Critical success factors for competitiveness of contractors: China study

Weisheng Lu, Liyin Shen, Chi Ho Michael Yam

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

157 Citations (Scopus)


Gaining or maintaining a "contractor's" competitive advantage is not easy as it is determined by a large number of factors. Identification of critical success factors (CSFs) allows one to reduce the vast number of factors to some manageable few but vital ones. Based on the CSFs, contractors' limited resources such as money and manpower can be allocated and aligned appropriately for yielding a maximum outcome of overall competitiveness. This paper describes the CSFs identified from a survey study carried out in Mainland China. The ranking analysis of the survey results shows that 35 factors are rated as critical for determining the competitiveness of a contractor. Factor analysis reveals that the 35 CSFs identified can be grouped into eight clusters, namely, project management skills, organization structure, resources, competitive strategy, relationships, bidding, marketing, and technology. The CSFs in this study provide a vehicle for guiding a contractor in managing its resources in order to improve competitive advantage. The study also provides insights into the management of competitiveness for contractors that are operating in the particular context of the Chinese construction industry.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)972-982
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Construction Engineering and Management
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - 24 Nov 2008


  • China
  • Competition
  • Construction companies
  • Construction management
  • Contractors

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Civil and Structural Engineering
  • Building and Construction
  • Industrial relations
  • Strategy and Management


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