Are we really into it? The role of the dynamics of value creation and capture in inter-firm collaboration in the built environment

Karoliina Rajakallio

Research output: ThesisDoctoral ThesisCollection of Articles


This dissertation set out to create a better understanding of the factors that either promote or hamper the creation of innovations in the built environment. Specifically, it examines the dynamics of value creation and capture as the key motivational factors for firms to innovate in inter-firm collaboration in the built environment sector. The dissertation also explores conceptualisations of networked innovation; focusing on the benefits of business ecosystem and business models' concepts as an analytical lens and consequently in managing innovations. The scope of the research includes both construction and use phases of the built environment life cycle. Concepts of ecosystem and business model as an activity system are used to analyse the value creation and subsequent value capture in built environment sector networks. A mixed methods design is employed. The qualitative component consists of studies that follow a multiple, single and comparative case study designs. The quantitative component consists of a study using survey data. The analysis of the survey is explorative in nature and all inferences are based on descriptive statistics. Based on the findings of three studies, this dissertation argues that the complementary or similar value creation and capturing dynamics of participants, i.e. shared logic, have the key role in determining the quality of collaboration of built environment sector networks. They improve governance and reduce complexity related to innovations. However, the environment in which the network firms operate, at the permanent network level, set the boundary conditions on how these incentives may be formed. Of these, legitimacy and perceptions on risk and risk management capabilities are the most notable. The public sector authorities specifically seem to be ill equipped to promote shared logic in the built environment networks. The dissertation also concludes that when managing innovations in the built environment sector, the current project-based conceptualisations of value creation and capture could be complemented with an ecosystem and business model approach. The results contribute to the current network management theories on how the different motivations of parties may have different impact on the choices made in the networks. It also demonstrates how the value creation and capturing processes are separated at different network levels, and temporally. For the industry specific literature, the ecosystem and business model concepts provide a novel framework for analysing networked value creation and capture and managing collaboration in the built environment. For practitioners, the dissertation provides guidance on the key success factors of project networks and demonstrates the importance of public actors as active participants in constraining, steering and participating to value creation in the built environment.
Translated title of the contributionHaluammeko todella tätä? Arvon luonnin ja ansainnan välisen dynamiikan rooli yritysten välisessä yhteistyössä rakennetunympäristön toimialalla
Original languageEnglish
QualificationDoctor's degree
Awarding Institution
  • Aalto University
  • Junnila, Seppo, Supervising Professor
Print ISBNs978-952-60-8876-1
Electronic ISBNs978-952-60-8877-8
Publication statusPublished - 2019
MoE publication typeG5 Doctoral dissertation (article)


  • innovation
  • built environment
  • network
  • ecosystem
  • business model

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