Discovering the transition pathways toward sustainability for construction enterprises: Importance-performance analysis

Rui Dong Chang*, Jian Zuo, Veronica Soebarto, Zhen Yu Zhao, George Zillante, Xiao Long Gan

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

47 Citations (Scopus)
94 Downloads (Pure)


There has been growing awareness and demand for construction enterprises' transition toward sustainability with an aim to maximize the economic, social, and environmental values of construction. This presents a significant challenge to both policymakers and industry practitioners as sustainability is such a complex concept that includes various aspects, whereas construction firms are usually resource-constrained. There is lack of studies classifying various aspects of sustainability according to their managerial priorities, thereby identifying efficient transition pathways toward higher sustainability levels for construction enterprises. This paper proposes transition pathways toward sustainability (TPS) for construction enterprises by conducting an importance-performance analysis of the critical sustainability aspects. The construction enterprises were firstly classified into different clusters based on their sustainability performance by means of cluster analysis. Consequently, the importance-performance analysis was employed to classify the various sustainability aspects of the identified firm clusters, followed by the development of the TPS. The results show that although there is general agreement on the high importance of economic-sustainability aspects, significant differences exist in the perceptions and performance of social and environmental sustainability aspects across firm groups. Therefore, there are considerably different transition pathways for the various firm groups toward higher sustainability levels. This research provides a useful reference for construction enterprises to evaluate their positions in the sustainability transition journey and to optimize their resource allocation for sustainable development.

Original languageEnglish
Article number04017013
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Construction Engineering and Management
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jun 2017
Externally publishedYes


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