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Title: The survival strategies of Singapore contractors in prolonged recession
Authors: Lim, B.T.H.
Oo, B.L.
Ling, F. 
Keywords: Management strategy
Issue Date: 2010
Citation: Lim, B.T.H., Oo, B.L., Ling, F. (2010). The survival strategies of Singapore contractors in prolonged recession. Engineering, Construction and Architectural Management 17 (4) : 387-403. ScholarBank@NUS Repository.
Abstract: Purpose - Contractors adopt various strategies to achieve their firms' objectives of continued existence and further development, and to guide the relationship between the firms and the business environment within which they operate. An economic recession drives firms to undertake unusual steps to survive within an environmental context. The purpose of this paper is to examine the survival strategies of Singapore contractors in the eight years of unprecedented recession in the industry from 1997 to 2005 are examined. Design/methodology/approach - In total, 34 interviews were conducted with senior executives of large and medium-sized construction firms in Singapore to identify their survival strategies during the recession period. Findings - Three categories of strategies are identified: contracting-related actions, cost-control related actions, and financial-related actions. The results show that most contractors opted to bid for more projects that are within their firms' resources and capabilities in contracting for jobs. To control cost, all contractors implemented stricter site management on material wastage, stricter financial management on firms' cash flow, stricter and procurement procedures. The majority of them froze salaries and stopped hiring. In order to remain solvent, most contractors set aside a sum of money from their reserves for unforeseen circumstances. Practical implications - Contractors should learn how to stay adequately lean in managing their business in order to be flexible and responsive to changes within the business environment. The findings highlight the importance of effective cost, risk, relationship and resource management. Originality/value - The findings provide valuable lessons to construction firms in preparing for volatile market conditions during a recession. © Emerald Group Publishing Limited.
Source Title: Engineering, Construction and Architectural Management
ISSN: 09699988
DOI: 10.1108/09699981011056583
Appears in Collections:Staff Publications

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