PROCUREMENT OF BUILDING SERVICE

SUBCONTRACTORS IN U.A.E.: AN
EVALUATION OF SUBJECTIVE FACTORS
FOR PREQUALIFICATION CRITERIA




SHIJO JOSEPH VADAKKEKUNNEL
H00021529



A dissertation submitted in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the
degree of
MSc in Construction Project Management


Dissertation Supervisor: Dr. Grant B. Wright





Heriot-Watt University
School of the Built Environment
August 2011



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DECLARATION

I, Shijo Joseph Vadakkekunnel, confirm that this work submitted for assessment is my
own and is expressed in my own words. Any uses made within it of the works of other
authors in any form (e.g. ideas, equations, figures, text, tables, programmes) are
properly acknowledged at the point of their use. A full list of the references employed
has been included.

Signed: …………………………….
11
th
August, 2011
Date: ……………………………....




















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List of Contents

Declaration ii
List of Contents iii
List of Tables & Figures vi
Acknowledgements vii
Abstract viii
Glossary ix

1.0 Introduction 10
1.1. Rationale for the Study 10
1.2. Aims 11
1.3. Objectives 11
1.4. Outline Methodology 12
1.5. Structure of the Paper 12
2.0 Literature review 14
2.1 Subcontracting in Construction Supply chain management 14
2.1.1 Supply chain management in construction 14
2.1.2 Subcontracting in construction supply chain 15
2.1.3 Advantages of subcontracting 17
2.1.4 Risks of subcontracting 17
2.1.5 Summary 19
2.2 Procurement of Building Service Subcontractors 20
2.2.1 Understanding the role of Building Service Subcontractors
in construction 20
2.2.2 Procurement of Building service subcontractor 20
2.2.3 Nominating Building Service Sub contractors 23
2.2.4 Shortcomings to current selection practises of building
service subcontractor 25
2.2.5 Summary 26
2.3 Prequalification of Building Service subcontractors in UAE 26
2.3.1 Understanding Prequalification of subcontractors 26
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2.3.2 Factors affecting selection of prequalification criteria 27
2.3.3 Current Subcontractor selection models 28
2.3.4 Subjective Factors for Prequalification to procure
building service subcontractors in UAE 30
2.3.5 Summary 37
3.0 Research Methods 38
3.1 Research Process 38
3.2 Literature Review 40
3.3 Design of Questionnaire 40
3.4 Sampling of Respondents 41
3.5 Data Analysis & Recommendations 41
4.0 Data Collection and Analysis 42
4.1 Purpose of the survey 42
4.2 Responses to the Survey 42
4.3 Establishing Expertise and Knowledge of the Respondent 43
4.4 Establishing Company Profile and their Current Practises 45
4.5 Establishing Current Working Practises of the Company 47
4.6 Assessment of Factors for Prequalification Criteria 53
4.6.1 Rating Priority for Factors of Prequalification Criteria 53
4.6.2 Respondent’s Comment on the Subjective Factors for
Subcontractor Prequalification 55
4.6.3 Negative Implication of Improper consideration of the
Subjective Factors for Building Service Subcontractor
Prequalification 61
4.7 Discussion on the Subjective Factor for Building Service
Subcontractor Prequalification 63
4.8 Summary 67
5.0 Conclusion and Recommendations 69
5.1 Analysis of subcontracting practise in supply chain management
and study of their merits & challenges 69
5.2 Examining the role of building service subcontractor and their
procurement process 69
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5.3 Analysis of the Prequalification Criteria of BSC and the various
subcontractor selection models. 70
5.4 Evaluation of Subjective factors for prequalification criteria to
select the BSC 71
5.5 Recommendations 71
5.6 Limitation of Research 72
5.7 Recommendation for Future Research 73

Bibliography 74

Appendices
1. Appendix A – Covering Letter to Questionnaire Participants
2. Appendix B –Online Questionnaires
3. Appendix C – Surveyor’s Response to Questionnaire
4. Appendix D – Surveyor’s Response Analysis


















