Exploratory Study on Current Status of Startups in the Hong Kong Built Environment Sector

Patrick T.I. Lam, Franco C.S. Fu

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

6 Citations (Scopus)


Startups have had an impact in recent years through the often innovative products and services they provide. Their emergence is attributable to many economic and social factors, but governmental support and the availability of funding are two indispensable ones if startups want to scale up their operations. While information and communication technologies form the core of the innovative products and services, the built environment sector has also experienced a good share of benefits although the construction and real-estate industries have been rather conservative. Due to the inherent characteristics of the two pillar industries of the current economy, startups meet with joys and tears in their growth. The joys come from their discovery of the large and challenging scope startups can contribute throughout the life cycle of construction projects. Tears are shed when startups encounter barriers, such as institutionalized practices giving rise to problems an inexperienced startup must tackle. This study aims to identify the characteristics of the built environment sector and barriers as they relate to startup growth. In an exploratory study carried out in Hong Kong, the semistructured interviewing technique was used to collect views and data on the status quo of eight startups, the collective activities of which span the whole spectrum of the built environment sector. The interview findings reflect the features of the sector well with additional insight worth the attention of policy makers and construction managers whose work will increasingly involve startups.

Original languageEnglish
Article number05019005
JournalJournal of Management in Engineering
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jul 2019


  • Barriers
  • Built environment
  • Characteristics
  • Growth
  • Startups

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Industrial relations
  • Engineering(all)
  • Strategy and Management
  • Management Science and Operations Research


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