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Risk management implementation in small and medium enterprises in the UK construction industry

Ali Rostami (School of Engineering and Built Environment, Glasgow Caledonian University, Glasgow, Scotland, UK)
James Sommerville (School of Engineering and Built Environment, Glasgow Caledonian University, Glasgow, Scotland, UK.)
Ing Liang Wong (School of Engineering and Built Environment, Glasgow Caledonian University, Glasgow, Scotland, UK.)
Cynthia Lee (School of Engineering and Built Environment, Glasgow Caledonian University, Glasgow, Scotland, UK)

Engineering, Construction and Architectural Management

ISSN: 0969-9988

Article publication date: 19 January 2015

Abstract

Purpose

The competition and challenges facing construction firms during the recent recession have brought risk management (RM) to the fore in people’s minds. Examination of the difficulties of implementing RM in small and medium enterprises (SMEs) in the UK construction industry has been relatively untouched. The paper aims to discuss these issues.

Design/methodology/approach

As part of on-going research to facilitate RM processing aimed at improving the competitiveness of SMEs, the difficulties in RM implementation were identified through a literature review of RM implementation in SMEs. Postal questionnaire were sent to SMEs who have experience of construction management.

Findings

Of the 153 of SMEs responding, most highlighted that the main difficulty experienced is how to scale RM process to meet their requirements. None of the available standards explain the fundamental principle of applying RM to the situations that SMEs find themselves in. This difficulty is further exacerbated by a lack of management skills and knowledge in the adoption of RM tools or techniques to identify and analyse the business’ risks.

Originality/value

The identified difficulties can be considered to develop a process to facilitate RM process within SMEs.

Keywords

Citation

Rostami, A., Sommerville, J., Wong, I.L. and Lee, C. (2015), "Risk management implementation in small and medium enterprises in the UK construction industry", Engineering, Construction and Architectural Management, Vol. 22 No. 1, pp. 91-107. https://doi.org/10.1108/ECAM-04-2014-0057

Publisher

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Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2015, Emerald Group Publishing Limited