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List of Tables & Figures Page
Table 1 - Risks in Prime contractor and subcontractor relationships 19
Table 2 - Prequalification Subcontractor Selection Models 30
Table 3 – Rating of Factors for Prequalification of Building Service
Subcontractor 54
Table 4 –Respondent explanation of ratings provided 56
Table 5 – Rating of Factors for Prequalification of Building Service
Subcontractor with variance 63
Table 6 – Standard Deviation in Surveyor’s responses to ratings 66
Table 7- Ranking of factors for prequalification criteria 70
Figure 1 – Building Service Subcontracting Procurement through competitive
tendering 21
Figure 2 - Procurement process of SC 23
Figure 3 – Subcontractor evaluation process 28
Figure 4 - Research Process 39
Figure 5 - Experience of Respondents 43
Figure 6 - Professional Roles of the Respondent 44
Figure 7 – Type of services 45
Figure 8– Type of projects executed by the company 46
Figure 9– Number of Employees in the company 47
Figure 10– Subcontracting practises with building service specialists 48
Figure 11– Exclusion of materials from the scope of works 49
Figure 12– Satisfaction of the current procurement practises by the respondent
with his organization 49
Figure 13– Nomination of building service subcontractors 50
Figure 14– Establishment of Procurement Route 51
Figure 15– Pricing mechanism established with the building service subcontractor 52
Figure 16– Average Value of Contracts (in Million AED) 52
Figure 17– Bar Chart of mean scores for factors of the prequalification criteria 55
Figure 18- Negative Implication of Improper consideration of the Subjective
Factors for Building Service Subcontractor Prequalification 62
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Acknowledgements
I would first and foremost like to offer my appreciation to Dr. Grant B. Wright, who has
offered me guidance, support and enthusiasm over the previous months. I would like to
express my deep appreciation and gratitude to the Heriot-Watt University staff who
gave me the necessary support during my postgraduate studies till completing this
research successfully.
Also I would like to thank my classmates and my friends for their continual support and
optimism throughout the process of completing this dissertation.
I extend my gratitude to my parents and the family for their continuous moral support
and encouragement during the different stages of my education.
I give special thanks to all those who have participated in this survey and especially Mr.
Harikrishnan S., Mr. Nathan Wiles, Mr.Suresh Pillai, Mr. M. Shareef, Mr.David
Fulham, Mr.Harry Downie, Mr.Ian Traynor & Mr.Robert Hartle for helping me finish
my objective. I hope that this research shall promote best practises for procurement of
subcontractors at U.A.E. and abroad.















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Abstract

The practise of subcontracting building service works in a booming construction sector
at U.A.E. is a commonly adopted strategy. The complexity and relative importance of
building services in the construction makes it important factor to adopt appropriate
strategies to procure building service subcontractors. Realizing the importance of the
building service subcontractors, the selection and appointment of building service sub
contractor has often been procured in consultation with the client and the contractor
through nominated sub contractor provision within the FIDIC contract. However, the
selection of the building service sub contractor cannot be based merely on the basis of
tender cost alone but also depends on the various factors that may have an influence
upon the project performance. The subjective evaluation of the building service
subcontractors for prequalification proves it to be a determinant factor for the project
success. The dissertation investigates the factors considered for prequalification criteria
to select building service subcontractors in the U.A.E. construction sector. An overview
of the general procurement processes, with attendant repercussions for subcontractor
procurement in terms of supply chain management in general is established. The
investigation was carried out by surveying the lead construction professionals in the
U.A.E. The results of the online survey found that the respondents agreed with the need
for better prequalification process which had lead significant losses of performance in
construction due to the improper consideration of the prequalification criteria. The
research completes with the rating and ranking the subjective factors of prequalification
criteria.










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Glossary

FIDIC: International Federation of Consulting Engineers
Building Service: MEP (Mechanical Electrical & Plumbing) /
Electromechanical
Consultant: Architect or Engineer
AED: United Arab Emirates Dirham
Employer: Client / Owner
PC: Prime Contractor / Main Contractor / General Contractor
PQC: Prequalification Criteria
BSC: Building Service Subcontractor
NSC: Nominated Subcontractor
UAE: United Arab Emirates
DSS Decision Support System
H & S Health & Safety








1.0. Introduction

The performance of delivering successful construction project lies with the choice of the
best subcontractors in the construction industry. The establishment of the
prequalification criteria for the subjective evaluation of the subcontractor is critical for
the selection of the competent subcontractor. This dissertation will research on the
process of subcontractor selection through prequalification in terms of investigating the
best consideration of the subjective factors and the problems associated with it. The
study will seek the best practises to improve the selection of subcontractors through
prequalification in the UAE.

