Head of research group: Stefan Gottlieb
The architecture, construction and engineering (AEC) sector faces a number of challenges, caused by climate change, increasing globalization of the market for building materials and labor, as well as technological developments that strain existing structures, roles and work processes. Where we previously had an AEC sector based on experience and traditions, the development entails increasing demands for innovation, sustainability and productivity. This leads to greater risks for the built environment and the many actors within the sector.
Need for new knowledge
The AEC sector plays an increasingly central role in the Danish society, both as an instrument for social change and as an object of regulation. On the one hand, the sector is instrumental in meeting a number of key societal agendas from job creation and growth to increased sustainability and infrastructure development. On the other hand, new requirements also pose a number of challenges in the intersection between competing concerns related to resource and energy efficiency, healthy buildings and the involvement of users across the value chain under conditions of increasing deregulation and demands for strengthened competition. These challenges call for a critical understanding of the sector's economical, organizational, institutional and technological dynamics to deliver knowledge and solutions that can help fulfil the ambitions.
The Construction Management and Innovation Research Group works in four areas: Innovation, user and work practices, framework conditions and value.
- The research on innovation focuses on understanding how development initiatives influence and challenge traditional professions, professional boundaries and organizational forms.
- In the field of user and work practice, the focus is on understanding the recursive relationship between technology and actors. This includes the role of technology in structuring actions and rationales on the one hand, and how actors perceive and shape new arenas of application of the technologies on the other hand.
- The research on framework conditions deals with the institutional conditions that frame actions and development efforts of companies and organizations in the sector. The research also focuses on questions of institutional design, i.e. how and with what consequences actors may make deliberate change to their institutional environment, and how to overcome barriers towards changes.
- Finally, the issue of value focuses on uncovering quantitative as well as qualitative perceptions of economic, ethical, aesthetic and political values. Value is viewed in a heterogeneous and actor-centred perspective, which are sensitive to the different, divergent opinions that are represented by different societal groups.
The research group's work is primarily financed by private and public funds that promote research and innovation in the construction sector. Organizations and institutions acting as change agents for the construction sector are part of the research group's projects. Furthermore, the research group collaborates closely with the Danish authorities in relation to questions of how public regulation and other initiatives can promote innovation.
Dissemination of knowledge about conditions and methods for developing the construction industry involves a wide range of recipients ranging from the international scientific environment to building professionals, users and authorities. Furthermore, the group’s research is closely linked to an educational context at AAU CPH.