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Framing Technological Development in a Concrete Context: The Use of Wood in the Swedish Construction Industry
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Business Studies.
2003 (English)Doctoral thesis, monograph (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

An understanding of the factors that condition technological development is of vital importance for business theory as well as for practitioners. The contextual setting of the development constitutes one area of inquiry into this research field. Context has often been studied as an aggregate or a market with clearly defined boundaries to the studied technology. In this thesis, however, the examined technological development is studied from a processual perspective, examining the interplay that takes place between a focal resource in the development and its context. To be able to analyse this interplay, the context has been divided into three dimensions; activity patterns, resource constellations and webs of actors, based on three central aspects of the industrial network model. A concept that describes the interaction process that takes place in each dimension has then been distinguished and used for the examination. Processes of integrating activities, of adapting resources and of positioning actors are thus analyzed in order to increase the understanding of the development.

The empirical material deals with the reintroduction of multi-storey timber-frames in the Swedish construction industry. The technology for constructing tall buildings using timber for framing was forbidden after the Sundsvall fire in 1888. On 1993/94, however, there was a change in regulations, which made it possible to study what happens when two centenarians, the multi-storey timber frame technology and the Swedish construction sector, yet unknown to each other, are brought together. The study focuses especially on the first building projects in Sweden where the timber framing technology was used, a project using the established technology and a study on Nordic basis of maiden projects in Sweden, Norway, Denmark and Finland. The material have been collected through primary sources such as personal interviews and participation in project meetings, and through secondary sources such as research reports and articles on the timber-framing technology.

It is concluded in the study is that contextual factors play a major role in shaping a technological development process and the technology that becomes established due to the difficulties and costs of acquiring knowledge about the technology, the embeddedness of the established framing-technology in the established industrial network, and due to the work efforts needed in order to reach positive economic results based on involvement in the technological development process.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Uppsala: Företagsekonomiska institutionen , 2003. , 220 p.
Doctoral thesis / Företagsekonomiska institutionen, Uppsala universitet, ISSN 1103-8454 ; 99
Keyword [en]
Business studies, technological development, context, industrial networks, construction industry
Keyword [sv]
National Category
Business Administration
Research subject
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-3482OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-3482DiVA: diva2:162999
Public defence
2003-05-26, Hörsal 1, Ekonomikum, Uppsala, 13:15 (English)
Available from: 2003-05-05 Created: 2003-05-05 Last updated: 2009-04-20Bibliographically approved

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