1.1. Rationale for the Study
Building services typically account for 25-35% of the capital value of a large
commercial scheme and their design and installation often sit directly on its critical path
(Building, 2007). On some specialist projects, such as collocation centers or clean
rooms, the value of the services component can exceed 75% and requirements for total
system reliability place huge demands on the ability of the services team to deliver. The
importance and value of building service are of high value towards the project
realization. Moreover, project life cycles are shortening, more new complex
technologies are being introduced at a quicker pace, clients are becoming more
demanding and further, and companies are attempting to improve the project
performance. As a result of these dynamics, and with the increasing complexity through
globalisation, building services is becoming more of a risk and as a result has assumed a
significantly higher position within a company's agenda, or if it isn't, it certainly should
be (Proffitt, 2007).
The majority of the building service works are carried out by subcontractors. The high
costs for the building service works relatively proves it essential to procure their service
at the best value without compromising the subjective elements of quality, expertise and
competence of the building service subcontractor (Ng & Skitmore, 1999; Arditi &
Chotibhongs, 2005; Tserng & Lin, 2002). The complexity in controlling the BSC and
their high priority in the project success factors had called for appropriate strategic
measures to choose the best specialists for the job (Holt et al., 1993; Ng et al., 2008).
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However, the selection of the building service subcontractor persists to be reliant on the
cost at U.A.E. Appointing the subcontractor with the lowest tender sum is found to be
performing poorly in the performance of the construction project (Banaitienė &
Banaitis, 2006). Therefore, BSC selection process should also practise evaluation of the
BSC performance.
The current development of decision support systems have brought in new models using
neural networks employing artificial intelligence techniques like fuzzy logics to
replicate the decisions made by human. However, the factors considered for the
prequalification criteria remains unstudied within the building service sector for the
U.A.E. The construction service industries in U.A.E. have been facing myriad
challenges due to the lack of the expertise of the domestic building specialists. Faced
with the risk of poor quality of workmanship, requirements for resources, expertise in
design and installation of specialist systems; the grading of subjective factors to qualify
the BSC is essential to help decide using the decision support systems and neural
networks models which combines the cost and performance element of the bidding
contractor. The priority in consideration of factor proves critical to the overall success
of subjective evaluation of the subcontractor.

1.2. Aims
This study aims to critically analyse the procurement practises of subcontractor
selection and provide a set of recommendations for construction professionals that will
improve the practice of procurement of subcontractors through appropriate selection of
prequalification criteria in the U.A.E.


1.3. Objectives
The objectives are to
1. Determine and analyse the practise of subcontracting in supply chain
management and identify the merits and the challenges posed by subcontracting
to achieve the project success factors.
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2. To examine the role of building service subcontractors in construction and study
the processes of procuring the building service subcontractors.
3. To study the criteria for qualifying building service subcontractors and identify
the various multiple criteria evaluation models for prequalification.
4. To gather information on the practises of building service SC prequalification
criteria from professionals in the construction industry with varying
experiences and roles within the U.A.E.
5. To evaluate the subjective factors for prequalification criteria to select the
building service subcontractor.

1.4. Outline Methodology
This research paper will extensively review the literature; investigate the current
practises into procuring subcontractors in the construction sector. This research will also
identify the present multiple criteria evaluation models developed for selecting SC
while outlining the BSC selection in the process. The research will be carried out based
on the literature obtained from academic and professional publications along with a web
based survey. The online survey shall investigate the practises and the surveyors shall
be asked to review the prequalification criteria. This study will form the basis to
determine a conclusion and future recommendations.

1.5. Structure of the Paper
Chapter 1 provides an introduction to the research paper on the setting out of the aim,
objectives and the rationale for the research.
Chapter 2.1. will undertake a literature review to determine the construction supply
chain and will discuss subcontracting as a part of supply chain management in depth.
Further, it will determine the importance of the subcontracting in construction industry.
Finally it will analyse the risks associated with subcontracting in the construction
industry.
Chapter 2.2. will undergo a literature review to investigate the role of the building
service within the construction supply chain. The process of procuring subcontractors
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will be evaluated and it will discuss the SC nomination within the construction supply
chain. The shortcomings to the current SC selection practises will be discussed
Chapter 2.3. will carry out a literature review to analyse the current SC prequalification
practise within the construction supply chain. An evaluation of the various multiple
criteria evaluation models will be discussed. Further, an in-depth study of the various
subjective factors for prequalification criteria will be carried out.
Chapter 3 will determine in detail, present the research methodologies and its design in
order to achieve the set of objectives and establish a framework for developmental
research.
Chapter 4 will review the primary data gathered from research through the means of
online questionnaire and will analyse the results in comparison to the literature study.
The analysis will examine the subjective factors for prequalification of BSC in U.A.E.
construction sector.
Chapter 5 will present a conclusion from the results of the data analysis in chapter 4.
Also recommendations and possible further research will be discussed to ensure that all
future construction projects takes advantage of the opportunities available by using the
recommended criteria for BSC selection.











