Practical framework for measuring performance of international construction firms

Zhigang Jin, Fei Deng*, Heng Li, Martin Skitmore

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

59 Citations (Scopus)
100 Downloads (Pure)


The internationalization of construction companies has become of significant interest as the global construction market continues to be integrated into a more competitive and turbulent business environment. However, due to the complicated and multifaceted nature of international business and performance, there is as yet no consensus on how to evaluate the performance of international construction firms (ICFs). The purpose of this paper, therefore, is to develop a practical framework for measuring the performance of ICFs. Based on the balanced scorecard (BSC), a framework with detailed measures is developed, investigated, and tested using a three-step research design. In the first step, 27 measures under six dimensions (financial, market, customer, internal business processes, stakeholders, and learning and growth) are determined by literature review, interviews with academics, and seminar discussions. Subsequently, a questionnaire survey is conducted to investigate weights of these 27 performance measures. The questionnaire survey also supports the importance of measuring intangible aspects of international construction performance from the practitioner's viewpoint. Additionally, a case study is described to test the framework's robustness and usefulness. This is achieved by benchmarking the performance of a Chinese ICF with nine other counterparts worldwide. It is found that the framework provides an effective basis for benchmarking ICFs to effectively monitor their performance and support the development of strategies for improved competitiveness in the international arena. This paper is the first attempt to present a balanced and practically tested framework for evaluating the performance of ICFs. It contributes to the practice of performance measurement and related internationalization in the construction industry in general.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1154-1167
Number of pages14
JournalJournal of Construction Engineering and Management
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - 1 Sept 2013
Externally publishedYes


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