Harvesting Competitiveness through Building Organizational Innovation Capacity

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Original languageEnglish
Article number04017020
Journal / PublicationJournal of Management in Engineering
Issue number5
Online published27 Mar 2017
Publication statusPublished - 1 Sept 2017


The Belt and Road Initiativ (BRI) proposed by the Chinese government promotes globalization through the integration of emerging economies within the region. The market of infrastructural developments so derived is attractive for international construction organizations, including those in China. Moreover, these developments are complex technically, culturally, and even politically. Fierce competition among international contracting organizations can be expected. Although price competition is common in construction contracting, increasing competitiveness through cost-cutting is no longer a sustainable strategy. Cutthroat pricing may provide a short-term edge in bidding, but increasing competitiveness through innovation will provide the determining advantages in these BRI projects. To engender innovation, an organization must first have the capacity to do so. It is therefore proposed that organizational competitiveness (OC) can be harvested through building organizational innovation capacity (OIC). This proposition was tested with data collected from 102 construction professionals and using structural equation modeling (SEM). A positive correlation was found in this OC-OIC relationship. It was further found that core competence is the powerhouse of OC. The adoption of appropriate company strategies and project performance were also found to be significant components. For OIC, the results show that the ability to learn, manage information, foster entrepreneurship through appropriate human resource management policies, and cultivate innovation culture are key contributors. These findings and the suggestions derived therefrom were further explored in a reflective study of an organization with notable innovations. It was concluded that manifesting these OIC building strategies will enhance OC and enable organization to better meet the challenges of the international construction markets. Thus, this paper also provides suggestions on how to put these strategies into practice.

Research Area(s)

  • Impact, Organizational competitiveness, Organizational innovation capacity