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2.0. Literature Review

2.1. Subcontracting in Construction Supply chain management
This section 2.1 will study in detail the concept of subcontracting and their role in
supply chain management. At first, an analysis is made into defining supply chain
management and their relevance in the construction industry, and their relevance with
the construction sector will be established. Further, this chapter will discuss the practise
of subcontracting in relation to the supply chain management concepts. The results
obtained will form the basis for a critical analysis of current trends and theories
providing an insight into current subcontracting procurement practises. The merits of
subcontracting and their risk associated with subcontracting will be identified and
analysed

2.1.1. Supply chain management in construction
Construction is an industry which is based on project based manufacturing where the
contractors build at the site. Being a mutli- skilled industry, there is an involvement of
large number of contractors who are specialized in their own fields. In the construction
industry, the client initiates the project and basic design is prepared with the help of
consultants and designers. The contractor realizes the project into actual by employing
various skilled employees and organizations. With time, the construction industry has
evolving into a much complicated scenario where the projects have to be completed
within the least time and cost and without compromising quality. Overtime, the prime
contractor who is employed by the client has now been acting the role of management
contractor who divides the project into various tasks. These tasks are assigned to those
organizations that are specialized and competent in their respective fields. Thus
construction project are witnessing many ‘temporary multiple organizations’ as stated
by Cherns and Bryant. (Kornelius & Wamelink, 1998)
A special management element in construction project management has evolved
through the lessons learned from the management industry for the delivery of project at
better performance. This element is known as supply chain management. Supply chain
management was initially inspired from the Japanese manufacturing industry who
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adopted managing the multi level organization using keiretsu which involves the
business as a cohort and relies on cooperation, coordination, and control to
competitively position businesses and industry norms (Benton & McHenry, 2010).
Researchers from the U.S.A. introduced these management techniques into the western
world and adapted it to suit their conditions and coined it as supply chain management.
Supply chain management is constituted with the process and strategic coordination of
the various multi level organizations which involves the prime contractors, design
consultants, architects, material suppliers, subcontractors, , and information within the
supply chain to deliver employer satisfaction for the project. Because of the differing
interests and objectives by various level parties with the supply chain which has been
conventionally driven by self-profitability, the objective of supply chain management
involves optimising the synergistic relationships within the supply chain to ultimately
improve the performance of the project or in short to satisfy the client. The conception
evolves from the supply chain where it is controlled as a single entity instead of a
synergism of independent transactional relationships. The final result expected is a
mutually beneficial, win-win partnership that creates a synergistic supply chain in which
the entire chain is more efficient than the sum of its independent parts (Benton &
McHenry, 2010). Integration in a supply chain has been defined at three different levels
which include the co-operation, co-ordination and collaboration. They rely on trust,
flow of information, cash flow, and delivery to lower organizational barriers needed to
improve integration (Christopher, 1992; Levy et al., 1995; Spekman et al., 1998 via
(BRISCO et al., 2004))
Each company in the supply chain obtains its own profitability and success by creating
customer value in terms of a functional, high-quality project at an acceptable price.
Each organization within the supply chain can reduce its own costs and increase its
project performance through supply chain management, thereby enabling the supply
chain to deliver value to the project owner. The satisfied project owner in turn rewards
the supply chain with loyal contracting power, allowing profitability to be transferred
back down throughout the supply chain. This in turn fosters further supply chain
integration and responsiveness, causing the cycle to repeat. (Benton & McHenry, 2010)


