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Article
Publication date: 6 July 2020

Yi-Hsin Lin, Yanzhe Guo, Chan-Joong Kim, Po-Han Chen and Mingwei Qian

In the process of undertaking overseas construction projects, relational governance has become indispensable for project stakeholders. This study examines how relational…

Abstract

Purpose

In the process of undertaking overseas construction projects, relational governance has become indispensable for project stakeholders. This study examines how relational governance influences contractors' adaptability to foreign situations and whether such associations are positively moderated by international environmental complexity.

Design/methodology/approach

A crosssectional survey methodology was applied to collect primary data through questionnaires sent to domestic contractors in China and South Korea (hereafter Korea). Multiple regression analysis was used to test the effects of four dimensions of relational governance on contractor adaptability. Thereafter, the Chinese and Korean subsamples were tested separately through moderated regression analysis to explore differences in the influence of relational governance on adaptability.

Findings

The results showed that quality communication, favor exchange and establishing an emotional relationship significantly and positively affected a contractor’s adaptability. However, there were significant differences between the Chinese and Korean international contractors in terms of the moderating effects of international environment complexity.

Research limitations/implications

East Asian engagement in international development is not limited to China and Korea alone, and the study should be replicated using large representative samples from more countries, such as Japan, to gain a fuller understanding of the influence of relational governance.

Originality/value

The results have great significance for the managers of international contractors in East Asian countries and contribute to the research on relational governance and contractor adaptability.

Details

Engineering, Construction and Architectural Management, vol. 27 no. 10
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0969-9988

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Article
Publication date: 19 November 2019

Guanghua Li, Chuan Chen, Guomin Zhang and Igor Martek

Factors affecting bid/no-bid decisions of international projects are more complex than those of domestic projects. The purpose of this paper is to identify and rank…

Abstract

Purpose

Factors affecting bid/no-bid decisions of international projects are more complex than those of domestic projects. The purpose of this paper is to identify and rank decision factors considered by variously sized Chinese international contractors (CICs) and categorize those groups of factors important to experienced practitioners.

Design/methodology/approach

The analysis of factors identified by a literature review is conducted based on data derived from questionnaire results received from 119 CIC project and bidding managers. The relative importance of factors is measured by mean value and standard deviation. The discrepancy in rank and importance value perceived by variously sized CICs are explored by ranking disparity analysis, non-parametric test and Spearman’s rank correlation coefficient test. Finally, factor analysis is used to categorize the underlying groups of factors considered by CICs.

Findings

In sum, 41 factors are identified through the literature review as having an impact on the bid decision. Significant disparities in ranking and importance are found in several factors, which partially affect the consistency of the ranking of factors perceived between large and small-medium CICs. Ultimately, nine major factors are identified as impacting the bidding decision, with “contractor’s capability” and “country risk of the host country,” being the most important.

Research limitations/implications

The weight of a factor considered in a decision varies across contractors as a function of contractor size. Whether using models or subjective judgment in making decisions, it is beneficial to fully understand the main groups of factors influencing the decision. Vulnerability to country risk emerges as the first criterion accessed in the bid decision.

Originality/value

A comprehensive set of factors is established for CICs, including both general factors common to domestic projects, and international factors unique to international projects. All factors are grouped by inferential analysis from the perspective of contractors, which reveals the underlying mechanism of the bid decision-making process. While the data were collected from CICs, the methodology in exploring factors, along with implications, is determined to be applicable internationally.

Details

Engineering, Construction and Architectural Management, vol. 27 no. 7
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0969-9988

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Article
Publication date: 3 August 2010

Abdul‐Rashid Abdul‐Aziz and Sing Sing Wong

The paper aims to identify firm‐related competitive assets (FRCA) and home country‐related competitive assets of Malaysian international contractors.

Abstract

Purpose

The paper aims to identify firm‐related competitive assets (FRCA) and home country‐related competitive assets of Malaysian international contractors.

Design/methodology/approach

Rather than applying any one of the extant models on the internationalisation of businesses singly, the study combined several relevant models, thereby providing a rich theoretical basis. Data were collected using a postal questionnaire survey and follow‐up face‐to‐face interviews. Past empirical observations of international construction companies were referred to when designing the questionnaire. All of the known Malaysian contractors with international operations were approached.

