Impact of subcontracting on site productivity: Lessons learned in Taiwan

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In the past decade, considerable research effort has been devoted to alleviating site productivity problems in Taiwan's construction industry. However, the results generated so far are frustrating. A school of academic debates are raised concerning the elements missing from the research framework adopted. The disregard of the crucial role played by subcontractors in the construction process is the main missing element. To gain a thorough understanding of the subcontracting practice in construction, an extensive questionnaire survey targeting more than 1,000 general contractors, selected at random, was conducted in 1995. Major findings of the survey are reported briefly in this paper. The relationship between subcontracting and site productivity was investigated. A conceptual model for analyzing productivity barriers due to subcontracting was developed and various aspects of this model were also examined. Based on the insights gained from the survey and the follow-up interviews, three promising institutional strategies for overcoming the identified productivity barriers are presented and discussed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)91-100
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Construction Engineering and Management
Issue number2
StatePublished - 1998


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