Supporting and impeding factors for partnering in construction: A China study

Jian Zuo, Ping Chuen Chan, Zhen Yu Zhao, George Zillante, Bo Xia

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

7 Citations (Scopus)


Purpose: Partnering has drawn attention from both academics and practitioners in the construction industry in the context of construction and facilities management. The past decades have seen a number of articles reporting the application of partnering in construction. The Chinese construction industry is one of the largest industries in the world; however, to the authors' best knowledge, no project in mainland China has adopted this procurement approach in a formal and systematic manner as yet. This paper presents a timely study that aims to investigate the feasibility of implementing the partnering concept into Chinese industry and to understand the current barriers to this concept in China. Design/methodology/approach: The study employed a qualitative approach to investigate the factors that support or impede the implementation of partnering in mainland China. The methodology encompassed a critical review of relevant laws, regulations, and policy documents; and semi-structured interviews. Findings: The findings indicate that the partnering practice is feasible in the construction industry of China due to the large demand brought about by China's strong economic growth and government support. However, the implementation of partnering in the Chinese construction industry is being impeded by the restrictions of the current Chinese regulatory framework and tender evaluation framework, the incompatible features of Chinese culture and the general lack of trust. Originality/value: Six strategies that help to facilitate the implementation of partnering in China have been developed based on the supporting and impeding factors identified in this study. It is worth noting that not all aspects of Chinese culture are compatible with partnering principles. This study offers a useful reference to implement collaborative contracting models such as partnering in developing countries with a consideration of new factors such as political environment and emerging economies.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)468-488
Number of pages21
Issue number11-12
Publication statusPublished - 16 Sept 2013


  • China
  • Construction industry
  • Construction project
  • Facilities management
  • Impeding factors
  • Partnering
  • Property management
  • Supporting factors

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Human Factors and Ergonomics
  • Architecture
  • Building and Construction


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