knowledge about the industrialization of house construction that has been going on since the beginning of the 2000s. In research, we therefore ask ourselves the question: What could be the reason why some industrial building construction companies have succeeded in making this innovation journey and become competitive and successful?

"We investigated how one of the leading Swedish industrialized house building actors over a 25-year period worked to develop its concept for apartment buildings and whether this matched how the company developed its so-called dynamic capabilities. We looked at what resources and capabilities the company has built up and in what order this has happened. We investigated how the utilization of innovations went and whether this meant new abilities that the company built or attached to itself", says Lars Stehn, professor of Industrial and Sustainable Construction at Luleå University of Technology.

Lars Stehn has recently, together with the LTU research colleagues Susanne Engström and Petri Uusitalo and Rita Lavikka at VTT, Technical Research Center of Finland, published a scientific article "Understanding industrialized house building as a company's dynamic capabilities". The article describes that the company's dynamic capabilities mean to, in the long term and in response to opportunities and threats in the environment, pursue development and change the set of resources and capabilities. The results also show that the company has built up its dynamic capabilities gradually in a special order. They started with standardization of components and then in parallel built capabilities and assets through integration of their value chains and standardization of processes while at the same time managing long-term relationships towards a new business model. The development of capabilities in recent years created a real growth and this was done by the company exploring, developing and adapting Lean to renew the corporate culture. International research shows that competitive advantages are created when companies build capabilities in a similarly dynamic way as these capabilities become difficult for others to copy. It is thus about how capabilities are handled and built, not just about the technology itself, to create success in industrialized house building.

For more info:

Lars Stehn

Lars Stehn, Professor and Head of Subject

Phone: +46 (0)920 491976
Organisation: Construction Management and Building Technology , Industrialized and sustainable construction, Department of Civil, Environmental and Natural Resources Engineering