Although it is well-established that industrialised construction can improve construction companies’ productivity, the uptake of industrialised ways of working has been slow and traditional construction companies remain unwilling to move towards industrialisation. One key reason is that there is little understanding of how construction companies can overcome path dependency (PD). Drawing on a longitudinal case study looking at an industrialised house-building (IHB) company, this work investigates how entrepreneurial orientation (EO) has influenced the development of a construction company that was able to transform from a traditional construction company to an IHB company over 25 years and to overcome PD in the process. The study found that by focusing on a niche market segment, developing a platform in collaboration with external actors, and an entrepreneurial mindset supported the company in overcoming its PD. However, being the “first-mover” in the industry created new path dependencies that may hinder other companies from entering this specific niche market area and the development of the industry as a whole. This study contributes to the theoretical buildup of EO, PD and strategic orientations of IHB companies, and contributes to practitioners’ understanding of IHB companies from a strategic management contingency perspective.
- Industrialised house building
- path dependency
- entrepreneurial orientation
- longitudinal case study