Findings

While there was broad concurrence between the sampled Malaysian contractors' FRCA with past studies, the participating firms attributed low competitive value to country‐related competitive assets. Even so, they were not keen to establish their export bases in more supportive countries because of top management's personal affinity to Malaysia as a home country.

Research limitations/implications

The surveyed population is relatively small with low response rate.

Originality/value

The findings do not support the eclectic paradigm and diamond model on the aspect of home country features as providing competitiveness to international construction firms.

Details

Journal of Financial Management of Property and Construction, vol. 15 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1366-4387

Keywords

Content available
Book part
Publication date: 1 May 2019

Yafan Fu and Roine Leiringer

The paper aims to investigate the prevailing institutional logics that underpin the organisational behaviours of Chinese contractors and the institutional complexity they

Abstract

Purpose

The paper aims to investigate the prevailing institutional logics that underpin the organisational behaviours of Chinese contractors and the institutional complexity they face across several strategic areas when they undertake projects abroad.

Design/Methodology/Approach

The paper draws mainly on industry literature, reports and government websites to develop a typology of two ideal types of institutional logics that prevail among Chinese international contractors. The configurations of institutional complexity in different strategic areas are analysed through pattern-matching.

Findings

Two main logics are identified, namely, construction and investment logics. These logics in turn lead to patterns of volatile complexity in the strategic areas of business, technology, human resources and marketing; patterns of aligned complexity in operational and information technology strategic areas; and patterns of segregated complexity in financial strategic area.

Research Limitations/Implications

The paper presents an ongoing doctoral research. It provides a preliminary understanding of the institutional logics affecting Chinese international contractors and sets out the first step to understand the relationship between complex institutional environments and organisational responses.

Practical Implications

Chinese international contractors commonly face resistance, and at times resentment, from the local industries in the countries they operate. The findings of this paper are a first step towards a better understanding of why this is the case and what can be done to rectify the situation and improve long and short-term project performance.

Originality/Value

This paper provides practical implications for Chinese contractors to understand their internal context of institutional complexity and provides the basis for further understanding of Chinese contractors’ strategic responses.

Details

10th Nordic Conference on Construction Economics and Organization
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-83867-051-1

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Article
Publication date: 3 May 2011

Abdul‐Rashid Abdul‐Aziz and Sing‐Sing Wong

Increasingly, construction companies from developing countries are succeeding in finding a space in the international market. Their progression deserves academic…

Abstract

Purpose

Increasingly, construction companies from developing countries are succeeding in finding a space in the international market. Their progression deserves academic attention. Using Network Theory, this paper seeks to examine the role and extent of business networks in aiding contractors from Malaysia, as one such developing country, to penetrate foreign markets.

Design/methodology/approach

The research adopted the mixed method approach. A postal questionnaire survey, complemented with desk research and interviews, was used to collect data.

Findings

The findings show that in fact business networks can account for much of the surveyed contractors' overseas achievements, in terms of markets they entered, overseas projects they secured and market presence mode they adopted, although, without their competitive assets, the networks would have been meaningless.

Research limitations/implications

A limitation was the small sample population, which is compensated by interviews to validate the inferences.

Practical implications

Contractors from developing countries should fully cultivate, nurture, exploit and reconfigure their business networks in order to make their impact internationally.

Originality/value

The paper has provided insight into the power of business networks in configuring competitiveness of contractors from a developing country in the international arena. The paper also draws attention to the limitations of the Network Perspective by highlighting the inseparability of the firms' own competitive strengths and business networks in explaining overseas success, and the dynamics of business networks as the contractors continuously reposition their competitive positions.

Details

Engineering, Construction and Architectural Management, vol. 18 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0969-9988

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Article
Publication date: 19 September 2016

Nuru Gambo, Ilias Said and Radzi Ismail

The purpose of this paper is to compare the performance levels of small scale local government contractors (SSLGCs) in northern part of Nigeria with international

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to compare the performance levels of small scale local government contractors (SSLGCs) in northern part of Nigeria with international practice. Previous studies focused attention primarily on benchmarking the performance of contractors, but were mostly conceptual rather than from empirical findings. This continuous to pose a challenge to the sustainable development of the construction industry, particularly, in developing countries like Nigeria. There is therefore a need to identify, assess and compare performance practice levels of small scale contractors.

