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Über dieses Buch

This book discusses the relationship between construction quality and the state of the Singapore national economy, and describes how construction quality is affected as contracting firms strategically manage issues relating to profitability and survivability during economic boom and bust cycles. Adopting a three-pronged approach to explain the key issues, the book first explains the effect of the state of the Singapore national economy (boom or bust) on the construction quality delivered by contracting firms. Secondly, it explains how contracting firms respond to the performance of the national economy through their dynamic bidding strategies, leading to significant quality trade-offs in some instances, especially when there is imprecise market information. Thirdly, it recommends various strategic measures that key stakeholders and government policy-makers can take to circumvent the quality trade-off in the construction industry when faced with dynamic fluctuations in the performance of the national economy.
Although the book focuses on Singapore, it appeals to a global audience since countries worldwide (and their respective building-related stakeholders) face the same issues in terms of the time–cost–quality trade-off decision-making process involving the entire supply chain.

Inhaltsverzeichnis

Frontmatter

Chapter 1. Introduction

Abstract
The conceptual relationship between construction quality and economic development was first identified by Low (Int J Qual Reliab Manag, 10(2):18–30, 1993) who noted that quality in the Singapore construction industry began to gain traction only in the late 1970s and early 1980s when the country moved up the rungs of socio-economic development only during this period of time. This observation supports Rostow’s (The stages of economic growth. A non-communist manifesto, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, 1962) proposition that all societies can be identified under one or another economic dimension.
Low Sui Pheng, Lau Shing Hou

Chapter 2. The Economy and the Construction Industry

Abstract
Generally, there are three levels to define construction within the literature (Dang and Low in Infrastructure Investments in Developing Economies. Springer, 2015). At one extreme, construction is referred to as an economic activity that involves the entire construction process from producing raw and manufactured building materials and components, and providing professional services such as design and project management, to executing the physical work on site.
Low Sui Pheng, Lau Shing Hou

Chapter 3. Government’s Role in a High Quality Built Environment

Abstract
The emphasis on achieving high construction quality by the Singapore government is evident from the Building and Construction Authority (BCA)’s mission statement stating: “we shape a safe, high quality, sustainable and friendly built environment” with a strategic thrust (among five others) seeking to achieve “a safe and high quality built environmentensuring high safety standards and promoting quality excellence” (BCA in About us, 2018a).
Low Sui Pheng, Lau Shing Hou

Chapter 4. Firm Characteristics and Strategies

Abstract
Tay (1994) summarized the construction industry as one that is characterized by activities which are discontinuous, dispersed, diverse and distinct; referring to how the industry is made up of a diverse range of trades and disciplines that are interconnected to deliver a project. For instance, to construct a relatively simple two storey bungalow, one would need a team of consultants, a team of contractors to work on different trades and disciplines and a range of suppliers. Hence, construction quality of a project depends on not just one firm but a multitude of firms. Each firm in this value chain exercise their own judgement on the time-cost-quality tradeoff decisions on their respective works; with each firm’s decision contributing towards the overall construction quality of the project.
Low Sui Pheng, Lau Shing Hou

Chapter 5. Firm’s Time-Cost-Quality (TCQ) Tradeoff Decisions and the Theory of Firm Behavior

Abstract
To provide clarity in presentation, the research team presents this chapter in inverse order where the output of the same (as summarized in Table 5.1) is first presented followed by the justification of how Table 5.1 was derived from a review of existing literature on theories of firm behavior.
Low Sui Pheng, Lau Shing Hou

Chapter 6. The Conceptual Frameworks

Abstract
From the literature review conducted in Chaps. 25, a conceptual framework depicting the effects of economic recessions on construction quality at the firm level is proposed. However, before examining the conceptual framework in Sect. 6.2, it is important to understand the defining factors of a conceptual framework and the role of theories in developing them. These shall be discussed in Sect. 6.1.
Low Sui Pheng, Lau Shing Hou

Chapter 7. Research Design and Methodology

Abstract
Hernandez, Perez, & Rangel (2016) defined research methodology as a highly intellectual activity that deals with the manner in which data is collected, analyzed and interpreted for a particular investigation. Tan (2012) similarly defined research methodology as one that shall include specification of the research design, method of data collection and method of data analysis. With these definitions, the research team developed an overview of the research process; where the research design for each research method shall include the sampling, data collection protocol as well as the data analysis techniques.
Low Sui Pheng, Lau Shing Hou

Chapter 8. Survey Results Analysis and Discussion

Abstract
The survey was conducted with 30 respondents representing main contractors, subcontractors and consultants in Singapore with 24 participants in higher management (directorial level and above) and six in mid management (project manager and above). Of the 30 respondents, there are thirteen A1 contractors, five A2-B1 contractors, six B2-C grade contractors and six consultants. Please refer to Appendix A for the questionnaire. This chapter provides a descriptive statistical analysis as shown in Sect. 8.1 and an inferential statistical analysis as shown in Sects. 8.2 and 8.3. Section 8.4 provides a summary of the quantitative findings.
Low Sui Pheng, Lau Shing Hou

Chapter 9. Case Study Results Analysis and Discussion

Abstract
The selection criteria for the case study respondents as mentioned is a selection of local contractors that are among the top construction quality performers in Singapore. Mr. A and Mr. B are representatives of A1 contractor firms that have consistently achieved high CONQUAS scores with an average scoring of 90 points and above (except for the 1990s and the early 2000s when CONQUAS was still newly implemented). Their firms have also achieved multiple CONQUAS star rated projects (i.e. the highest scoring award for the CONQUAS scheme).
Low Sui Pheng, Lau Shing Hou

Chapter 10. Expert Interviews on Triangulated and Non-triangulated Findings

Abstract
The purpose of the expert interviews is to validate the findings triangulated between the quantitative findings derived from the survey method and the qualitative findings derived from the case study method. Section 10.1 points out the triangulated findings and the opinions of the experts on those findings. Similarly, Sect. 10.2 sets out the non-triangulated findings and the opinions of the experts on the reason(s) why. Table 10.1 profiles the experts interviewed. Please refer to Appendix J, K, L and M for the verbatim reports of the expert interviews with Mr. D, Mr. E, Mr. F and Mr. G.
Low Sui Pheng, Lau Shing Hou

Chapter 11. Conclusion

Abstract
The triangulated findings between the survey findings and case study findings, and the validations of those findings with expert interviews are summarized in Table 11.1. Figure 11.1 proposes the revised conceptual framework; depicting the effects of economic recessions on construction quality at the firm level.
Low Sui Pheng, Lau Shing Hou

Backmatter

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