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Critical factors influencing the bid/no bid decision in the Australian construction industry

Morteza Shokri-Ghasabeh (SA Health, Adelaide, Australia)
Nicholas Chileshe (School of Natural and Built Environments, Barbara Hardy Institute (BHI), University of South Australia, Adelaide, Australia)

Construction Innovation

ISSN: 1471-4175

Article publication date: 4 April 2016

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this study is to investigate and rank the critical factors influencing the bid/no bid criteria and their importance in the Australian construction industry.

Design/methodology/approach

The research study has been undertaken by conducting an extensive literature review on bid/no bid decision-making criteria. As a result, the researchers identified 26 most common bid/no bid decision-making criteria that are accordingly grouped into five distinct categories, namely, “project”, “market”,“contractor”, “client” and “contract”. The literature review was followed by a national survey that was designed and utilised by the researchers to collect data for this purpose. The survey was sent to potential 450 Australian construction companies in various locations and responses were received from 81 Australian construction companies. Response data were subjected to descriptive and inferential statistics. Kruskal Wallis one-way analysis of variance (ANOVA) was applied to detect significant differences between the mean score grouped according to the organisation size (contract value).

Findings

The descriptive and empirical analysis demonstrated a disparity of ranking of the 26 bid/no bid criteria factors among the groups; however no statistically significant differences among the 26 bid/no criteria factors despite the absolute differences in the rankings and mean scores in the following four factors: (1) “bidding condition”, (2) “strength/weaknesses”, (3) “contract payment terms” and (4) “number of competitors/bidders”. Based on the overall sample, the highly ranked four factors were “client financial capability”, “project risk”, “project future benefits and profitability” and “number of competitors/bidders”. The following were the least ranked: “contractors’ financial situation”, “project duration” and “contractors’ material availability”. “Client financial capability”and “project risk” were jointly ranked as the most important by large, whereas “client financial capability” was also rated highly for smaller Australian construction contractors (ACCs). The medium ACCs had “project risk”as highly ranked.

Research limitations

The majority of the participants were small construction contractors in Australia. The reason is that the researchers were not aware of the contractors’ size prior to inviting them for participation in the research study. Second, the findings may not generalise to other industries or to organisations operating in other countries.

Practical implications

The identified “bid/no bid criteria” increase the awareness of existing decision-making practices and play a critical role in the future decisions of the construction companies, where decision makers need to evaluate the next opportunities encountered. Furthermore, knowledge and possession of these identified “bid/no bid” criteria would enable contractors to select a project with a higher probability of success in the future, which will accordingly result in long-term financial benefits and higher performance. Finally, the awareness of these factors could contribute to changing the contractor’s behaviours when bidding in a competitive environment or market conditions.

Originality/value

The study contributes to the body of knowledge on tendering and bidding practices among contractors in Australia, an area previously under explored. Second, this study provides some insights on the factors influencing the bid/no bid decisions among the ACCs.

Keywords

Citation

Shokri-Ghasabeh, M. and Chileshe, N. (2016), "Critical factors influencing the bid/no bid decision in the Australian construction industry", Construction Innovation, Vol. 16 No. 2, pp. 127-157. https://doi.org/10.1108/CI-04-2015-0021

Publisher

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Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2016, Emerald Group Publishing Limited