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Conditions of Success: a platform for international construction development


  • David Hawk


'Conditions of Success' (COS) was organised to study the internationalisation of the construction industry in 1989. At that time few companies, and even fewer researchers, were interested in international construction endeavours. The purpose of the study was to collect information on activities of the 1980s in order to project who might be successful and under what conditions would they be successful in the next century. Extensive interviews were conducted with 60 participating firms from seven countries. While this group has now been reduced to about 20 via mergers and acquisitions they have demonstrated the value of several of the recommendations from the study. Critical to the study was an Executive Symposium held in Stockholm in 1991 where executives presented their view of the future and how best to prepare for it. Professor Ranko Bon, of Reading University, played a pivotal role in this special Symposium, as chair of the diverse interests and adviser to organising the results. Ten major recommendations are outlined in the paper. A critical distinction emerged from the study, which has grown in theoretical importance since 1991. It is between the North American, primarily Harvard-centric, strategic model for internationalisation and the relationship-building approach of Asia (initially Japanese and now Chinese). The Asian approach is closer to that of Europe and gaining in effectiveness and prominence over that of North America.

Suggested Citation

  • David Hawk, 2006. "Conditions of Success: a platform for international construction development," Construction Management and Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 24(7), pages 735-742.
  • Handle: RePEc:taf:conmgt:v:24:y:2006:i:7:p:735-742 DOI: 10.1080/01446190600658966

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Low Sui Pheng & Hongbin Jiang & Christopher Leong, 2004. "A comparative study of top British and Chinese international contractors in the global market," Construction Management and Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 22(7), pages 717-731.
    2. Ozlem Oz, 2001. "Sources of competitive advantage of Turkish construction companies in international markets," Construction Management and Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 19(2), pages 135-144.
    3. Low Sui Pheng & Jiang Hongbin, 2004. "Estimation of international construction performance: analysis at the country level," Construction Management and Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 22(3), pages 277-289.
    4. Shou Qing Wang & Mohammed Fadhil Dulaimi & Muhammad Yousuf Aguria, 2004. "Risk management framework for construction projects in developing countries," Construction Management and Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 22(3), pages 237-252.
    5. George Ofori, 2003. "Frameworks for analysing international construction," Construction Management and Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 21(4), pages 379-391.
    6. Dunning, John H., 2000. "The eclectic paradigm as an envelope for economic and business theories of MNE activity," International Business Review, Elsevier, vol. 9(2), pages 163-190, April.
    7. Les Ruddock, 2002. "Measuring the global construction industry: improving the quality of data," Construction Management and Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 20(7), pages 553-556.
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