Loughborough University
Thesis-1997-Miles.pdf (7.82 MB)

The development of intermediate construction enterprises

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Version 2 2020-01-30, 12:12
Version 1 2012-10-15, 12:48
posted on 2020-01-30, 12:12 authored by Derek W.J. Miles
The thesis draws upon the author's published work to analyse ways of overcoming the multi-faceted constraints affecting the intermediate construction sector (small contractors using technologies appropriate for local conditions and resource availability) in low- and middle-income countries. Following an introductory chapter, chapter 2 reviews the concept of appropriate construction technology, illustrated by a case study on the development and transfer of labour-based road construction and maintenance technologies. Chapter 3 examines the regulatory framework that governs the industry, comparing the situation in industrialised and developing countries, and concluding with a perspective on the nature of competition in the global construction market. Chapter 4 deals with the application and content of construction management training methodologies and delivery systems, including training needs, delivery of training and the respective roles of governments and employers' organisations. Chapter 5 describes the practices, problems and needs of intermediate contractors, noting the link between the appreciation of the potential benefits of appropriate technology and the value of promoting small enterprises, which are best placed to apply it. Chapter 6 proposes systems and procedures to enable intermediate enterprises to develop and reach a sustainable level. It draws upon recent experience of privatisation of intermediate construction activity in developing countries, illustrating the need to attend to attitudinal and related change in the client organisation as well as promoting the emerging domestic contracting industry. The key conclusion is that the performance of intermediate contractors in developing countries can be significantly improved providing the initiative takes proper account of constraints imposed by the local operating environment, provides a realistic plan for organisational change and uses high quality training material and delivery systems. This conclusion is of particular significance in view of the growing interest in promoting private sector involvement in infrastructure provision and maintenance.



  • Architecture, Building and Civil Engineering


Loughborough University

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© D.W.J. Miles

Publication date



A Doctoral Thesis. Submitted in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the award of Doctor of Philosophy of Loughborough University.


  • en


R. McCaffer

Qualification name

  • PhD

Qualification level

  • Doctoral

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    Architecture, Building and Civil Engineering Theses


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