The Influence of Creative Climate and Learning in Fostering Innovation Culture in Construction

Department: Real Estate and Construction
Research Centre: iLab
Active Dates: September 2011 – March 2015

Principal Investigator: Anita M.M. LIU
Funding body: GRF


This study aims to examine ways of fostering innovation in construction by creating a climate and culture of innovation with a high culture-structure fit that enhances continuous improvement through sustaining creativity.


  1. To examine how the magnitude of innovation culture dimensions affect the continuum of the ‘innovation-averse’ to the ‘innovation-conducive culture’ in construction.
  2. To investigate how the evolutionary change in the meaning of values and norms affect an organization to move away from an innovation-averse culture through encouragement of specific culture dimensions.
  3. To identify how the ‘match’ between culture and context secures continuous improvement through sustaining creativity.

Key Findings

  1. Amongst the various dimensions of culture, leadership, innovation climate and learning transfer climate, affect the continuum of innovation-conducive culture in construction;
  2. Different construction parties are influenced by different climate to innovation (e.g., Figure 1); and
  3. The match between organization context and culture facilitates the development of innovation in an organization.


Book Chapter

  • Liu A., Fellows R. (2012), Culture and Innovation. In Akintoye A., Goulding J.S., Zawdie G. (ed.) Construction Innovation and Process Improvement. Oxford: Wiley-Blackwell. ISBN: 9781405156486 [pp 63-94].

Journal Papers

  • Fellows R., Liu A.M.M. (2015), Sensemaking in the cross cultural contexts of projects. International Journal of Project Management, 34(2), 246-257.
  • Liu A.M.M., Fellows R., Chan I.Y.S., (2014), Fostering Value Co-creation in Construction: A Case Study of an Airport Project in India. International Journal of Architecture, Engineering and Construction, 3(2), 120-130.
  • Chan I.Y.S., Liu A.M.M., Fellows R. (2014), The role of leadership in fostering innovation climate in construction firms. ASCE Journal of Management in Engineering, 30(6), DOI: 06014003.
  • Fellows R., Liu A.M.M. (2013), Use and Misuse of the Concept of Culture. Construction Management and Economics (CME). 31, 5, 401-422.
  • Chan I.Y.S., Liu A.M.M. (2012), Antecedents of innovation climate in construction firms in Hong Kong. International Journal of Construction Management. 12 (4), 37-46.
  • Fellows R., Liu A.M.M. (2012), Managing organizational interfaces in engineering construction projects: addressing fragmentation, innovation and boundary issues across multiple interfaces. CME, 30(8), 653-671.
  • Kissi J., Dainty A., Liu A.M.M. (2012), Examining middle managers’ influence on innovation in construction professional services firms: a tale of three innovations. Construction Innovation: Information, Process, Management. Emerald. 12(1), 11-28.

Invited Speeches

  • “Innovation in Construction: a view from the window of Culture” invited by the Bartlett School of Project Management, University College, London, 7th Dec 2015, UK.
  • “Construction Innovation: Recent Research Development” invited by the College of Civil Engineering and Architecture, Zhejiang University, on 8 Apr 2015, PRC.
  • “Managing Boundaries: BIM as a Boundary Object in Project Management” invited by the School of Construction Management and Real Estate, Chongqing University, 2nd Apr 2015, PRC.
  • “Value Co-creation in Construction: Innovation or Re-invention” CPD seminar organized by HKIS, on 25 Feb 2014, HK.


  • Most Read Article, 2013, awarded by the Taylor and Francis for the paper entitled ‘Use and misuse of the concept of culture’ published in CME. 31, 5, 401-422. Routledge.

Plus 3 manuscripts and 9 conference papers

Enlarge Photo: Figure 1: Conceptual Model for Learning Transfer Climate and Innovation in Construction