KSCE Journal of Civil Engineering

, Volume 23, Issue 9, pp 3737–3752 | Cite as

Measuring the Factors that Influence the Diffusion of Prefabricated Construction Technology Innovation

  • Yudan Dou
  • Xiaolong Xue
  • Zebin ZhaoEmail author
  • Ying Jiang
Construction Management


Prefabricated construction (PC) is considered to be a solution for construction unsustainability. Promotion of PC is based on measuring the influencing factors for the diffusion of prefabricated construction technology innovation (PCTI). Therefore, this study explored the influencing factors and underpinned mechanism for the diffusion of PCTI from the perspective of construction enterprises’ adoption, with two dimensions of internal and external. A conceptual model with nine hypotheses was first established. Then, this study conducted a questionnaire survey of 119 construction enterprises across the PC industry, and made an empirical analysis using structural equation model (SEM), to test the model. The results found that both construction enterprises and governments play significant roles in the diffusion of PCTI while agencies and consumers do not. Besides, network power of construction enterprises plays a mediating role in the relationship. This study provides decision-making assistances for different stakeholders in the PC industry.


prefabricated construction (PC) technology innovation diffusion influencing factors structural equation model (SEM) mediating effect 


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.



This study was supported by the National Key R&D Program of China (No. 2016YFC0701800 and No. 2016YFC0701808). The work described in this paper was also funded by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (NSFC) (Grant No. 71390522, NO. 71671053, NO. 71271065, NO. 71771067).