Design/methodology/approach

The performance of each contractor was evaluated using a five-point Likert scale used in obtaining mean performance levels in respect to three classes of performance practices. A questionnaire survey was administered to major parties in the industry; clients, contractors and consultants who were selected by using a proportionate stratified random sampling technique. The contractors’ performance was compared by using ANOVA with post hoc.

Findings

The results indicated that the SSLGCs in Nigeria were average performers and there were effects and differences among the various contractors’ levels of performance with international practice.

Research limitations/implications

The study is limited to SSLGCs in northern part of Nigeria.

Practical implications

The study provided the criteria for evaluation of SSLGCs’ performance in Nigeria and other developing countries that faced similar problems.

Social implications

The study created bases for self-evaluation and competition among small scale contractors in Nigeria for the enhancement of productivity particularly in rural areas and general national development.

Originality/value

This study emanated from the governmental reports and past researches in the area of performance management on the persistence of the poor performance of small scale contractors in construction industry.

Details

Engineering, Construction and Architectural Management, vol. 23 no. 5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0969-9988

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Article
Publication date: 29 November 2019

Jeffrey Boon Hui Yap and Sin Yi Cheah

The purpose of this paper is to investigate the major challenges faced by Chinese international contractors (CICs) in the Malaysian construction industry.

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to investigate the major challenges faced by Chinese international contractors (CICs) in the Malaysian construction industry.

Design/methodology/approach

An exploratory sequential mixed-methods research approach was adopted where following a detailed literature review and semi-structured interviews with local professionals, 20 prevalent challenges experienced by CICs are identified. Subsequently, a questionnaire survey was used to elicit the views of 100 construction practitioners. Descriptive statistics were used to prioritise the challenges, while exploratory factor analysis was conducted to uncover the underlying factors.

Findings

The five most crucial challenges identified relate to: changes of regulation, cost control, contract clauses, language barrier and quality control. Exploratory factor analysis revealed four major underlying dimensions of these challenges, in connection to financial and government policy management, organisational performance management, supplier relationship management and cross-cultural management.

Research limitations/implications

The challenges are considered primarily involving CICs in the context of Malaysia; further work can be extended to Western or other East Asian, such as Japanese and Korean, international contractors undertaking construction projects in Malaysia or selected developing countries around the region.

Practical implications

This study will benefit professionals involved with China-backed construction projects in countries sharing demographics and socio-economic characteristics akin to Malaysia. The outcome of the study is expected to facilitate project managers to devise proactive risk-mitigation measures to reduce the impact of these challenges and to improve project delivery.

Originality/value

The paper examined the challenges faced by CICs in the Malaysian context. This is a timely study, as China’s Belt and Road Initiative will provide considerable opportunities for Chinese companies in Malaysia.

Details

Journal of Engineering, Design and Technology , vol. 18 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1726-0531

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Article
Publication date: 26 July 2019

Beste Ozyurt, Irem Dikmen and M. Talat Birgonul

In the global construction industry, experience gained in various countries is a major source of competitive advantage. By transferring the knowledge gained in previous…

Abstract

Purpose

In the global construction industry, experience gained in various countries is a major source of competitive advantage. By transferring the knowledge gained in previous projects using an effective knowledge management strategy, they can increase their competitiveness by adopting best practices and by not repeating the same mistakes under similar conditions. The purpose of this paper is to demonstrate how similar countries can be clustered to facilitate learning in global markets.

Design/methodology/approach

Initially, country factors that can affect success in international projects and can be used to assess the similarity of markets were identified by an extensive literature review and prioritised by a web-based questionnaire. A country evaluation form was prepared to collect country-specific data to be used in the cluster analysis of 39 countries where the Turkish contractors have been frequently working since the last 45 years. Cluster analysis was performed with SPSS 23.0.

