Akintoye, A., Holt, G.D. and Davis, P.T. (2015), "Editorial", Journal of Financial Management of Property and Construction, Vol. 20 No. 1. https://doi.org/10.1108/JFMPC-01-2015-0005Download as .RIS
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Article Type: Editorial From: Journal of Financial Management of Property and Construction, Volume 20, Issue 1
A warm welcome to The Journal of Financial Management of Property and Construction (JFMPC), first issue of Vol. 20 and of 2015.
The New Year finds the global economy experiencing crosswinds; somewhat in welcome contrast to the headwinds of the recent past. For some economies such as the UK, the recovery of the property market is now in full swing and property/construction professionals and construction expertise, more generally, are back in demand. However, other economies continue to face difficulties and uncertainty. For example, at the time of writing, there is tangible concern among the Eurozone as a result of falling energy prices and calls for aggressive policy stimuli to address this (FT.com, 2015). Elsewhere, economic stagnation remains a challenge.
Some lessons learnt during the recent economic turbulence are of universal application – such as the need for additional solutions to funding the infrastructure gap and especially that within emerging markets and developing economies (World Bank, 2014); the perennial demand for efficiency and innovation among construction supply chains; and the necessity for greater understanding of risk factors associated with capital-intensive, entrepreneurial, construction and real-estate activity. The overarching theme, it seems, is a requirement to harness innovative opportunities as a basis for economic activity and growth, while maintaining diligence.
The papers included in this issue address some of these topics and in so doing, provide a broad international flavour. It is illuminating to see international commonality among problematic financial challenges, and commensurate international consideration being afforded the applicability of research to them. This especially, given the increasing call for positive social benefits and impact from academic research endeavour (Holt et al., 2014).
The former combined, reinforce a key JFMPC editorial objective – to serve as an international forum that brings together theoretical and practical developments in the financial management of property and construction. This provides impetus for JFMPC to move forward this New Year with real purpose and accordingly, we will continue to identify key themes such as that within our current Special Issue (SI) call: Economic and Financial Issues of Creating an Age-friendly Built Environment, with Guest Editor Professor Les Ruddock of Salford University, UK (JFMPC, 2015). Look out also for additional JFMPC Special Issue calls in the coming months.
The first paper in this issue is by Khandelwal and Khanapuri, who revisit a key theme of recent issues, the funding of infrastructure. They focus on the particular issues and challenges faced by India’s rapidly expanding economy and the potential of the recently introduced infrastructure debt funds (IDFs) as a policy/practice instrument. Their study adopts a qualitative approach to “get under the skin” of the Indian marketplace and resultantly, finds a cocktail of perils and pitfalls, including: limited lending competition, inflexible tax regimes, market problems, IDF product issues and limited opportunities. While IDF is embryonic in India, this research will be of value to practitioners and policymakers – for the former, by helping navigate the investment funding landscape, and for the latter, by offering evidence to support regulatory reform.
Olatunji and Sher provide the second paper which deals with technological innovation in construction. The study looks at design data integrity, the estimating process effect of utilising 3D geometric CAD and differences with the use of parametric CAD (BIM). This qualitative study interrogates practices, perspectives and the potential of these cutting-edge tools, via workshops, focus groups and direct observation within a broad cross-section of design and delivery process chain participants. The research identifies a range of potential spin-off benefits and possible developments that could flow from embedding 3D CAD firmly into the industry’s culture.
The third paper by Konno illuminates the business environment for construction firms in Japan. Konno examined reasons why start-up contractors cease trading. Contracting firms are compared with start-up property companies in this respect, by providing a quantitative analysis of the Japan Finance Corporation (JFC) Business Start-up Panel Survey in regard to business resources at both start-up and cessation of trading. Maybe to some extent expectedly, construction start-ups close due to a lack of appropriate expertise, while property start-ups close due to a lack of appropriate business opportunities. In essence, construction companies “can’t get the staff”, while property companies “can’t get the work”!
Ahmadu, Ibrahim, Ibrahim and Abdullahi provide the fourth paper of this issue, returning to familiar recent territory for the Journal: factors impacting construction project duration (in this study relating to Nigeria) (refer our earlier SI: Exploring Issues of Project Cost Overrun in volume 19, issue 1). The authors adopted a qualitative standpoint, culminating in a principal component analysis of endogenous and exogenous factors’ data. Identified factors of significance ranged from strategic issues such as late site delivery and change orders, practice issues such as poor site management and “context” issues such as climactic conditions. The research will be of interest to market participants, regarding best practice, monitoring project performance and more accurate assessment of the risks associated with same.
Finally, Elazouni, Alghazi and Selim round-off this issue with the fifth paper, which compares the performance of the Genetic Algorithm (GA), Simulate Annealing (SA) and Shuffled Frog-Leaping Algorithm (SFLA), in solving discrete versus continuous-variable optimization problems of finance-based scheduling. The authors contend that the latter optimization problem is of high relevance to practitioners in terms of devising finance-feasible schedules of minimum duration. This is important given that minimization of project duration is focal for numerous stakeholders. The study is also of relevance to researchers, as it is one of the few domain problems that can be formulated in terms of discrete and continuous-variable optimization and hence used to test performance of new developments of meta-heuristics in solving discrete and continuous-variable optimization issues.
Akintola Akintoye, Gary D. Holt and Peadar T. Davis
FT.com (2015), “Eurozone’s return to growth fails to soothe concerns”, available at: http://www.ft.com/cms/s/0/7257bc3e-6bcb-11e4-b1e6-00144feabdc0.html (accessed 7 January 2015).
Holt, G.D., Goulding, J. and Akintoye, A. (2014), “Interrelationships between theory and research impact: opinions from a survey of UK academics”, Engineering, Construction and Architectural Management, Vol. 21 No. 6, pp. 674-696.
JFMPC (2015), “Economic and financial issues of creating an age-friendly built environment”, Journal of Financial Management of Property and Construction, available at: http://www.emeraldgrouppublishing.com/products/journals/call_for_papers.htm?id=5943 (accessed 7 January 2015).
World Bank (2014), “Global infrastructure facility”, available at: http://www.worldbank.org/en/topic/publicprivatepartnerships/brief/global-infrastructure-facility (accessed 16 January 2015).