Factors affecting the market development of steel construction

Albert P.C. Chan (The Hong Kong Polytechnic University, Hong Kong)
Yang Yang (Department of Building and Real Estate, The Hong Kong Polytechnic University, Hong Kong)
Ran Gao (School of Management Science and Engineering, Central University of Finance and Economics, Beijing, China)

Engineering, Construction and Architectural Management

ISSN: 0969-9988

Publication date: 15 October 2018



The steel construction market has undergone gradual development in the past decades given its profound impacts on environment, economy and society. The purpose of this paper is to facilitate a better understanding of the major drivers and issues behind the market development of the steel construction industries around the world.


A three-step desktop research was conducted to select relevant research outputs published in the past 20 years. The research methodology in conducting these studies and their research trends were analyzed. Then the potential influencing factors for the market development of steel construction were identified through a content analysis of the selected studies.


A total of 59 articles were identified accordingly. These influencing factors were divided into five main themes: contextual, institutional, industrial, project-related and individual factors. In terms of the frequencies of these factors appeared in previous studies, “continuous development of standards, codes, and specifications” and “advance in product and process technology” were the top two driving forces in the market development of steel construction, while “cost issues” was the most frequently reported obstacle.


The study takes an initiative to establish a practical classification framework that can be dedicated to illuminating the critical issues or success factors affecting the development of the steel construction market. This framework can help policymakers, industry practitioners and researchers achieve sustaining success in steel construction in the developed, emerging and inactive markets.



The authors have no conflict of interest to declare. This paper forms part of the research project entitled “Marketing Strategies for the Development of the Steel Industry in Hong Kong,” from which other deliverables are produced with different objectives and scope. This project is funded by the Chinese National Engineering Research Centre for Steel Construction (Hong Kong Branch). The authors also wish to acknowledge the contributions of other team members including Professor K.F. Chung, Professor Joseph Mak, Mr Eric Siu and Dr Hafiz Zahoor Ahmad Khan.


Chan, A.P.C., Yang, Y. and Gao, R. (2018), "Factors affecting the market development of steel construction", Engineering, Construction and Architectural Management, Vol. 25 No. 9, pp. 1146-1169. https://doi.org/10.1108/ECAM-06-2017-0095



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