Empirical assessment of internationalization strategies for small and medium construction companies

Wooyong Jung, Seung H. Han, Heedae Park, Du Y. Kim

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

33 Citations (Scopus)


In the wake of increased globalization, more small and medium construction companies (SMCCs) are expanding into the global market. However, the international construction industry is different from the domestic with respect to resource, regulations, culture, entry strategies, and risk levels among other factors. This paper explores various ways and modes of internationalization for SMCCs under 13 key hypotheses that are relevant to the issues of internationalization from the perspective of SMCCs. To verify these hypotheses, this study used actual data from 560 cases of SMCCs' overseas projects performed between 1990 and 2007. It was found that SMCCs' entry scheme as prime contractors was more rewarding than in the case of subcontractors. Moreover, SMCCs are likely to evolve from subcontractors engaged with home-country contractors to subcontractors engaged with foreign contractors. Also, cultural distance is positively related to performance, but the effects of cultural properties are not as strong compared to the international manufacturing industry. The results are expected to help SMCCs build internationalization strategies by determining promising entry modes, proposing possible evolutionary paths to enter overseas projects, and assessing cultural effects in reference to SMCCs' successful performance.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1306-1316
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Construction Engineering and Management
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - 2010 Dec

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Civil and Structural Engineering
  • Building and Construction
  • Industrial relations
  • Strategy and Management


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