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Developing construction professional services in the international market: SWOT analysis of China

Lu, W., Ye, K., Flanagan, R. and Jewell, C. (2013) Developing construction professional services in the international market: SWOT analysis of China. Journal of Management in Engineering, 29 (3). pp. 302-313. ISSN 1943-5479

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To link to this item DOI: 10.1061/(ASCE)ME.1943-5479.0000144


Construction professional services (CPSs), such as architecture, engineering, and consultancy, are not only high value-added profit centers in their own right but also have a knock-on effect on other businesses, such as construction and the export of materials and machinery. Arguably, competition in the international construction market has shifted to these knowledge-intensive CPS areas. Yet CPSs represent a research frontier that has received scant attention. This research aims to enrich the body of knowledge on CPSs by examining strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats (SWOT) of Chinese CPSs (CCPSs) in the international context. It does so by triangulating theories with quantitative and qualitative data gleaned from yearbooks, annual reports, interviews, seminars, and interactions with managers in major CCPS companies. It is found that CCPSs present both strengths and weaknesses in talents, administration systems, and development strategies in dealing with the external opportunities and threats brought about by globalization and market evolution. Low price, which has helped the Chinese construction business to succeed in the international market, is also a major CCPS strength. An opportunity for CCPSs is the relatively strong delivery capability possessed by Chinese contractors; by partnering with them CCPSs can better establish themselves in the international arena. This is probably the first ever comprehensive study on the performance of CCPSs in the international marketplace. The research is conducted at an opportune time, particularly when the world is witnessing the burgeoning force of Chinese businesses in many areas including manufacturing, construction, and, potentially, professional services. It adds new insights to the knowledge body of CPSs and provides valuable references to other countries faced with the challenge of developing CPS business efficiently in the international market.

Item Type:Article
Divisions:Science > School of the Built Environment > Organisation, People and Technology group
ID Code:33004
Publisher:American Society of Civil Engineers

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