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An, T and Watanabe, T (2011) Towards the sustainable improvement in construction labour's employment in China: Cultivating subcontractor's role. In: Egbu, C and Lou, E C W (Eds.), Proceedings 27th Annual ARCOM Conference, 5-7 September 2011, Bristol, UK. Association of Researchers in Construction Management, 663–72.

  • Type: Conference Proceedings
  • Keywords: labour contractor; long term relationships; migrant labourers; organizational market; subcontracting systems
  • ISBN/ISSN: 978-0-9552390-5-2
  • URL: http://www.arcom.ac.uk/-docs/proceedings/ar2011-0663-0672_An_Watanabe.pdf
  • Abstract:
    Since the Reform and Opening-up Policy in, 1978, Chinese construction has provided enormous employment for labour force, especially for surplus rural labourers called migrant labourers in China. However, it has recently been in the dilemma of an increasing labour outsourcing, and its potential of exploitation that does take place in recent China regarding widespread labour right infringements such as ignorance of occupational health and safety, payment default, insufficient social welfare, etc. The purpose of this study is to seek for balanced and sustainable development strategies for construction labour market from both economic and social aspects. From the implications of labour outsourcing to the industrial development, the dilemma in Chinese construction labour market is believed to be rooted in current subcontracting systems that restrict the subcontracting market excessively with an ignorance of further development of labour contractors under the uncertain and futureless business environment. From the case study of Kajima in Japan, long term relationships through Affiliated Companies mode up and down the construction supply chain are found to be a valuable initiative to the achievement of regular labour contracting, further the specialization of subcontracting market, and consequently the sustainable construction labour market. Analyses of Kajima in depth show that the predominant role of general contractor, principle of organizational market, and the assurance systems for public procurement are the three interrelated and interacted contributors to Japanese success in establishing and maintaining the long term relationships in the past. Regarding the practical situations of subcontracting market in China, the significance of combining cooperation with competition should be deeply understood within the construction supply chain, which may serve as a start point to regularize the subcontracting market aiming at the achievement of sustainable construction labour market in the long run.