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Chengye Kang

DBA Graduate - 2011

Thesis title

Assessing Factors and Project Performance –Study of Construction Subcontractors in China.


Jie Yan
With the development of the construction industry, large and mega-large construction projects continue to come to the fore. General contractors for construction projects have found that the projects are becoming bigger and bigger, while construction tasks have become more complicated and diversified. Currently, the general engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) model is one project management model commonly used for medium-sized and large construction projects at home and abroad, and project subcontracting and labor subcontracting is one of the basic models for implementing EPC. Central to the implementation of construction projects are the issues of selection, assessment, and hiring of qualified subcontractors; effective monitoring and management of the construction process; good control of construction quality, safety, and costs; and on-time completion of construction tasks as agreed. In China’s current construction industry subcontracting practices, there are still certain issues that cannot be ignored. For example, the project contractors still have a certain gap to bridge with their counterparts from developed countries in terms of overall project and subcontractor management abilities. Specific construction personnel in China are mostly migrant workers, the majority of whom lack specialized training and whose overall education and qualifications are low, thus making effective management difficult and eventually affecting the project period, project quality, construction safety, project cost, and compliance and scientific operations. Contractors are sometimes unable to choose the optimum subcontractor because they often receive instructions from project owners in the project subcontracting process, which affects their effective management of the subcontractors. In nominal subcontracting, the actual subcontractors are affiliated to the nominal subcontractors only in name; with the latter having no real control over the former, the actual subcontractors often cannot meet the technological or management requirements for construction, which affects project period, quality, safety, and cost. Further subcontracting leads to multi-level subcontracting and exploitation and affects project cost, quality, safety, and scheduling, etc. Through empirical research on the above situation of Chinese construction industry, this dissertation seeks to examine the relationship between the factors in selecting subcontractors and their project performance. Theoretically, it analyzes the current status of Chinese construction subcontractors and verifies the key assessing factors associated with their performance, analyzes the operating mechanisms and paths of the factors that affect subcontractor project performance, and puts forward opinions for practical guidance and suggestions on how general project contractors should choose and use subcontractors and establish good and sustainable cooperative relationships with subcontractors, as well as how the su