Coping with structural change in construction: Experiences gained from advanced economies

S. Thomas Ng, Ryan Y C Fan, James M W Wong, Ping Chuen Chan, Yat Hung Chiang, Tsun Ip Lam, Mohan Kumaraswamy

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

25 Citations (Scopus)


As an economy approaches maturity, the relative importance of the construction sector would gradually decline. Without effective policies and strategies, the construction industry will suffer irreversably and this may trigger a knock-on effect to the overall economy. The experiences of selected advanced economies are examined, including Australia, Japan, Singapore, South Korea and the UK in coping with structural changes in construction. Strategies employed by the government and the construction industry of these advanced economies to reinvent the construction industry were captured through an extensive literature review and a series of interviews with indigenous industry practitioners. In order to revitalize the construction industry, governments would accelerate publicly funded projects; provide financial support to ease the burden of industry stakeholders; and stimulate the market demand. In contrast, the industry would explore various market alternatives while companies would sharpen their competitive advantage locally and internationally through merger and acquisition. The identified strategies are corresponded to a construction industry development framework, which could therefore serve as a valuable reference for policy makers and practitioners to rejuvenate construction demand when a country approaches an urban service economy.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)165-180
Number of pages16
JournalConstruction Management and Economics
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 17 Jul 2009


  • Advanced economies
  • Construction industry
  • Recession
  • Recovery
  • Strategy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Building and Construction
  • Management Information Systems
  • Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering

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