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Abdul-Aziz, A-R (1991) Global strategies of construction firms, Unpublished PhD Thesis, Department of Construction Management and Engineering, University of Reading.
- Type: Thesis
- Keywords: international construction industry; markets; collaborative relationships
- URL: http://www.rdg.ac.uk/AcaDepts/kc/highdeg/abstracts/abdul-aziz.htm
Competition in the international construction industry during the turbulent eighties has been fierce. Indepth interviews with executives from 16 major overseas contracting firms and desk research on more than 100 others revealed that some of them have adopted global strategies. Their common business tenet is that the world be treated as one market - not uniform or homogenised but that national boundaries are simply artificial demarcations. This implies that the firms have no inhibition about working anywhere. Global firms have export bases in several countries to utilise land-locked leverages which aid territorial expansion. Their competitive advantages provide superiority for challenging anyone and fulfilling the most demanding work. These contractors also transcend national boundaries and draw industrial and institutional strengths from everywhere for current and future competitiveness. Globalisation can only proceed with localisation, that is to say, subsidiaries in key markets adopt features that cannot distinguish them from domestic entities. In short, their perception of a borderless world has led them to adopt not one but many homes. Global contractors operate as globally-integrated groups, selling the same skills with the same high standards wherever and whenever required. Their worldwide businesses are geared towards solving the clients' problems and needs rather than straightforward contracting, thereby adding greater value to their services. A globalwide client-base is therefore complemented with depth. Internally, global economies of scale and scope are accomplished through different parts of the organisations working together on a single activity, and performing separate activities along the value-adding chain. The progression to becoming world class can be daunting. Globally-oriented contractors establish a global network of collaborative relationships with manufacturers, financiers, research institutions, policy-makers and other contractors. Strategists of growth-oriented overseas and domestic firms have to give due regard to the trends in global competition which will intensify in the 1990's and beyond.