What enables a high-risk project to yield high return from a construction contractor's perspective?

Jin Woo Won, Wooyong Jung, Seung Heon Han, Sungmin Yun, Bonsang Koo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)


"High risk high return" is a general rule in the overall industry; however, high-risk projects in the construction industry frequently fail to yield a high return. In order to achieve a sustainable business in the international construction market, contractors require an average to high return yield under high-risk conditions. This study aims to reveal what risk factors and risk management performance enables high-risk projects to yield high returns. The study investigated 124 international construction projects by Korean contractors and classified them into four groups: high-risk high-return (HH), high-risk low-return (HL), low-risk high-return (LH), and low-risk low-return (LL). The study found that risk assessment accuracy was the most important trigger in discriminating between high return projects (HH, LH) and low return projects (HL, LL), whereas risk mitigation performance showed little difference between high return and low return projects. In addition, the contingency amount did not significantly affect project return in HL, LH, and LL projects, but HH projects showed a positive relation between contingency and predicted risk amount. This article contributes to recognizing the differences between high return and low return projects and provides insights for practitioners into the relation between risk management performance and high returns in different risk conditions.

Original languageEnglish
Article number5971
JournalSustainability (Switzerland)
Issue number21
Publication statusPublished - 2019 Nov 1

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2019 by the authors.

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment
  • Environmental Science (miscellaneous)
  • Energy Engineering and Power Technology
  • Management, Monitoring, Policy and Law


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