Academic research in emerging knowledge-based economies : the case of Sri Lankan construction industry

Hadiwattege, C, Sandanayake, YG, Senaratne, S and Fernando, NG ORCID: 2018, 'Academic research in emerging knowledge-based economies : the case of Sri Lankan construction industry' , Built Environment Project and Asset Management, 8 (4) , pp. 415-428.

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Knowledge-based economies are popular in the present world. Simultaneously, universities are becoming more responsible for leading economic development through research. As a key contributor to the national economy, it is vital for the construction industry to move beyond outdated practices, and hence, reviewing the role of academic research in empowering construction industry with knowledge is essential. This paper focuses on how relevant theories conceptualise the expected role of academic research in the innovative development of an industry and the specific location in Sri Lankan construction industry.

Following a comprehensive literature review, empirical data were collected from Sri Lankan context with a mixed approach informed by a pragmatist philosophical stance. The perspective of academia and industry practitioners were deductively obtained through surveys and inductively explored through qualitative interviews.

This study provides evidence that academic research in Sri Lanka does not contribute effectively to innovative construction management. Due to the absence of industry-focused knowledge dissemination strategies, the academic-industry relationships are mostly non-research based. The industry lacks in research informed-decision making, leading to lesser innovations.

Research limitations/implications
The research conclusions are more applicable to the developing-country construction industry contexts.

Practical implications
The research urges the need for improved academic-industry research collaborations and strategic knowledge dissemination movements.

The research confirms academic research as a major integral part of developing construction industry in a knowledge-based economy. In establishing the expected role of academic research, the research revealed the current practice to be under-located. Hence, the research prescribes the necessary actions; research collaborations in major and subsequent requirements.

Keywords – Academic research, Construction management, Innovation theories, Knowledge-based economies, Knowledge dissemination, Knowledge utilisation, Research collaborations

Item Type: Article
Schools: Schools > School of the Built Environment > Centre for Urban Processes, Resilient Infrastructures & Sustainable Environments
Journal or Publication Title: Built Environment Project and Asset Management
Publisher: Emerald
ISSN: 2044-124X
Related URLs:
Depositing User: NG Fernando
Date Deposited: 17 Jul 2018 08:26
Last Modified: 16 Feb 2022 18:50

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