  1. Agostini, L., Nosella, A., and Filippini, R. (2016). “Users and radical innovation performance: The moderating role of the organisational context.” Technology Analysis & Strategic Management, Vol. 28, No. 7, pp. 1–13, DOI: Scholar
  2. Arashpour, M., Wakefield, R., Abbasi, B., Lee, E. W. M., and Minas, J. (2016). “Off-site construction optimization: Sequencing multiple job classes with time constraints.” Automation in Construction, Vol. 71, pp. 262–270, DOI: Scholar
  3. Arif, M. and Egbu, C. (2010). “Making a case for offsite construction in China.” Engineering Construction & Architectural Management, Vol. 17, No. 6, pp. 536–548, DOI: Scholar
  4. Bagozzi, R. P. and Yi, Y. (2012). “Specification, evaluation, and interpretation of structural equation models.” Journal of the Academy of Marketing Science, Vol. 40, No. 1, pp. 8–34, DOI: Scholar
  5. Beck, R., Beimborn, D., Weitzel, T., and König, W. (2008). “Network effects as drivers of individual technology adoption: Analyzing adoption and diffusion of mobile communication services.” Information Systems Frontiers, Vol. 10, No. 4, pp. 415–429, DOI: Scholar
  6. Beise, M. (2004). “Lead markets: Country-specific drivers of the global diffusion of innovations.” Research Policy, Vol. 33, Nos. 6–7, pp. 997–1018, DOI: Scholar
  7. Chaolin, G. U., Liya, W. U., and Cook, I. (2012). “Progress in research on Chinese urbanization.” Frontiers of Architecture and Civil Engineering in China, Vol. 1, No. 2, pp. 101–149, DOI: Scholar
  8. Dou, Y. D. X. X. L. Z. B. and L. X. W. (2019). “Factors influence china’s off-site construction technology innovation diffusion.” Sustainability, Vol. 11, No. 7, p. 1849, DOI: Scholar
  9. Duxson, P., Provis, J. L., Lukey, G. C., and Deventer, J. S. J. Van (2007). “The role of inorganic polymer technology in the development of ‘green concrete’.” Cement & Concrete Research, Vol. 37, No. 12, pp. 1590–1597, DOI: Scholar
  10. Esmaeili, B. and Hallowell, M. R. (2017). “Diffusion of safety innovations in the construction industry.” Journal of Construction Engineering & Management, Vol. 138, No. 8, pp. 955–963, DOI: Scholar
  11. Gan, X., Chang, R., Jian, Z., Tao, W., and Zillante, G. (2018). “Barriers to the transition towards Off-site construction in China: An interpretive structural modeling approach.” Journal of Cleaner Production, Vol. 197, pp. 8–18, DOI: Scholar
  12. Gordon, M. B., Laguna, M. F., Gonçalves, S., and Iglesias, J. R. (2017). “Adoption of innovations with contrarian agents and repentance.” Physica A: Statistical Mechanics & Its Applications, Vol. 486, DOI:
  13. Gunawardena, T., Ngo, T., Mendis, P., and Alfano, J. (2016). “Innovative flexible structural system using prefabricated modules.” Journal of Architectural Engineering, Vol. 22, No. 4, p. 5016003, DOI: Scholar
  14. Hong, J., Shen, G. Q., Li, Z., Zhang, B., and Zhang, W. (2018). “Barriers to promoting prefabricated construction in Chin: A cost-benefit analysis.” Journal of Cleaner Production, Vol. 172, DOI:
  15. Howard, J. L., Gagne, M., Morin, A. J. S., and Forest, J. (2018). “Using bifactor exploratory structural equation modeling to test for a continuum structure of motivation.” Journal of Management, Vol. 44, No. 7, pp. 2638–2664, DOI: Scholar
  16. Jaffe, A. B., Newell, R. G., and Stavins, R. N. (2004). “A tale of two market failures: Technology and environmental policy.” Ecological Economics, Vol. 54, No. 2, pp. 164–174, DOI: Scholar
  17. Jiang, R., Mao, C., Hou, L., Wu, C., and Tan, J. (2018). “A SWOT analysis for promoting off-site construction under the backdrop of China’s new urbanisation.” Journal of Cleaner Production, Vol. 173, pp. 225–234, DOI: Scholar
  18. Kale, S. and Arditi, D. (2010). “Innovation diffusion modeling in the construction industry.” Journal of Construction Engineering & Management, Vol. 136, No. 3, pp. 329–340, DOI: Scholar
  19. Koebel, C. T. (2008). “Innovation in homebuilding and the future of housing.” Journal of the American Planning Association, Vol. 74, No. 1, pp. 45–58, DOI: Google Scholar
  20. Koebel, C. T., Mccoy, A. P., Sanderford, A. R., Franck, C. T., and Keefe, M. J. (2015). “Diffusion of green building technologies in new housing construction.” Energy & Buildings, Vol. 97, pp. 175–185, DOI: Scholar
  21. Korkmaz, K. A. and Karahan, A. E. (2011). “Investigation of seismic behavior and infill wall effects for prefabricated industrial buildings in Turkey.” Journal of Performance of Constructed Facilities, Vol. 25, No. 3, pp. 158–171, DOI: Scholar
  22. Leiponen, A. (2008). “Control of intellectual assets in client Relationships: Implications for innovation.” Strategic Management Journal, Vol. 29, No. 13, pp. 1371–1394, DOI: Scholar
  23. Lessing, J. and Brege, S. (2018). “Industrialized building companies’ business models: Multiple case study of swedish and north american companies.” Journal of Construction Engineering & Management, Vol. 144, No. 2, DOI:
  24. Lin, H., Zeng, S. X., Liu, H. J., and Li, C. (2016). “How do intermediaries drive corporate innovation? A moderated mediating examination.” Journal of Business Research, Vol. 69, No. 11, pp. 4831–4836, DOI: Scholar
  25. Love, P. E. D., Niedzweicki, M., Bullen, P. A., and Edwards, D. J. (2012). “Achieving the green building council of australia’s world leadership rating in an office building in perth.” Journal of Construction Engineering & Management, Vol. 138, No. 5, pp. 652–660, DOI: Scholar
  26. Lybbert, T. J. and Sumner, D. A. (2016). “Agricultural technologies for climate change in developing countries: Policy options for innovation and technology diffusion.” Food Policy, Vol. 37, No. 1, pp. 114–123, DOI: Scholar
