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A cultural perspective to stakeholder management in the Hong Kong construction industry

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conference contribution
posted on 21.01.2013, 12:19 by Steve Rowlinson, Tas Yong Koh, Martin Tuuli
The Hong Kong construction industry is lauded for its “can-do” attitude and the apparently high levels of integration and cooperation that enables its high level of performance. An industry that can regularly complete four day floor cycles on high rise buildings over 40 storeys should be an innovative and relationship based industry. However, this is not the case. For example`, the predominant form of procurement in Hong Kong is still design-bidbuild (the “traditional” approach) and “partnering” has been introduced into the industry but in a piece-meal fashion and in a manner which is hardly effective. Still, the industry is characterised by hierarchy, tradition and procedures but the industry is also heavily influenced by the Chinese culture in which it was situated. Hence, values such as face, harmony and conflict avoidance are also embedded in the industry culture. In such a situation, the issue of stakeholders and their management has been paid scant regard; the government was used to making decisions on development rather than consulting widely and the other major players, the oligarchy of large property developers, adopted a simple, economic approach to their business plans and only over the past few years have issues such as corporate social responsibility reached their boardrooms.



  • Architecture, Building and Civil Engineering


ROWLINSON, S., KOH, T.Y. and TUULI, M.M., 2008. A cultural perspective to stakeholder management in the Hong Kong construction industry. IN: Proceedings of the CIB W112 International Conference on "Securing High Performance through Cultural Awareness and Dispute Avoidance", Shanghai, China, 12pp.




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This conference paper was presented at the CIB W112 International Conference on Multi-national Construction Projects: Securing High Performance Through Cultural Awareness and Dispute Avoidance. The paper is available online from the ICONDA®CIBlibrary at