Investigation of barriers to entry into the design-build market in the People's Republic of China

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

21 Citations (Scopus)


Although the design-build (DB) system has been demonstrated to be an effective delivery method and has gained popularity worldwide, it has not gained the same popularity in the construction market of the People's Republic of China (PRC). The objective of this study was to investigate the barriers to entry in the DB market. A total of 22 entry barriers were first identified through an open-ended questionnaire survey with 15 top construction professionals in the construction market of China. A broad questionnaire survey was further conducted to prioritize these entry barriers. Statistical analysis of responses shows that the most dominant barriers to entry into the DB market are lack of design expertise, lack of interest from owners, lack of suitable organization structure, lack of DB specialists, and lack of credit record system. Analysis of variance indicates that there is no difference of opinions among the respondent groups of academia, government departments, state-owned companies, and private companies, at the 5% significance level, on most of the barriers to entry. Finally, the underlying dimensions of barriers to entry in the DB market were investigated through factor analysis. The results indicate that there are six major underlying dimensions of entry barriers in DB market, including the competence of design-builders, difficulty in project procurement, characteristics of DB projects, lack of support from public sectors, the competence of DB owners, and the immaturity of DB market. These findings are useful for both potential and incumbent design-builders to understand and analyze the DB market in China.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)120-127
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Construction Engineering and Management
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2012


  • Barriers to entry
  • China
  • Construction market
  • Design and build
  • Factor analysis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

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


Dive into the research topics of 'Investigation of barriers to entry into the design-build market in the People's Republic of China'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this