  27. Mansfield, E., Rapoport, J., Romeo, A., Wagner, S., and Beardsley, G. (1977). “Social and private rates of return from industrial innovations.” Quarterly Journal of Economics, Vol. 91, No. 2, pp. 221–240, DOI: Scholar
  28. Mao, C., Shen, Q., Pan, W., and Ye, K. (2015). “Major barriers to offsite construction: The developers’ perspective in China.” Journal of Management in Engineering, Vol. 31, No. 3, p. 4014043, DOI: Scholar
  29. March, J. G. (1991). “Exploration and exploitation in organizational learning.” Organization Science, Vol. 2, No. 1, pp. 71–87, DOI: Scholar
  30. Merkle, E. C. and Rosseel, Y. (2018). “Blavaan: Bayesian structural equation models via parameter expansion.” Statistics, Vol. 58, No. 6, pp. 129–138, DOI: Scholar
  31. Milena, M., Zenonas, T., and Edmundas, K. Z. (2010). “Sustainable construction taking into account the building impact on the environment.” Journal of Environmental Engineering & Landscape Management, Vol. 18, No. 2, pp. 118–127, DOI: Scholar
  32. Mitropoulos, P. and Tatum, C. B. (1999). “Technology adoption decisions in construction organizations.” Journal of Construction Engineering & Management, Vol. 125, No. 5, pp. 330–338, DOI: Scholar
  33. Nieto, M. J. and Santamaría, L. (2007). “The importance of diverse collaborative networks for the novelty of product innovation.” Technovation, Vol. 27, No. 6, pp. 367–377, DOI: Scholar
  34. Pan, W. and Garmston, H. (2012). “Compliance with building energy regulations for new-build dwellings.” Energy, Vol. 48, No. 1, pp. 11–22, DOI: Scholar
  35. Pavitt, K. and Stoneman, P. (1983). “The economic analysis of technological change.” Economic Journal, Vol. 94, No. 374, p. 433, DOI: Scholar
  36. Pomianowski, M., Heiselberg, P., and Zhang, Y. (2013). “Review of thermal energy storage technologies based on PCM application in buildings.” Energy & Buildings, Vol. 67, No. 4, pp. 56–69, DOI: Scholar
  37. Rogers, E. M. (1995). “Diffusion of innovations.” Modifications of a Model for Telecommunications, Vol. 17, pp. 25–38, DOI: Scholar
  38. Ryan, P. C. and O’Connor, A. (2016). “Comparing the durability of self-compacting concretes and conventionally vibrated concretes in chloride rich environments.” Construction & Building Materials, Vol. 120, pp. 504–513, DOI: Scholar
  39. Said, H. (2016). “Modeling and likelihood prediction of prefabrication feasibility for electrical construction firms.” Journal of Construction Engineering & Management, Vol. 142, No. 2, p. 4015071, DOI: Scholar
  40. Said, H. and Bartusiak, J. (2018). “Regional competition analysis of industrialized homebuilding industry.” Journal of Construction Engineering & Management, Vol. 144, No. 2, pp. 04017108–1–10, DOI: Scholar
  41. Schmidt, G. M. and Druehl, C. T. (2005). “Changes in product attributes and costs as drivers of new product diffusion and substitution.” Production & Operations Management, Vol. 14, No. 3, pp. 272–285, DOI: Scholar
  42. Shank, N. (2012). “A review of the role of cost-benefit analyses in 2-1-1 diffusion.” American Journal of Preventive Medicine, Vol. 43, No. 6, pp. S497–S505, DOI: Scholar
  43. Stoneman, P. and Diederen, P. (1994). “Technology diffusion and public policy.” Economic Journal, Vol. 104, No. 104, pp. 918–930, DOI: Scholar
  44. Suprun, E. V. and Stewart, R. A. (2015). “Construction innovation diffusion in the russian federation.” Construction Innovation, Vol. 15, No. 3, pp. 278–312, DOI: Scholar
  45. Toole, T. M. (1998). “Uncertainty and Home Builders’ Adoption of Technological Innovations.” Journal of Construction Engineering & Management, Vol. 124, No. 4, pp. 323–332, DOI: Scholar
  46. Vastag, G. (2010). “Revisiting ISO 14000 diffusion: A new ‘look’ at the drivers of certification.” Production & Operations Management, Vol. 13, No. 3, pp. 260–267, DOI: Scholar
  47. Vega, W. A. and Wallace, S. P. (2016). “Affordable housing: A key lever to community health for older americans.” American Journal of Public Health, Vol. 106, No. 4, pp. 635, DOI: Scholar
  48. Vīgants, E., Blumberga, A., Timma, L., Ījabs, I., and Blumberga, D. (2016). “The dynamics of technological substitution: The case of eco-innovation diffusion of surface cleaning products.” Journal of Cleaner Production, Vol. 132, pp. 279–288, DOI: Scholar
  49. Wang, H., Huang, C., Cui, Y., and Zhang, Y. (2018). “Experimental study on the characteristics of secondary airflow device in a large enclosed space building.” Energy & Buildings, Vol. 166, pp. 347–357, DOI: Scholar
  50. Wu, A. H., Wang, Z., and Chen, S. (2017). “Impact of specific investments, governance mechanisms and behaviors on the performance of cooperative innovation projects.” International Journal of Project Management, Vol. 35, No. 3, pp. 504–515, DOI: Scholar
  51. Yudelson, J. (2007). “Green building A to Z: Understanding the language of green building.” College & Research Libraries, Vol. 69, No. 5, pp. 469, DOI: Scholar
  52. Zakaria, S. A. S., Gajendran, T., Skitmore, M., and Brewer, G. (2017). “Key factors influencing the decision to adopt industrialised building systems technology in the Malaysian construction industry: an inter-project perspective.” Architectural Engineering & Design Management, Vol. 14, No. 1, pp. 27–45, DOI: Scholar

Copyright information

© Korean Society of Civil Engineers 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of ManagementHarbin Institute of TechnologyHeilongjiangChina
  2. 2.School of ManagementGuangzhou UniversityGuangzhouChina
  3. 3.School of ManagementHarbin Institute of TechnologyHarbinChina

Personalised recommendations