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Spatial-temporal analysis for the business performance of construction consultancy services in China

Xiancun Hu (School of Design and the Built Environment, University of Canberra, Canberra, Australia)
Xianhu Hu (Shandong Construction Engineering Quality Inspection and Testing Center, Shandong Provincial Academy of Architectural Science Co. Ltd, Jinan, China)
Qinghong Cui (School of Management Engineering, Qingdao University of Technology, Qingdao, China)
Yan Li (School of Design and the Built Environment, University of Canberra, Canberra, Australia)
Charles Lemckert (School of Design and the Built Environment, University of Canberra, Canberra, Australia)
Aifang Wei (School of Design and the Built Environment, University of Canberra, Canberra, Australia)

Engineering, Construction and Architectural Management

ISSN: 0969-9988

Article publication date: 27 September 2021

Issue publication date: 7 December 2022

186

Abstract

Purpose

This paper presents a developed spatial-temporal analysis framework for the case of investigating the business performance of construction consultancy services (CCS) in China.

Design/methodology/approach

The spatial-temporal analysis is based on the data envelopment analysis (DEA) technique. The spatial analysis follows the DEA results under a contemporaneous benchmark technology and a virtual decision-making unit, consisting of ranking analysis, cluster analysis and variation analysis. The temporal analysis is reliant on the DEA results under a global benchmark technology and the time value of money, including trend analysis and driving force analysis containing pure technical and scale efficiency factors.

Findings

Three CCS types in China are investigated, including engineering survey and design, construction supervision and procurement agency. The performance rank order and cluster classifications are mainly related to economic development levels. Engineering survey and design demonstrates the best performance and higher imbalances; however, construction supervision and procurement agency illustrate lower performance and imbalances. Scale efficiency significantly promotes business performance, whereas pure technical efficiency plays an inconspicuous role.

Practical implications

The CCS promote technical efficiency by developing their service and innovation levels. The service of engineering survey and design registered in Beijing, Shanghai and Guangdong is recommended for entering the service market in China.

Originality/value

The spatial-temporal analysis framework was developed, which is generic and provides a pathway to measure, compare and assess performance comprehensively. The CCS business performance is firstly measured.

Keywords

Acknowledgements

Contribution of authors:

Dr. Larry Xiancun Hu: Conceptualization, Methodology, Writing and revising.

Xianhu Hu: Conceptualization and Resources, Investigation, Writing, Validation.

Dr. Qinghong Cui: Conceptualization, Investigation, Writing, Validation.

Dr. Yan Li: Conceptualization, Writing.

Prof. Charles Lemckert: Conceptualization, Revising, Validation.

Dr. Aifang Wei: Conceptualization, Investigation, Revising, Validation, Editing.

Citation

Hu, X., Hu, X., Cui, Q., Li, Y., Lemckert, C. and Wei, A. (2022), "Spatial-temporal analysis for the business performance of construction consultancy services in China", Engineering, Construction and Architectural Management, Vol. 29 No. 10, pp. 3997-4014. https://doi.org/10.1108/ECAM-03-2021-0273

Publisher

:

Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2021, Emerald Publishing Limited

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