Centre of Applied Research Technology

Crafting intrapreneurial stewardship

an institutional perspective on client-led innovation in smart building maintenance


Research suggests that construction clients, as building owner-occupier, are struggling to implement smart maintenance.

This thesis assumes that this is due to a failure to fully understand the institutional complexities of smart maintenance. Hence, the aim of this thesis was to improve our understanding of these complexities and to develop theoretical and practical knowledge on the professionalization of construction clients in commissioning smart maintenance through stewardship. Stewardship theory portrays managers and employees as collectivists, pro-organizational and trustworthy, and can be used for designing collaborations based on intrinsic motivation and trust. A first insight from this thesis relates to how institutional complexity in smart maintenance management (SMM) can be understood (study 1). Institutional complexity is defined as the combined effect of 15 interorganizational and intraorganizational tensions that are active simultaneously. A second insight from this thesis relates to the capabilities that construction clients need to address the institutional complexities of SMM and connect various institutional fields (study 2). Using data collected from four cases involving two construction clients, a framework with eight maturity dimensions, involving 23 sub-dimensions, has been developed and validated. The third insight from this thesis relates to the role of the purchasing function in commissioning smart maintenance and emerged from considering the service triad concept (study 3). The findings indicate that the service triad concept fails to provide sufficient detail to adequately describe the construction client’s role in SMM. Hence, the service triad is extended to a service hexad. Our fourth insight relates to intrapreneurial stewardship (study 4). A process model for change implementation through stewardship interventions has been developed and then evaluated in a case study. The process model combines constructs from stewardship theory with intrapreneurship concepts and describes how employees can be coached by leaders during periods of organizational change. Together, the insights from the four studies are synthesized in a framework for client-led innovation in SMM and describe how construction clients can increase SMM maturity in institutionally complex environments through stewardship.

Reference Johannes, K. (2023). Crafting intrapreneurial stewardship: an institutional perspective on client-led innovation in smart building maintenance. [Research HvA, graduation external, Universiteit Twente, Department of Construction Management & Engineering, RMIT University, School of Property Construction and Project Management]. https://doi.org/10.3990/1.9789036555029
16 January 2023

Publication date

Jan 2023


Johannes Theodorus (Hans) Voordijk
Guillermo Aranda-Mena


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