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Title: Development of a framework of competitive advantage in non-state construction contractors in China
Author: Li , Daqing
Awarding Body: University of Leeds
Current Institution: University of Leeds
Date of Award: 2012
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In China, the significant economic development in recent years now provides one of the biggest construction markets in the world. Therefore gaining competitive advantage has become the concern of construction contractors who want to be perceived as superior to their rivals. This need is particularly urgent for the many non-state construction contractors (NSCCs) who are relatively less competitive. However, neither theories nor techniques are directly available to help NSCCs in developing their competitive advantages. This research produced a framework to illustrate the sources of competitive advantage for NSCCs as well as the relationship among those sources and to guide NSCCs in mainland China to develop their competitive advantages. The literature review explored theories of competitive advantage and strategic models to explain patterns, motivations and performances of business activities and the existing theories and theoretical frameworks. Existing theories were found to not be sufficient to investigate all sources of competitive advantage for NSCCs in the complex Chinese market. This is because most theories are based on an open market, whereas China is not a completely market oriented country yet. Interview and questionnaire Survey were then employed to field investigations. A conceptual framework was developed prior to the data collection. By comparing empirical findings and existing theories, the conceptual framework was modified and enriched. The final framework was produced to illustrate sources of competitive advantage for NSCCs and the determinants of these sources in the Chinese construction market. As the empirical findings indicated, unlike conventional theories built upon open market competition, this research highlighted the existence of institutional factors in the market which affect the business environment and a firm 's sources of competitive advantage as a result of China's on-going reform. In the final framework, the two well established schools of thought, Porter's theories and RBV (Resource Based View) approaches are both indispensible when developing competitive advantages for NSCCs. The interactions between them are continued under the impact of the institution forces in the construction market in China. This research has concluded that institution forces (including guanxi issues) together with strategic choices as well as firm resources and competencies determine the sources of competitive advantages of NSCCs in China.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available