1st Edition

Describing Construction Industries, Projects and Firms

Edited By Rick Best, Jim Meikle Copyright 2023
    316 Pages 55 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    This third book from editors Rick Best and Jim Meikle brings together and presents insights into a number of key concepts in the study of construction firms, projects and the group of activities that loosely define the construction industry. The value for readers comes from the collection of a variety of topics in a single volume, which provide a basic understanding of the complexities of construction as more than a set of practical concerns such as labour management and materials handling. Instead, the focus is on analysis of the industry and its component parts from the viewpoints of construction economists and others seeking to understand the drivers and challenges that shape an area of economic activity that is a major contributor in all economies.

    The aim of this book is to provide an overview and discussion of several aspects of what makes construction tick. It is unlike other industry sectors in many ways, being project-based with often intense competition for work. Where the first book, Measuring Construction, focused on particular areas associated with quantifying various aspects of construction activity and the second, Accounting for Construction, looked more at how we record and report on construction activity, Describing Construction gives readers the views of experts in the field of how the construction industry is described, what its make-up is, it even asks the question: is construction a single industry? This book will change the way most readers understand the ‘construction industry’, whatever that may be, not from the point of view of visible on-site activities, but through a scientific approach to analysis and understanding of how projects, firms and various sectors of the industry work and how things are changing and may continue to change in future. It is essential reading for students and researchers in construction management, quantity surveying, architecture and engineering.

    1. Describing construction, Rick Best and Jim Meikle 2. Construction products and producers: one industry, or several?, Jim Meikle and Gerard de Valence. 3. Output and employment in australian built environment industries 2007-2019, Gerard de Valence. 4. Education for collaboration in construction: challenges for universities and institutions, John Connaughton. 5. A guide to construction contracting, Mark Hackett. 6. Construction project procurement: a critical review, Steve Rowlinson. 7. Estimating challenges in the digital era, Pat O'Donnell and Inna Kolyshkina. 8. Defining and describing construction in developing countries, George Ofori. 9. Transforming the construction firm?, Hedley Smyth. 10. The measurement and characteristics of construction firms in theory and practice, Gerard de Valence. 11. Using financial concepts to understand failing construction contractors, Alex Murray and Alexandr Kulakov. 12. The race to the future for the construction sector, Roger Flanagan.


    Rick Best is an Honorary Adjunct Associate Professor of Construction Management and Economics at Bond University. He has produced numerous book chapters and papers over a 25-year career as an academic as well as co-edited five books and co-authored one quantity surveying textbook. His research in recent years focused on the problems associated with making valid comparisons of construction industries across countries, and he contributed to the development of the most recent construction data collection project within the International Comparison Program.

    Jim Meikle retired as a partner of Davis Langdon LLP in 2005 and, since then, has worked as an independent consultant with UK government departments and agencies, foreign governments, international organisations including the EU, the World Bank and the African Development Bank, and private clients. His main interests are international comparisons construction industry policy, construction data and international comparisons.

    "For those who are unaware of or daunted by the complexities of the construction industries, these well-known authors provide a both useful and serious introduction to the field." - Jan Bröchner, Chalmers University of Technology, Sweden