This paper develops a strategic model to assist with the identification and management of risks associated with business development and innovation within construction organisations.

This paper is an investigation of the risks associated with current business development and innovation strategies employed by construction companies within Northern Ireland. The banking crisis of 2008 depressed economic growth, increased unemployment and de-stabilised the wider economy in Northern Ireland.

The uncertainty created by this downturn meant that banks were reluctant to lend to even the largest construction organisations. In this economic climate many of these organisations have had to review their business development and innovation strategies.

Therefore, the aim of the research is to develop a strategic model to assist with the identification and management of risks associated with business development and innovation within construction organisations.

A detailed literature review of generic and construction industry specific business development and innovation strategies and initiatives was carried out identifying the risks restricting or preventing business development and innovation within construction organisations. The empirical research was conducted by with a detailed content analysis of semi-structured interviews with senior management representatives of six Northern Ireland based construction organisations.

The combination of literature and qualitative empirical research established that business development and innovation was important in terms of maximising profit, improving competitiveness and diversification as well as business growth and development.

The main business development strategies identified were collaboration, positive customer focus, performance management, developing brand identity, enhancing organisational capabilities, marketing and sound financial management.

The analysis and management of the various risks associated with business development identified poor financial management, lack of knowledge and organisational capabilities when diversifying into new markets as the main risks.

The implication of these findings is that it alerts construction organisations to the specific risk factors they need to pay attention to in implementing business development and innovation strategies and to devise a proactive approach to their management.



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