The Performance of Contractors in Japan, the UK and the US: A Comparative Evaluation of Construction Cost
AbstractGlobalization of the world economy demands that performance comparisons are undertaken at an international level. A new research protocol has been developed for comparing contractor performance internationally by combining the appropriate characteristics of two established approaches in order to balance the requirements of comparability and representativeness. This new approach is used to reveal some important international performance characteristics among Japanese, UK and US contractors. Building costs in the UK, when adjusted for exchange rate fluctuations, are significantly higher than those in Japan and the USA. Furthermore, cost certainty and client satisfaction are higher in Japan than in the UK, but there is no significant difference between Japan and the USA. Disparities in cost performance between the three countries are believed to originate from differences in the relationships between contractors and clients and also in the construction process. (Routledge)
CitationConstruction Management and Economics, 20(5): 425-435
PublisherRoutledge (Taylor & Francis)
JournalConstruction Management and Economics
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A comparative study of contractor performance based on Japanese, UK and US construction practiceHong, Xiao (University of Wolverhampton, 2002)Globalisation of world economy requires that any robust benchmarking of contractor performance be conducted on an international level. The Japanese and US construction industries are internationally renowned as world leaders. Notwithstanding this, when at its best, UK construction has been shown to be excellent, and capable of matching any other construction industry in the world. A comparison of contractor performance and practices between the three countries can distinguish their respective strengths and weaknesses and provide an opportunity for contractors to learn from each other and improve their performance. However, comparing international construction is onerous because of the uniqueness of construction products and the complexity of the production process. Each of the existing methods developed for this purpose has its own limitations in terms of comparability and/or representativeness of data. Having undertaken an international review of contractor performance, the research has: e defined 'best practice' for contractors and established criteria to evaluate contractor performance and practice in terms of construction cost, construction time, construction quality and sustainable development; * developed a new research approach towards comparing international contractor performance based on a hypothetical construction project which maintains the comparability and representativeness of data; 9 conducted a questionnaire survey arnong contractors in the three countries to collect information in regards to their performance and practices; * identified the significant differences in contractor performance and practices between the three countries and revealed the possible causes for the disparities; e developed six best practice performance models by means of multiple regression analysis. The thesis concluded that there exist significant differences in contractor performance and practice between Japan, the UK and the US. Based on the practices of contractors in the three countries, factors significantly influencing contractor performance are identified and measures for performance improvement are recommended for contractors.
A methodology for predicting the performance of construction contractorsHolt, Gary D. (University of Wolverhampton, 1995)This thesis addresses a fundamental decision problem, encountered by U. K. construction clients faced with a construction contract to assign: the judicious selection of a contractor. Initially, the inadequacies of current selection practices are confirmed. These findings influence the development of a new selection model, with emphasis on promoting a rationalised, quantitative technique able to identify the potential (project) performance of those contractors evaluated. This approach contrasts with present trends which promote subjectivity and rely heavily upon practitioner experience /judgment. A nationwide survey of practitioners and client groups identifies discriminating criteria essential to contractor selection, whilst also facilitating the knowledge of their importance (via weighting indices) within the selection process. The multiattribute analysis (MAA) technique embraces these criteria and is employed for its ability to aid decision making in the presence of multiple, often conflicting objectives, as characterised by this `real life' decision problem. Within the model contractor's attributes are measured, the resulting scores serving as multiplicands for the aforementioned weighting indices. The aggregate resultant yields a comparison measure. Utility values are also exercised to mirror client preferences and thereby influence optimal choice. The new technique is fully elucidated by worked example with validity being achieved by application to live selection situations. Finally, the potential for any change to existing tendering practice is investigated, via nationwide survey of U. K. construction contractors. The author has to some extent encompassed building and civil engineering, but the emphasis of this work is on the building sector.
Examining the construction of identity among high performance male and female athletes using photographyDevonport, Tracey; Leflay, Kath; Russell, Kate (Taylor & Francis, 2019-05-16)This study, adopting a feminist perspective explored two research questions: 1) how do male and female athletes perform an athletic identity through photographic self-representation, and 2) what are the messages they look to convey, as role models, through these images? Eighteen culturally diverse high-performance athletes (12 female, six male; mean age = 20.56 years, SD = 2.83) representing a range of sports took part. Following an individual photo session with autonomy over image capture, participants selected their favoured image and provided a caption symbolising the message they wished to convey to others. Participants were then interviewed to obtain their thoughts, feelings, and stories with regards image capture and selection. Analysis of photographic data revealed a tendency for participants to select full body action shots, located in the field of play, and wearing sports clothing. Captions emphasised hard work, psychological assets, technical precision, and encouraged sports participation. Interview data were organised under two broad themes aligned with the research questions; ‘performing an athletic identity’ and ‘intended messages’. Participants typically wanted to appear in action shots, emphasising good technique, displaying a sporting physique, and in relevant uniforms. Intended messages reflected how to be a good role model and comprised of ideals of hard work and giving sport a go. Findings suggest that whilst athletes sought to champion their sport and the physical and psychological qualities that participation produces, gendered performances were also evident in production and interpretation of many images, thus highlighting the pervasive nature of gendered sporting participation.