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Tong, CKT 2016, 'Identification of critical success factors for contractors in Hong Kong', DBA thesis, Southern Cross University, Lismore, NSW.

Copyright CKT Tong 2016


The construction industry is a competitive business and its underperformance in Hong Kong has been criticised for many years. During the Asian Financial Crisis and the Global Financial Crisis, contractors in Hong Kong suffered from a reduction in demand and unreliable rates of profitability. Some contractors were forced out of the industry, even though prompt and appropriate actions had been applied to avoid business failure. The critical success factors method provides information to help organisations in planning their long-term and short-term strategies. It can be utilised in an organisation to develop a corporate strategy and strategic plans.

The objective of this research is to investigate the critical success factors of contractors in Hong Kong. This research starts with reviewing the current research literature. The review reveals the lack of empirical studies which focus on the corporate and sub-organisational levels. Most prior studies identified critical success factors at the industry, project and managerial levels. This research aims to close the literature gap by identifying the critical success factors of contractors in Hong Kong at corporate level.

Based on the literature review, a list of preliminary critical success factors with their sub-factors was proposed and the related research hypotheses were developed. A questionnaire survey was used to collect the primary data and test the hypotheses. The participants, who came from senior staff with experience in working for contractors in Hong Kong, were asked to give their professional opinions about the critical success factors for contractors in Hong Kong. A total of 363 valid responses were obtained from the professionals in the industry and the collected data was then analysed using factor analysis.

The findings show that eleven critical success factors were regarded as vital by most respondents. Those critical success factors were ranked and the top three critical success factors identified were strategic management, human resources and relationship engineering. In addition, fifty-two sub-factors were identified. With these critical success factors, contractors should be able to discern a much clearer direction to take in order to achieve continuous improvement.

In practical terms, the research results can contribute to improving the competitiveness of contractors in Hong Kong. The research results can also assist the contractors to use their resources effectively and efficiently. The critical success factors method aims to provide information to executives and managers for strategic planning, and the research findings reveal that strategic management is important to the organisational success. As a consequence, the identified critical success factors can be used to assist contractors to formulate organisational strategies and they can help them to improve their chances of success and avoid business failure. The critical success factors identified can also help contractors to benchmark their performances in specialised categories.

Based on this research results, key performance indicators for contractors in Hong Kong could be established in future. The causal relationships between the critical success factors and key performance indicators would possibly be investigated. This will provide useful information for evaluation of the overall performance of contractors in Hong Kong at the organisational level.