Circular innovation in the construction sector - a study on the institutional factors influencing circular innovation and the conditions for success

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Transitioning to a circular economy exposes great challenges to the construction sector. This sector produces a lot of waste and is very polluting. In response to this, the circular ambition is more and more being formulated in construction projects. Besides, there are a lot of initiatives for circular innovative products. However, in practice those ambitions are too often not becoming reality. This research aims to explain the gap between ambition and implementation by looking at the institutional factors, either barriers or accelerators, that influence the implementation of innovative, circular ambitions. Furthermore, it aims to identify conditions for overcoming the barriers. A framework was created and empirically examined. Some of the most important conclusions of this research are, first of all, that the construction sector is stuck in traditional processes and routines and that letting those go is considered risky and scary. An important accelerator that helps to combat this barrier, is having a proactive client that really supports the circular ambition, fosters taking risks and experimenting and initiates consortia instead of traditional tendering. Besides, the ambiguity of the concept of circular innovation causes a lot of mental barriers. Intrinsic motivation and environmental concern is an accelerator for actually taking action.
Faculteit der Managementwetenschappen