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Birgonul, M T and Ozdogan, I D (2000) Competitiveness of Turkish contractors in international markets. In: Akintoye, A (Ed.), Proceedings 16th Annual ARCOM Conference, 6-8 September 2000, Glasgow, UK. Association of Researchers in Construction Management, Vol. 1, 95–104.

  • Type: Conference Proceedings
  • Keywords: competitive advantage; global construction; Turkish contractors; international market
  • ISBN/ISSN: 0 9534161 4 3
  • URL: http://www.arcom.ac.uk/-docs/proceedings/ar2000-095-104_Birgonul_and_Ozdogan.pdf
  • Abstract:
    After 1990, there has been a huge growth in the volume of international construction services of Turkish contractors, which may be explained by the serious recession in the domestic construction market. As of 2000, Turkish contractors have been working in 49 countries in 4 continents. The aim of this paper is to present findings of a survey conducted to investigate mainly, the sources of competitive advantage and globalisation strategies of Turkish contractors in international markets. 61 construction companies, majority of which are members of the Union of International Contractors (UIC) responded the aforementioned survey. The survey results demonstrate that Turkish contractors have limited geographical diversification and they achieve competitive advantage by a focus strategy based on low factor costs. Cultural, lingual and religious familiarity also constitutes a major national comparative advantage in target markets. Their risk taking abilities and references based on prior success as well as low cost of labour constitute their major strengths. However, advantages due to basic costs are often easy to imitate and some innovative strategies are compulsory to sustain competitive advantage. Within the scope of this paper, better financial engineering, diversification and effective risk mitigation strategies such as forming strategic alliances are proposed as ways to differentiate construction services in international markets.