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

Lu, W., Ye, K., Flanagan, R. and Jewell, C. (2013) Developing construction professional services in the international market: a 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


In contrast to their bustling construction counterparts, Chinese construction professional services (CPS) such as architecture, engineering, and consultancy, seem still to be stagnant in the international market. CPS are not only high value-added profit centers in their own right, but also have a knock-on effect on subsequent businesses such as construction, and the export of materials and machinery. Arguably, competition in the international construction market has shifted to knowledge-intensive CPS. Yet,CPS represent a research area that has been paid scant attention. This research aims to add to the body of knowledge of CPS by examining strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats (SWOT) of Chinese CPS (CCPS) 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 CCPS 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 evolvement. Low price, which has helped the Chinese construction business to succeed in the international market, is also a CCPS major strength. An opportunity for CCPS is the relatively strong delivery capability possessed by Chinese contractors. By partnering with them CCPS can better edge into the international arena. This is probably the first ever comprehensive study in investigating the performance of CCPS in the international market. The research is also timely, particularly when the world is witnessing the burgeoning force of Chinese businesses in many areas including manufacturing, construction, and potentially, professional services.

Item Type:Article
Divisions:Science > School of the Built Environment > Organisation, People and Technology group
ID Code:33590
Publisher:American Society of Civil Engineers

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