Perception of Various Performance Criteria by Stakeholders in the Construction Sector in Hong Kong

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Construction Management and Economics (April 2010) 28, 377–391

Perception of various performance criteria by stakeholders in the construction sector in Hong Kong IVAN K.W. LAI1* and FRANKIE K.S. LAM2
1 2

Faculty of Management and Administration, Macau University of Science and Technology, Macau International Graduate School of Business, University of South Australia, Adelaide, Australia

Taylor and Francis

Received 8 March 2009; accepted 1 December 2009

10.1080/01446190903521515

All construction projects in Hong Kong have in common a cast of key contract participants, consisting of clients, consultants (designers) and contractors. The aim of this research is to examine, from different points of view, these practitioners in regard to the importance of perceived performance criteria and their respective performance outcomes in a construction project. A research model is structured based on nine performance criteria and their respective performances. The data were collected from 324 practitioners who have participated in construction projects in Hong Kong. One-way analysis of variance (ANOVA) and repeated measures ANOVA are used to analyse the data. The relative importance of nine performance criteria and their performances are measured. Timely completion of the project is the most important performance criterion, followed by profit, environmental protection and quality. There are differences in the importance of the performance criteria with respect to performance. The differences in the perceptions of performance that are identified are: (i) among different practitioners in a construction project; (ii) due to different project types; and (iii) between different functional roles in the partnering organizations. In order to further understand the importance of the performance criteria with respect to performance, the status quo of project partnering and congeniality problems in the construction industry is reviewed. It is intended to stimulate interest in the further exploration of solutions to improve the overall performance of the construction industry in Hong Kong. Keywords: Performance improvement, performance evaluation, partnering, supplier relationship, performance criteria.

Introduction
At the beginning of construction projects, various targets are set as ‘performance criteria’ to be achieved among the key contract participants, consisting of clients, consultants (designers) and contractors. However, different participants have their own perceptions of various performance criteria, and they perform differently according to their perceptions. The aim of this study is to examine, from different points of view, these participants in regard to the importance of the perceived performance criteria and their respective performance outcomes in a construction project. The differences between the levels of importance of the performance criteria and their respective performance outcomes represent areas for the improvement of performance, which these participants should address. *Author for correspondence. E-mail: kwlai@must.edu.mo

In the present study, nine specific performance criteria are used; they are: (1) profit; (2) time; (3) no claims or contractual disputes; (4) job satisfaction; (5) quality; (6) safety; (7) environment; (8) generation of innovative ideas; and (9) effectiveness. A research model was formulated to test the significant difference between these performance criteria with respect to their performance. There are also tests available to assess the performance of these performance criteria from the perspective of the respondents in different roles (i.e. clients, consultants and main contractors); the types of construction projects (i.e. government, public/private utility and private development); and different functional roles of the staff within the organization (i.e. managerial, frontline supervisory and consultancy staff). This research was conducted through a questionnaire survey with...
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