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2.1.2. Subcontracting in construction supply chain
The subcontract is a contract between the prime contractor and a lower tiered contractor.
Depending on the complexity of the project, subcontractors may also be held liable for
some or all of the provisions in the prime contract that are incorporated by reference to
the subcontract. (Benton & McHenry, 2010). Subcontracting on a broader spectrum is
about large contracts to do large amounts of work. For example in the construction
industry, contractors will subcontract different segments of their works like the painting,
electrical installations, heating and ventilation, masonry, cladding, floor screed etc. The
advantages reaped from subcontracting the works includes from risk transfer to improve
cash flows. Hence, many of the responsibilities of building are passed over to the SC. In
short, subcontracting is contracting an organization to do what the prime contractor
want, or don't want, to do within the business.
Unlike the purchasing of materials in a supply chain by the members of the supply
chain, the subcontracting tends to be more complex. This is due to the complex
relationship between the prime contractor and the SC. The selection of SC based on the
technical specifications build by the project sponsor and the prime contractor need not
be fully developed. The project owner initially seeks to source technical expertise that
will evolve into the desired specified structure or service. Considering the dollar value
and complexity of some construction-related subcontracts, the successful project owner
and prime contractor will spare no effort to ensure that the very best subcontract source
is selected. In routine materials purchasing, if a selected source fails to perform, the
materials supplier’s contract can easily be cancelled. (Benton & McHenry, 2010).
In a supply chain, there exist various levels of subcontracting arrangements which need
not always between the prime contractor and the SC. Edum-Forwe et al. (1999)
classified subcontract arrangements as follows.
• Subcontract arrangements between the PC and subcontractors and on the
initiative of the client, as in the case of nominated subcontractors for specialist
work.
• Subcontract arrangements between the employer and SC.
• Subcontract arrangements between subcontractors and sub-subcontractors on the
initiative of the PC.
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• Subcontract arrangements between subcontractors and sub-subcontractors on the
initiative of the SC.
With the multiple levels of subcontracting existing within the supply chain, the
management of subcontracting is critical to successful project completion.

2.1.3. Advantages of subcontracting
It's not a secret that subcontracting building works is benefiting a number of contractors
globally. Reports from Gray & Flanagan (1989) shows that 90% of the building works
in construction are subcontracted
There are many advantages of subcontracting their works. Firstly, all the contractors do
not have the expertise or the required resources for every installation and building
works. Hence they subcontract their works to contractors who are competent in the
particular field of works. This helps the contractor to overcome problems caused by the
need for special expertise and shortage in resources (Elazouni & Metwally, 2000) cited
via (El-Mashaleh, 2009). The shortage of resources may be due to the lack of extensive
operations from the PC to employ full time skilled personnel for various jobs in each
specialization (Arditi & Chotibhongs, 2005). Moreover, most of the projects are not
always alike and usually have their own uniqueness. Arditi & Chotibhongs (2005) finds
that subcontracting optimises the utilisation of resources available. Competent
contractors can improve the project performance with reduced cost, lesser time and
better quality. It capitalizes on the skills of trade specialists and copes with the
fluctuating construction demand (Ng et al., 2008). Subcontracting has also been
practised to improve the cash flow within the company so that negative cash flow may
be minimised and hence the risks due to credit liability may be reduced. Thus prime
contractors with lesser capital may begin the works with lesser investment.
The other advantages of employing subcontractors are that it gives an opportunity for
prime contractors to employ lesser workforce in construction projects thereby
promoting the contractor to focus more on its specialization.



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2.1.4. Risks of Subcontracting
Today, with the large percentage of works being subcontracted, there has been a
significant reduction in the complexity of the works undertaken by the prime
contractors. The complexities of the works are transferred downstream by hiring
subcontractors. Hence, there has been a change in the strategy of the integrated supply
chain management from the traditional supply chain models. While construction supply
chain relationship has been discussed in the earlier sections, there are many inherent
risks associated with subcontracting. Saad & Jones finds that the weaker link within the
construction supply chain is the downstream where lays a large opportunity for
improvement (Saad & Jones, 1999) .The focuses on improving operating efficiencies
have been downstream. With many benefits of subcontracting have been discussed in
the earlier sections, construction supply chain partnerships retain several inherent risks
which may have an adversarial relationship between the supply chain members and
hindering the performance of the project. One of the major risks posed by
subcontracting is that the project performance shall be highly reliant on the performance
of the SC. This might be a potential problem if the SC does not meet the required
expectations. It is also harder to control a SC by the PC in comparison to the internal
control within the organization. Thus entire partnership implementation process holds
many elements critical to the success of the relationship and several factors contribute to
success (see Table 1). In practice, overcoming the social and attitudinal barriers and
managerial practices may prove to be extremely difficult if not impossible. The most
important attitudinal factors involve cooperation, trust, and goodwill, as well as the
ability to be flexible and handle conflicts. Furthermore, attitude and shared goals are
described as success factors. Other critical success factors will include effective
performance measurement and proper establishment of boundary personnel and
procedures. Ultimate dissolution of the partnership may be necessary if the firms are
unable to successfully work through the critical steps of partnership formation or
synergies cannot be recognized (Benton & McHenry, 2010) (Malonia & Benton, 1997).



