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Exporting construction professional services in a global service economy

By Carol Ann Jewell


Globalisation has prompted increasing numbers of construction profes-sional services (CPS) firms to internationalise and export their services. The driver has been twofold; firstly to increase turnover/profits and sec-ondly, to minimise the risk of a reliance on working in a single domestic market which has a fluctuating demand. Secondly, where firms have out-grown their domestic market, and in order to expand, they must export overseas. There has been little research into the way CPS firms operate overseas, yet construction represents approximately 10% of global GDP; this means that understanding CPS firms is important. \ud This paper investigates how CPS firms internationalise and the drivers that impact their decisions and operations overseas. A survey was undertaken and interviews conducted that showed CPS firms are project driven, in-vesting heavily in the process of seeking work/bidding for projects, and are very focused on delivering projects with minimum risk. Increasing foreign ownership, changing procurement approaches and more consolidation of CPS firms in the global marketplace present a changing business land-scape. \ud The research develops a framework of tangible and intangible factors, such as competencies, business organisation culture, leadership and reputation in order to better understand how CPS firms export their ser-vices. Whilst all CPS firms share the same framework of factors, the re-sulting synergies are different not only for each firm but also for each pro-ject. The knowledge-intensive and project-based nature of CPS firms presents a challenge in understanding the way they operate in the global service economy

Year: 2010
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