Harmony and Profit in SMEs: The Possibilities and Limitations of Building Partnerships

C. L. Davey, D. J. Lowe*, A. R. Duff

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


This paper aims to identify opportunities to assist small and medium sized construction companies work in partnership with clients and increase their effectiveness through the exploitation of communication procedures and technologies. A review of the literature highlighted the importance of partnering approaches. The results showed that small and medium construction companies who participated in the research were reluctant to work for main contractors, but welcomed opportunities to work with and form partnerships with blue chip companies and public sector clients. Construction companies were concerned that the continued use of competitive tendering to establish project partners would undermine the process by preventing them from contributing to the design stage and by rewarding firms who submit low bids, only to claw back profit later. They also objected to being denied opportunities to continue working with clients with whom they had established a strong relationship and understanding of the service required. A strategic partnership combined with involvement in an action learn set prompted one medium sized construction company to produce a detailed report about the management of maintenance defects. We plan to run workshops to promote good practice concerning the management of maintenance defects and the introduction of new technologies.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProfitable Partnering in Construction Procurement
PublisherCRC Press
Number of pages7
ISBN (Print)9781135804602
Publication statusPublished - 2003


  • Action research
  • Construction
  • Partnering
  • Workshops

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Arts and Humanities


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