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Table 1 – Risks in Prime contractor and Subcontractor relationships (Benton &
McHenry, 2010)

Initial Strategic Analysis Phase

• Social and attitudinal barriers
• Procedural and structural barriers
SC/Supplier Evaluation and Selection Phase
• Total cost and profit benefit • Partner capabilities
• Cultural compatibility • Management compatibility
• Financial stability • Location
Project Completion Time
• Natural management support
• Communication
• Increased coordination


2.1.5. Summary
This section 2.1 defined the supply chain management and its relevance with the
construction industry. The study found that construction projects are characterised by
multiple temporary organizations and the supply chain management from the
manufacturing industry can be applied in the construction industry. The supply chain
management calls for integrating the multiple organizations within a supply chain. The
subcontracting process within the construction was studied in conjunction with the
supply chain management theory. Subcontracting helps the prime contractor to involve
deeper in the major works and leave them from free the hassles of minor risks which are
transferred to the SC. Subcontracting is found to optimise the usage of resources and
improve the cash flow with improved project performance. Subcontracting is practised
at various levels within the supply chain and were discussed in the chapter. However,
the subcontracting was found to be faced by myriad of challenges caused by the high
risk of uncertainties from the downstream. The control of subcontractors is more
complicated with multiple layers of subcontracting within the supply chain.



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2.2. Procurement of Building Service Subcontractors
This section 2.2 will study the procurement of BSC within the construction industry. At
first, an analysis of the role of building service specialist in the construction is carried
out in. The procurement of the BSC will be discussed in detail with an analysis of the
nominating the BSC in U.A.E. Finally, an insight into the shortcomings of the current
procurement practises shall be carried out.

2.2.1. Understanding the role of Building Service Subcontractors in
Construction
A building service contractor is a contracting organization within the construction
supply chain who engages in the design, installation, operation and monitoring of
activities which coincide with the mechanical and electrical required for the safe,
comfortable and environmentally friendly operation of modern buildings. They are also
are responsible for ensuring the cost-effective, environmentally sound and sustainable
design and maintenance of engineering services in buildings. The term building service
engineering is commonly used in the Canada, United Kingdom and Australia.
Services within a building that enhances the comfort, safety, security are titled as
building services. The building service engineering is involved in the interfacing of the
building with the occupant. The services include energy supply (gas , electricity and
renewable sources), heating and air conditioning, water , drainage plumbing, natural and
artificial lighting, building facades, escalators, lifts, ventilation and refrigeration,
communication lines, telephones, IT networks, security alarm systems, fire detection
and protection. (Anon., 2011).

2.2.2. Procurement of Building service Subcontractor
The procurement of building service subcontractors is a critical process within the
construction. To improve project performance, the downstream process within a supply
chain should be improved as building service enhances the safe, comfortable and
environmentally friendly operation of modern buildings. Hence, it is essential to select
the best procurement process to appoint a SC to optimise project performance.
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Traditionally, BSC were selected based on the cost alone by the process of competitive
tendering. Shash (1998) explains the model of competitive bidding where the PC invites
quotations from the subcontractors while the PC prepares his cost estimate for bidding
construction projects. The BSC submits quotations for the sublet works provided by the
bidding prime contractor. The bidding prime contractor selects the best quotation from
the BSC and bid for the project. After the contractor wins the bid, the quotations are re
evaluated for compliance with technical specifications and cost. Negotiations are made
with the prospective BSC and the BSC is appointed. Figure 1 shows the model of
competitive tendering practised traditionally in the construction industry.
However, the practise of selecting the SC on the basis of cost alone does not improve
the value. I.O.B. (1979) reported that competitive tendering in construction projects
does not necessarily achieve value for money. It was found that single stage tendering
proved to be lesser successful for procurement of contractors. The competitive low-bid
procurement process may produce poor quality of work, extensive delays in the planned
work schedule adversarial working conditions, higher number of variations from SC,
claims, dispute, litigation and cost overruns. (Ulubeyli et al., 2010). Thus two stage
tendering evolved which was found to be more successful than its predecessor. In two
stage tendering, the contractor is appointed at an early stage for lump sum contracts.







