1st Edition

Culture in International Construction

By Wilco Tijhuis, Richard Fellows Copyright 2012
    224 Pages
    by Routledge

    224 Pages
    by Routledge

    Despite the wide range of technologies involved, the construction industry still relies heavily on one old-fashioned component: the human. The clients, managers, designers, investors, and a whole host of other stakeholders are all involved in a crucial series of relationships that are just as important to project success as technical know-how. As construction projects become increasingly international as well as interdisciplinary, the risk and cost of disharmonious working grows ever larger. The growth of IT and the increased reliance on large mergers and joint-ventures have created new problems, which require a new set of solutions.

    Recent research has generated profound insights into international differences in business culture. This new work presents up-to-date theory and practical guidance, identifying situations in which cultural differences present challenges. A focus on "critical incidents", demonstrated in a range of case studies will help readers to foresee such situations in their own projects and processes, and so improve strategic and operational decision-making in construction collaborations. Detailed examples are taken from the Netherlands, Germany, Poland, Turkey, the UAE, and China, to explore a variety of problems in very different economic and cultural surroundings.

    A range of professionals (contractors, developers, investors, architects, engineers, governments, public/private clients) will find this book highly valuable, as will researchers and students.

    1: Introduction

    Broad overview of construction as part of the economy; people’s role, parallel to technology and capital/finance, etc.; multi-cultural processes and projects.

    2: Construction industry: A globalizing business

    Short overview of trends in the market

    3: Culture’s influence in construction: A short overview of theories

    4: case-studies: Europe, Asia, US, Middle-East, Africa. Clients, developers, contractors, project-managers, investors, architects, engineers, QSs

    5: Lessons learnt & recommendations

    6: A future-vision: Taking-up the challenge


    Wilco Tijhuis is a construction professional and entrepreneur. After starting his career in international positions in construction and development, he founded his own company. He is also active as an Assistant Professor at the University of Twente in the Netherlands on a part-time basis, specializing in international construction processes. His main research interests are strategy, management and risk, procurement and culture in construction. He is a joint coordinator of the international platform CIB W112 ‘Culture in Construction’.

    Richard Fellows is Professor of Construction Business Management at Loughborough University, UK. He has taught at a number of universities in the UK, Hong Kong, China and beyond. He is a founder and joint coordinator of the international platform CIB W112 ‘Culture in Construction’. His main research interests are economics, contracts, organization and project management, and culture in construction.