Document Type

Conference Paper


Available under a Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial Share Alike 4.0 International Licence


Civil engineering, Business and Management.

Publication Details

Seriki, O and Murphy, R (2018) A Comparative Analysis of Key Elements of the Strategic Decision-Making Process across Construction Professional Services Firms: Evidence from the Irish Construction Industry In: Gorse, C and Neilson, C J (Eds) Proceeding of the 34th Annual ARCOM Conference, 3-5 September 2018, Belfast, UK, Association of Researchers in Construction Management, 229-238.


The Irish construction industry is experiencing a well-established growth phase following a prolonged recession. While the economic impact has been well documented, there remains less emphasis on discipline-specific studies pertaining to strategy within construction firms in Ireland. Additionally, evidence regarding strategic management within the construction sector is predominantly concentrated on contracting organisations, with less emphasis on highly knowledge-intensive professional service firms (PSFs). As the construction sector in Ireland continues its sustained growth, there have been increased calls within the industry for further collaboration between key stakeholders. However, exploring collaboration within project-centric firms without understanding the individual strategic decision-making processes within them may be problematic. In the construction industry in particular, collaboration needs to be integrated into the overall strategy of individual stakeholders to be effective. Therefore, this study reports a unique insight pertaining to the strategic choices and characteristics of the decision-making process within consultant engineering (CE) and Quantity Surveying (QS) practices in Ireland as part of an ongoing study. The paper reports on findings from the first phase of a two-stage data collection, namely a widespread surveying of QS and Consultant Engineering practices in Ireland. The study provides two specific contributions. First, it adds to the body of knowledge by identifying key considerations in the strategic decisionmaking process within the context of highly knowledge intensive firms in a turbulent construction sector environment. Secondly, it addresses the recommendations of earlier studies about the need for cross-profession comparative analysis within PSFs, by comparing the process across two key disciplines within a significantly changed industry. The findings of the study contribute current insights into the state of competitive strategy and decision-making in the highly turbulent construction environment in Ireland.



Technological University of Dublin