Figure 1 - Building Service Subcontracting Procurement through competitive tendering
(Shash, 1998)
The first-stage of two stage tendering involves selection of BSC from the deliverables
that includes a method statements and construction programme, detailed pricing of
preliminaries, overheads and profit. Often, the first stage may also include the


Bui l di ng Ser vi ce
Sub cont r act o r


Pr i me cont r act o r
Invit at ion t o bid
Submission of bid
Negot iat ions
Awar d of subcont r act
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competitive tendering of work packages, together with lump sums for pre-contract
services, engineering costs, risk margins for the works that are not provided in the
second stage (Rawlinson, 2006). During the first stage, the preferred BSC are also
selected by joint consultation with the employer and the contractor. The second stage,
which is also the final stage, is typically the negotiations between the prime contractor
and the employer for appointing the preferred BSC based on competition.
The selection of BSC may be based on the joint consultation by the employer allowing
the employer to be more deeply involved. In this process, BSC are shortlisted from a set
of predetermined criteria which is known as prequalification. The BSC are initially
chosen by assessing the performance based on a set of criteria by the PC. This process
allows the contractors to screen lesser performing subcontractors. Moreover, the two
stage tendering gives an opportunity for the BSC with design responsibility to input
their designs (Rawlinson, 2006). This improves the build ability of the project.
However, the practise of appointing the contractor after the awarding of the prime
contractor by the employer continues to persist. This causes an adversarial relationship
with the prime contractor and the SC (Arditi & Chotibhongs, 2005).













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Figure 2 – Two stage tendering process of building service subcontractor

2.2.3. Nominating Building Service Subcontractors
The current interests by the employer to involve deeper into the construction project has
promoted the idea of nomination in the construction industry where the suppliers or
subcontractors are predetermined by the employer. To achieve maximum integration of
Pr ime cont r act or
r equest s quot at ion
f r om subcont r act or s
Pr ime cont r act or r eceives
t he t ender ing dr awings and
specif icat ions
Client in vit es b id
f r om pr ospect ive
cont r act or s
Pr ime cont r act or select s
t he quot at ions f r om
pr equalif i ed
subcont r act or s or
nominat ed subcont r act or s
Pr ime cont r act or submit s t he
t ender quot at ions wit h
mar kups f r om subcont r act or s
Pr ime cont r act or r evi ews
t ender st age SC quot at ion f or
validit y, qual if icat ions and
cost
Cont r act is
awar ded t o pr i me
cont r act or
No
New quot at ions
or best pr ice
r equir ed?
Revi ew SC qu ot at ions
and compar e w it h r at es,
allowances,
qualif icat ions
Cont r act is
awar ded
Yes
Obt ain
Quot at ions
Pur chase Or der or
Let t er of Int ent is
issued
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the supply chain team, the active involvement of the employer in the creation of
integrated teams is essential. (BRISCO et al., 2004). Nominated subcontractors are
employed when the employer executes the design for the project like in traditional
procurement. Nominated BSC are employed when
 Advice for detailed design is required in critical specialist systems (Ranns &
Ranns, 2005).
 To suit the plant and materials of the SC this needs to be matched with the
contractors existing plant and materials.
 Effective Cost Management is required.
 Delays in building service installations are to be avoided (Karnick, 2009).
 Concurrent Engineering techniques are applied to start early production (Ranns
& Ranns, 2005).
The nominated BSC usually involves contractors who are specialised and critical to the
integrity of the project. These may include electrical transformer specialists, HVAC
specialists, and lighting contractors.
To facilitate nomination of subcontractors, there exist various forms of contract that has
provisions of including them. However the employer does not have any direct control
by contractual agreement over the SC. In the U.A.E., the widely used FIDIC contract
allows the employer to nominate the SC as a variation under clause 13 of the FIDIC
contract. This allows the PC to appoint the nominated BSC without the consent of the
Engineer as stated in sub-clause 4.4(a).
The nomination of BSC may cause serious confusions and risks of adversarial
relationship with the employer and the prime contractor (Wilkie & Walker, 2002). The
lack of direct contractual agreement with the BSC by the employer causes indirect
control through the PC. The sub-clause 4.4(a) makes the PC responsible for the actions
of the subcontractor in cases of default or breach of the contract by the BSC. The faults
shall be seen as if the PC had breached the contract irrespective of the defaults by the
BSC. The employers desire for control over the BSC whilst maintaining the contractor’s
sole liability for the risks from subcontracting causes tensions to raise (Loots &
Charrett, 2009). To avoid the adversarial disputes, the sub-clause 5.2(b) and (c) of the
FIDIC contract allows the PC to object the nomination of the BSC at circumstances
when the BSC do not indemnify for its defaults or breach of contract with the PC.
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2.2.4. Shortcomings to current selection practises of building service
subcontractor
The selection of BSC has been a big challenge for the construction managers. While
Holt et al. (1995) cites various risks in contractor selection, the risks remains the same
for the selection of BSC. The lack of universal methodology in BSC selection continues
to be a hurdle in procurement. The contractor selection criteria vary with organizations.
Holt et al. (1995) finds that most of the construction professionals were not satisfied.
Construction practitioners although are satisfied with their contractor selection process,
however they are not satisfied with the performance of the contractors (Holt et al.,
1993). Latham (1994) recommended the rationalisation of prequalification within the
U.K. construction industry and he recommended the application of Decision Support
Systems using information systems. The implementation of a universal contractor
selection method will help the contractor in improving their standards from the
feedback. This will give the BSC to improve their areas of weakness and would benefit
and encourage positive performance of the contractors.
The lack of long term confidence from unqualified BSC is found to be another
drawback of the system. Employers are found to be less confident to reconsider BSC
who has lost in the prequalification process because of the lack of regular
prequalification. The prequalified BSC should be regularly reviewed so that new SC can
have the opportunity to compete. Moreover, the prequalified BSC may lose their
competence in their runtime which has to be regularly be updated. This may be due to
the loss of financial stability of the contractor, changes in the organization, etc.
Holt et al. (1993) also identified that the subjective evaluation of contractor is an art
based on the decision maker’s experience. The decision made on selection relies heavily
on the human factor rather than on actual tools (Banaitienė & Banaitis, 2006). Hence,
the selection of BSC may not be based on the quantitative techniques as the evaluations
of subjective factors are based on human perceptions. Moreover the expenses in
retrieving information for the rating of subcontractor is high, thereby employers are
prompted to procure subcontracting services on the basis of human perception skills.


