A comparative study of construction industry size and structure between the UK and Australia and the significance of industry fragmentation

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Abstract

While comparing both the size and structure between the UK and Australian construction industries, this study reveals that the UK construction industry is about two and a half times larger than the Australian construction industry, and both industries are dominated by the proportion of small firms. The issue of fragmentation is characteristic of the construction industries in these two countries, and beyond. This study then develops a self recruiting-subletting cost indifference point model to explain why fragmentation occurs. Although the high proportion of small firms in the construction industry has been criticised as it prevents the exploitation of economies of scale, the self recruiting-subletting cost indifference point model theoretically proposes that subletting is usually profitable for construction firms. Thus the size distribution of the construction industry has a propensity to skew towards small firms.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)45-61
Number of pages17
JournalThe International Journal of Construction Management
Volume6
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2006
Externally publishedYes

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