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Understanding UK construction professional services exports: definitions and characteristics

Jewell, C., Flanagan, R. and Anac, C. (2010) Understanding UK construction professional services exports: definitions and characteristics. Construction Management and Economics, 28 (3). pp. 231-239. ISSN 0144-6193

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To link to this item DOI: 10.1080/01446191003587729


Services are very important to the UK balance of trade; a surplus has been recorded for trade in services every year since 1966. Construction professional services exports (CPS), which cover architecture, engineering and surveying (AES), have also increased, contributing over £3bn to the UK trade balance in 2007. The changing environment of construction professional services exports complicates the validity of the characteristics and definitions of services as described in the research literature and official export statistics. Through semi-structured interviews undertaken with large consulting engineers and a round-table discussion with industry and government representatives, the research found that the impact of globalisation and the changes in the construction business environment, such as increasing foreign ownership and changing forms of procurement, are not fully reflected in the official statistics. There have also been rapid changes in technology, procurement and methods of delivery which have impacted exporting AES firms and a more appropriate set of characteristics is needed to better reflect the project-specific and knowledge-intensive nature of AES firms.

Item Type:Article
Divisions:Science > School of the Built Environment > Organisation, People and Technology group
ID Code:17552
Uncontrolled Keywords:Exports, services, construction, globalization, knowledge-based economy
Publisher:Taylor & Francis
Publisher Statement:Author Posting. (c) Taylor & Francis, 2010. This is the author's version of the work. It is posted here by permission of 'Copyright Holder' for personal use, not for redistribution. The definitive version was published in Construction Management and Economics, Volume 28 Issue 3, March 2010. doi:10.1080/01446191003587729 (


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