Findings

Three country clusters were obtained and validated. Ultimately, how obtained country clusters may be used to facilitate learning from international construction projects was demonstrated by using an illustrative example.

Research limitations/implications

The findings depend on the experience and perspective of Turkish contractors doing business abroad. Thus, the identified clusters are not generic. Moreover, country clusters were not identified considering only the country factors such as economy, culture, politics, etc.; thus, countries in the same cluster do not necessarily represent “similar” countries in terms of macro-factors. Clusters were identified so that the lessons learned can be effectively transferred within the same cluster considering construction and project-related factors as well as country-related factors. Although the findings cannot be generalised and clusters are not static, it is believed that the methodology used in this research is repeatable for different countries considering different timeframes.

Originality/value

Theoretical contributions include the identification of factors that can be used for similarity assessment of countries for transferring lessons learned as well as a methodology for clustering. Findings may also have a practical value for the Turkish contractors.

Details

Engineering, Construction and Architectural Management, vol. 27 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0969-9988

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Article
Publication date: 21 May 2020

Qing-Wen Zhang, Heap-Yih Chong, Pin-Chao Liao and Yao-Lin Wan

This study aims to determine the influences of explanatory factors on the efficacy of the implementation of corporate safety policy (CSP) in international projects from…

Abstract

Purpose

This study aims to determine the influences of explanatory factors on the efficacy of the implementation of corporate safety policy (CSP) in international projects from the perspective of international contractors.

Design/methodology/approach

Four explanatory factors were identified for the implementation of CSP in international projects based on literature review. A questionnaire survey was then conducted among Chinese organizations that have been involved in international projects. In total, 121 valid responses were received from the questionnaire survey and were modeled using logistic regression to examine the impact of each factor on the observed event of interest.

Findings

The factors related to the effectiveness of implementing CSP, including “attitudes toward safety management measures (ASMM),” “operational mechanism for safety regulations (OM),” “safety knowledge management system (SKMS)” and “systematic safety training scheme (STS),” were selected. The results revealed that OM and SKMS were significant predictors (p < 0.05) of the odds of implementation satisfaction of CSP, but ASMM and STS were not. The probability of satisfactory CSP implementation increased as the value of SKMS increased, whereas the probability of unsatisfactory implementation improved as the value of OM increased.

Research limitations/implications

The questionnaire was distributed to respondents in international contractors headquartered in China. Other types of international organizations can be covered in future research. Furthermore, other factors, such as the local construction environment, should be considered in future studies.

Practical implications

The results provide new insights on CSP implementation overseas. Effective implementation of CSP contributes to the improvement of the safety performance of contractors. The practical significance of interpreting the influence factors is that the contractors can implement more efficient and targeted approaches and tools in the execution of their CSP. The impact of OM reminds safety managers of the synchronization of CSP as well as its implementation environment and characteristics. The effect of ASMM encourages contractors to adopt Web-based and digital knowledge management systems to improve the implementation efficiency of CSP.

Originality/value

The novelty of this study lies in the selection of factors and their impacts on CSP implementation in international projects. This study has also extended knowledge on normative safety in international projects based on quantitative modeling.

Details

Engineering, Construction and Architectural Management, vol. 27 no. 10
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0969-9988

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Article
Publication date: 1 February 1991

Low Sui Pheng

The construction industries in developing countries can play a significant role in stimulating economic growth. Like many of these countries, the construction industry in…

Abstract

The construction industries in developing countries can play a significant role in stimulating economic growth. Like many of these countries, the construction industry in Singapore has similarly evolved through an infancy phase to now reach a stage of maturity as the economy braces itself to officially become the first developed nation on the Equator by the end of the 1990s. The influence of the construction industry on the Singapore economy has been the subject of much study. None, however, has shown the stages through which the industry has evolved over the last 25 years, since Singapore gained independence in 1965, nor the role played by the government in rationalising the marketing capacities and level of sophistication among indigenous construction firms. This article seeks to explore the rationale behind the key development policies, strategies and marketing programmes implemented by the Singapore government for the local construction industry.

Details

Asia Pacific International Journal of Marketing, vol. 3 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0954-7517

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