nding when ECs performance is evaluated.

3. Motivation and Methodology

In analysing performance construct among emerging contractors in South Africa, one finds various opinions upon which the construct is understood. This becomes a problem facing the sector and how ECs could be assisted if there is no common understanding becomes a challenge. This article highlights that any attempt to influence ECs’ performance should engage all stakeholders and gauges a thorough understanding of their understanding of the performance construct. Otherwise, the issue of ECs’ performance would destine to perpetuate unless research is undertaken that examines the business assistance realities of EC executives and stakeholders to better understand those experiences from the perspective of their understanding and abilities.

The population of this research was drawn from the ECs and stakeholders of the construction industry in Gauteng province. Although Gauteng province is the smallest of the nine provinces, it has the highest concentration of construction works in South Africa. Judgemental sampling technique was adopted in choosing key informants, predominantly representatives of ECs, government departments, community, consultants and clients, employees, financial institutions and suppliers. The key informants were contacted as they visited various construction sites to conduct routine construction assessments. The researcher used the opportunity of working on construction sites to conduct in-depth interviews with the executives who provided their perspectives on the performance construct. An interview guide was the instrument used to collect primary data for the study.

4. Analyses of Results

Based on the in-depth interviews conducted with key informants, the key attributes on performance construct that emerged are summarised in Table 2. The table helped to identify the common attributes that are perceived by EC executives and stakeholders as they relate to performance construct. The results are presented in columns where each column represents the common performance attributes as they are perceived by representatives from each category of stakeholders. The results demonstrate that EC owners have own perspectives about performance attributes while stakeholders have different perspectives. EC owners focus mainly on financial and non- financial attributes that include profit, revenue, return on investment, return on sales and return on equity while stakeholders such as clients focus on attributes that relate to expected quality, delivery time and costs of the project. The results suggest no unique characteristics that exist regarding performance construct as it is understood by ECs and stakeholders.

5. Conclusion and Recommendations

From the preceding analysis, the first unique feature to define “performance” is the ability by ECs to consider performance focusing on stakeholder interest which would translate both traditional and non-traditional measures into the definition. Stakeholder interest should be considered as the outcome ECs strive to achieve. [30] note that in construction, performance is evaluated by stakeholders’ value judgments and is, thus, framed by their values, experience, and expectations rather than traditional performance factor targets alone.

In order for stakeholders’ satisfaction to be achieved, ECs should coordinate resources and activities appropriately in line with the resource based theory.

The EC owners should be motivated by intrinsic and extrinsic factors in order to satisfy stakeholders through appropriate coordination of resources and activities. Intrinsic factors arise from the performance of doing business itself (these include whether the business is profitable and challenging) while extrinsic factors fall outside doing business, and usually include government incentives, enabling environment that accrue to the EC owners.

Enabling culture would allow permeation and sharing of information between ECs and stakeholders that would result in the satisfaction of both parties.

From the preceding discussion this paper contributes by proposing the following “performance” definition for ECs in the construction industry in South Africa. “Performance is a phenomenon consisting of a set of attributes focusing on ECs’ stakeholders satisfaction provided in a culture that motivates the EC owners to coordinate resources and activities”. By defining ECs performance this way, the unique features that come out

Table 2. Summarised results on performance attributes.

of the definition are clearly identified and including:

・ Attributes relate to all measurable that emerge from different stakeholders interacting with ECs businesses;

・ Stakeholders refer to all individuals and organisations that can affect or are affected by ECs businesses (refer Table 2);

・ Satisfaction relates to the achievement of stakeholders’ expected attributes by ECs.

・ An enabling culture refers to acceptable values that would enable ECs to execute business operations in a sustainable manner, while;

・ Motivation refers to the factors that would induce the ECs to continue coordinating resources and activities in order to satisfy stakeholders.

In conclusion, performance will always remain a contested construct, however, considering regular changes taking place in the South African construction industry which impact on our understanding of ECs performance and based on the changes, there is need to continue revising and reminding ourselves of “what constitutes performance in the construction industry in relation to ECs?”

The definition proposed in this paper is based on the reviewed literature and key informants interviewed in Gauteng province of South Africa. This limits the understanding of performance construct and a national exercise would bring richer understanding of the construct.


