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Innovation in facilities management: from trajectories to ownership

By Carmel Lindkvist and Abbas Elmualim

Abstract

Purpose – Innovation in facilities management (FM) is a complex process as FM is a diverse discipline. This paper aims to use innovation trajectories to explore this complex process through the introduction of a technology innovation in two FM services of security and workspace management. It also aims to consider the discourse of individuals within their trajectory to understand their positions toward the innovation.\ud Design/methodology/approach – A two-year case study was conducted and it was based in an in-house FM department that was part of a financial institution. The specific methods used for the paper were semi-structured interviews with key participants of the project. Critical discourse analysis was used to examine the data.\ud Findings – Individuals who were involved in introducing the technology to the FM department were both internal and external to FM as innovation in FM does not happen in isolation to the organisation. Innovation trajectories were often intertwined or occurred simultaneously during the process of a project which sometimes resulted in conflict. Tensions within the discourse of ownership of the project were particularly apparent as this discourse had a power dimension in driving the project through to implementation.\ud Research limitations/implications – The research is limited by being a single case study so it is not possible to generalise findings but the findings may have resonances with other organisations.\ud Originality/value – The paper presents an original idea about how to understand innovation processes in FM services.\u

Publisher: Emerald
Year: 2010
OAI identifier: oai:centaur.reading.ac.uk:18086
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