American Society of Civil Engineers

Determinants of Initernational Architectural, Engineering, and Construction Firms’ Project Success in China

by Florence Yean Yng Ling, (Assoc. Prof., Dept. of Bldg., Natl. Univ. of Singapore, 4 Architecture Dr., Singapore 117566. E-mail:, C. William Ibbs, (Prof., Dept. of Civ. and Envir. Engrg., 213 McLaughlin Hall, Univ. of California, Berkeley, CA 94720. E-mail:, and Wei Yee Hoo, (Cost Engr., KPK Quantity Surveyors (Singapore) Pte. Ltd., 1 Magazine Rd., No. 03-01, Singapore 059567)

Journal of Construction Engineering and Management, Vol. 132, No. 2, February 2006, pp. 206-214, (doi:

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Document type: Journal Paper
Abstract: As China becomes a member of the World Trade Organization, many international architectural, engineering, and construction (AEC) firms are undertaking or expected to undertake projects there. This study identifies the significant factors that contribute to the successful performance of projects undertaken by international AEC firms in China. Data were collected using structured questionnaires from foreign (non-Chinese) AEC firms that have completed projects in China. Personal interviews with 27 experts were also conducted to supplement and test the survey findings. The findings reveal that the variable that affects the most number of success measures is the AEC firm’s ability to understand the client’s requirement. Achieving this brings about good project quality performance and owner satisfaction. Furthermore, firms that have superior product or service quality would also achieve better project performance. The interviewees also exhorted the importance of having core competencies as a critical success factor for projects in China. Practitioners may use the findings to help them manage their projects in China, so as to achieve higher levels of success.

ASCE Subject Headings:
Construction management
International factors
Business management
Engineering firms