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Title: Narratives of innovation in the UK construction sector : a sensemaking perspective
Author: Sergeeva, Natalya
ISNI:       0000 0004 5361 7389
Awarding Body: University of Reading
Current Institution: University of Reading
Date of Award: 2014
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The current understanding of innovation is diverse, characterised by a variety of underlying theoretical perspectives. Positivist approaches tend to focus on the means by which innovation can be determined or measured. Whilst such approaches may provide indications of averages across large samples, they tend to ignore individual interpretations and the mediating effect of context, or at least to compress them into discrete variables. In recent years there has been an increase in research underpinned by social constructionist perspectives. Of particular interest is an expanding body of work which considers innovation as a narrative. Building upon and extending this theme, a sensemaking perspective is utilised that offers a shift closer towards understanding socially constructed and contested narratives of innovation. This perspective provides an explanation of how self-identities and embodied experiences of practitioners shape narratives of innovation that they mobilise. The purpose of the thesis is to explain how and why narratives of innovation are mobilised by construction sector practitioners from a sensemaking perspective. In order to achieve the aim, thirty semi-structured interviews were conducted with UK construction sector practitioners whose self-identities are closely associated with the promotion of innovation. Enactments of innovation are seen to be shaped by self-identities and embodied experiences. The lived narratives of innovation mobilised by practitioners are socially and discursively constructed, and yet are shaped and constrained by the formal narratives mobilised at policy level. The empirical data demonstrate that organisational activities become labelled as innovations through the process of collective inter-subjectivity. Organisational activities become labelled as innovations retrospectively and make sense prospectively. As narratives of innovation can be repeated and recalled, storytelling lends to the process of sustaining legitimacy. The thesis makes a contribution to existing knowledge by applying a sensemaking perspective. Research implications for practice and policy are addressed, and future research directions are suggested.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available