Positioning Construction Businesses on an ‘Evolution—Innovation’ Continuum: Conceptualisation of the ‘Equivocal Zone’

Holt, Gary David and Goulding, Jack Steven (2016) Positioning Construction Businesses on an ‘Evolution—Innovation’ Continuum: Conceptualisation of the ‘Equivocal Zone’. International Journal of Construction Management, 16 (3). pp. 220-223. ISSN 1562-3599

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Official URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/15623599.2016.1166544


The concepts of ‘business evolution’ and ‘innovative business endeavour’ are contrasted as bipolar extremities on a theoretical continuum: first, in the context of organisations generally and second, for construction businesses specifically. This highlights what the authors define an ‘equivocal zone’ (EZ) – which occupies a wide section of said continuum and is positioned approximately equidistant from its extremes. Cogent representation of the zone is based on literature synthesis, emphasising contemporary and emergent viewpoints in the field; while its conceptualisation is achieved using descriptive and graphical models. The study argues that within the EZ, definitions of organisational innovation often become blurred and that the EZ characterises most construction organisations on the said evolution-innovation continuum. The EZ is a new theoretical concept derived solely from this study.

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