Labour-intensive construction sub-contractors : Their critical success factors

Research output: Journal Publications and Reviews (RGC: 21, 22, 62)21_Publication in refereed journalpeer-review

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Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)732-740
Journal / PublicationInternational Journal of Project Management
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2010
Externally publishedYes


What contributes to the success of sub-contractors is a key concern of the construction industry as the performance of sub-contracting firms is far from satisfactory. While certain studies have been carried out to examine the critical success factors (CSFs) for sub-contractors, it is unrealistic to assume that these CSFs are relevant to all types of sub-contractors. Hence, the purpose of this paper is to establish a set of CSFs for those construction sub-contractors which are labour-intensive in nature. To achieve that, a self-administered questionnaire survey was conducted in Hong Kong. A set of CSFs pertinent to labour-intensive sub-contractors are first identified through descriptive statistics. The CSFs are then compared with those pertinent to equipment-intensive trade specialists. Finally, the identified CSFs are grouped into three components through a factor analysis. Through the survey, nine factors are identified as critical to the success of labour-intensive sub-contractors, and these CSFs are grouped into three components viz. the managerial performance, financial performance, and labour-intensive specific factors. The findings of this study provide a good basis for labour-intensive sub-contractors to improve their success at project and organisational levels. The identified CSFs will also provide a solid foundation for future research into the key performance indicators and benchmarks for labour-intensive sub-contractors. © 2009 Elsevier Ltd and IPMA.

Research Area(s)

  • Construction, Critical success factor, Factor analysis, Labour-intensive sub-contractor

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