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Lowest price or value? Investigation of UK construction clients' tender selection process


  • Chee Wong
  • Gary Holt
  • Patricia Cooper


There is a growing urge for a shift from 'lowest-price wins' to 'multi-criteria selection' practices in the contractor selection process. The rationale is to achieve best value (for money) for the client. Earlier investigations have found that the tender price (i.e. capital cost) still dominates the final selection decision despite increased emphases on the need for contractor selection based on 'value'. This paper provides insights into the evaluation of contractors' attributes, particularly for project-specific criteria (PSC), that is, criteria against which tendering contractors may be considered. The importance attached by clients to the 'lowestprice wins' philosophy is also reported. The perceived importance of PSC (i.e. their influence on final selection choice) is determined through a structured questionnaire survey of UK construction clients. The results show an increasing use of PSC. It is also found that 'lowest-price' is not now necessarily the client's principal selection criterion, but rather, the realization that cost has to be tempered with evaluation of PSC in any attempt to identify value for money.

Suggested Citation

  • Chee Wong & Gary Holt & Patricia Cooper, 2000. "Lowest price or value? Investigation of UK construction clients' tender selection process," Construction Management and Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 18(7), pages 767-774.
  • Handle: RePEc:taf:conmgt:v:18:y:2000:i:7:p:767-774
    DOI: 10.1080/014461900433050

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    Cited by:

    1. Lauri Pulkka & Miro Ristimäki & Karoliina Rajakallio & Seppo Junnila, 2016. "Applicability and benefits of the ecosystem concept in the construction industry," Construction Management and Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 34(2), pages 129-144, February.
    2. repec:spr:grdene:v:24:y:2015:i:5:d:10.1007_s10726-014-9418-2 is not listed on IDEAS
    3. repec:gam:jsusta:v:10:y:2018:i:10:p:3583-:d:174247 is not listed on IDEAS
    4. Amirhosein Jafari, 2013. "A contractor pre-qualification model based on the quality function deployment method," Construction Management and Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 31(7), pages 746-760, July.
    5. Mimović Predrag & Krstić Ana, 2016. "Application of Multi-Criteria Analysis in the Public Procurement Process Optimization," Economic Themes, Sciendo, vol. 54(1), pages 103-128, March.


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