Understanding critical variables contributing to competitive advantages of international high-speed railway contractors

    Yanliang Niu Affiliation
    ; Xiaopeng Deng Affiliation
    ; Limao Zhang Affiliation
    ; Xiaochen Duan Affiliation


This article is devoted to identifying and explaining the critical variables contributing to competitive advantages in international High-Speed Railway (HSR) projects from the contractor’s perspective. A total of 24 variables were identified by the literature review and a pilot study. An international questionnaire survey was performed to obtain professional opinions from both practitioners and the academy. The 24 variables were ranked and clustered into 6 factors using exploratory factor analysis. Furthermore, a case study of the Early Train Operator project of the California HSR was carried out by the survey, interview, and first-hand data. The results indicated that the top six ranked variables are (1) None Accident History, (2) Eligibility & International Criteria, (3) Contract Reputation, (4) Marketing Strategy, (5) Risk Management Capability, and (6) Technical Responsiveness. Furthermore, the 24 variables are grouped into six dimensions: Glocalization, Marketing, Safety, Economics, Technology, and Responsibility. The case study indicated that the factor framework was suitable and tractable for the application. The findings of this paper could (1) assist international HSR contractors in obtaining a better understanding of the deeper determinates of competitive advantages and (2) serve as a valuable reference for developing their competitive advantages in the international HSR market.

Keyword : international project, high-speed railway, competitive advantages, critical variable, surveys, factor analysis, case study

How to Cite
Niu, Y., Deng, X., Zhang, L., & Duan, X. (2019). Understanding critical variables contributing to competitive advantages of international high-speed railway contractors. Journal of Civil Engineering and Management, 25(2), 184-202.
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Feb 26, 2019
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This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.


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