  1. Ofori, G. (1990) The Construction Industry: Aspects of Its Economics and Management. Singapore University Press, Singapore.
  2. Dlungwana, W.S. and Rwelamila, P.D. (2005) Contractor Development Models for Promoting Sustainable Building― A Case for Developing Management Capabilities of Contractors. Proceedings of the 2005 World Sustainable Building Conference, Tokyo, 27-29 September 2005, 4208-4215.
  3. Windapo, A. and Cattell, K. (2011) Research Report: Mapping the Path to Becoming a Grade 9 Contractor. University of Cape Town, Cape Town.
  4. Hauptfleisch, D., Lazarus, S., Knoetze, T. and Liebenberg, S. (2007) An Integrated Emerging Contractor Development Model for the Construction Industry: Practical Implementation and Statistical Quantification. http://researchspace.Csir.co.za/dspace/bitstream/10204/1850/1/Hauptfleisch_2007
  5. Buys, F. and Ludwaba, D. (2012) The Potential of Built-Environment Professionals’ Contribution towards Emerging Contractor Development. ACTA Structilia, 19, 74-89
  6. Kaplan, R.S. and Norton, D.P. (1992) The Balanced Scorecard Measures That Drive Performance. Havard Business Review, 70, 71-79. https://hbr.org/2005/07/the-balanced-scorecard-measures-that-drive-performance
  7. Greyling, E. (2012) Opportunities for Employment Creation through SME Development in the Construction Sector, Free State. International Labour Organisation, Pretoria.
  8. MAIA Intelligence (2009) KPIs for Construction Industry. http://maia-intelligence.com/kpis-for-construction-industry/
  9. Hancott, D.E. (2005) The Relationship between Transformational Leadership and Organisational Performance in the Largest Public Companies in Canada. Doctoral Dissertation. Capella University, Minneapolis.
  10. Akbaba, A. (2012) Business Performance of Small Tourism Enterprises: A Comparison among Three Sub-Sectors of the Industry. An International Journal of Tourism and Hospitality Research, 23, 177-195. http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/13032917.2012.662907
  11. Reijonen, H. and Komppula, R. (2007) Perception of Success and Its Effect on Small Firm Performance. Journal of Small Business and Enterprise Development, 14, 689-701. http://dx.doi.org/10.1108/14626000710832776
  12. Venkatraman, N. and Ramanujam, V. (1986) Measurement of Business Performance in Strategy Research: A Comparison of Approaches. Academy of Management Review, 11, 801-814.
  13. Murphy, G.B., Trailer, J.W. and Hill, R.C. (1996) Measuring Performance in Entrepreneurship Research. Journal of Business Research, 36, 15-23. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/0148-2963(95)00159-X
  14. Thomas, S.N., Palaneeswaran, E. and Kumaraswamy, M.M. (2002) A Dynamic E-Reporting System for Contractors’ Performance Appraisal. Advances in Engineering Software, 33, 339-349. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/S0965-9978(02)00042-X
  15. Keats, B.W. and Bracker, J.S. (1988) Toward a Theory of Small Firm Performance: A Conceptual Model. American Journal of Small Business, 12, 41-58.
  16. Santos, J.B. and Brito, L.A. (2012) Towards a Subjective Measurement Model for Firm Performance. Brazilian Administration Review, 9, 95-117. http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/S1807-76922012000500007
  17. Cameron, K. (1986) A Study of Organizational Effectiveness and Its Predictors. Management Science, 32, 87-112. http://dx.doi.org/10.1287/mnsc.32.1.87
  18. Cho, H. and Pucik, V. (2005) Relationship between Innovativeness, Quality, Growth, Profitability and Market Value. Strategic Management Journal, 26, 555-575. http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/smj.461
  19. Glick, W.H., Washburn, N.T. and Miller, C.C. (2005) The Myth of Firm Performance. Proceedings of the Annual Meeting of American Academy of Management, Honolulu, 5-10 August 2005.
  20. Kagioglou, M., Cooper, R. and Aouad, G. (2001) Performance Management in Construction: A Conceptual Framework. Construction Management and Economics, 19, 85-95. http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/01446190010003425
  21. Faridi, A. and El-Sayegh, S. (2006) Significant Factors Causing Delay in the UAE Construction Industry. Construction Management and Economics, 24, 1167-1176. http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/01446190600827033
  22. Kotler, P. and Keller, K.L. (2006) Marketing Management. 12th Edition, Pearson Prentice Hall, Upper Saddle River.
  23. Marx, H.J. (2012) Construction Industry Indicators Affecting Contractors. Journal for the Advancement of Performance Information and Value, 4, 119-132.
  24. Brush, C.G. and Vanderwerf, P. (1992) A Comparison of Methods and Sources of Obtaining Estimates of New Venture Performance. Journal of Business Venturing, 7, 157-170. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/0883-9026(92)90010-O
  25. Wickham, P.A. (2001) Strategic Entrepreneurship: A Decision-Making Approach to New Venture Creation and Management. 2nd Edition, Financial Times/Prentice Hall, London.
  26. Luk, S.T.K. (1996) Success in Hong Kong: Factors Self-Reported by Successful Small Business Owners. Journal of Small Business Management, 34, 68-74.
  27. Harter, J.K., Schmidt, F.L. and Hayes, T. (2002) Business Unit Level Relationship between Employee Satisfaction: A Meta-Analysis. Journal of Applied Psychology, 87, 268-279. http://dx.doi.org/10.1037/0021-9010.87.2.268
  28. Chakravarthy, B.S. (1986) Measuring Strategic Performance. Strategic Management Journal, 7, 437-458. http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/smj.4250070505
  29. Waddock, S.A. and Graves, S.B. (1997) The Corporate Performance―Financial Performance Link. Strategic Management Journal, 18, 303-319. http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/(SICI)1097-0266(199704)18:4<303::AID-SMJ869>3.3.CO;2-7
  30. Liu, A.M.M. and Walker, A. (1998) Evaluation of Project Outcomes. Construction Management and Economics, 16, 209-219. http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/014461998372493

Journal Menu >>