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2.2.5. Summary
The section 2.2 provided an insight into the procurement practises of BSC. At first, the
role of building service subcontractors was studied dictating the importance of building
service in the construction process. Building services were found vital to improve
safety, comfort and environmentally friendly operations for modern buildings. The
building service subcontractors who performed these works were discussed and they
were procured through single stage or two stage tendering of BSC. The single stage
tendering procures BSC based on the lowest bidder. Since the performance of the BSC
are not being considered in the procurement, the second stage tendering is a more
effective method of procurement where the bidders are initially evaluated depending on
the predetermined factors for prequalification. An analysis of the nomination process of
the BSC was made, establishing the role of the client in procuring a BSC. The
involvement of client in the procurement of BSC helps in improving the build ability
and reduces the time in procurement life cycle. However, the nomination practises were
found subject to abuse where the PC may be punished due to the defaults by the
nominated BSC. The shortcomings of the current selection methods of BSC were
discussed.

2.3. Prequalification of Building Service Subcontractors in UAE
This section will discuss on the prequalification process within the construction supply
chain. A study of the various subcontractor selection models will be carried out. The
various factors considered in the prequalification for the subcontractor selection process
will be identified and explained in detail.

2.3.1. Understanding Prequalification of Subcontractors
It is an accepted fact in the construction industry that delivery the employers
expectations can only be met by contracting organization with proven expertise and
competency. Hence, the selection of a SC based on their potential is a critical factor for
achieving the required client satisfaction. The traditional method of selection of
subcontractors based on the tender sum is far being replaced by two stage tendering
where the SC is evaluated based on the subjective evaluations (Banaitienė & Banaitis,
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2006). These evaluations provide an opportunity for the employer to screen the SC
based on their competency or expertise so as to carry out the work effectively. This
process of selection by assessing various subcontractors who are each financially and
technically competent which can satisfy the employer’s needs is known as
prequalification (ST et al., 1995). The SC prequalification is compared with a set of
predetermined criteria which is known as Prequalification Criteria.
The Prequalification criteria are cited in the tender documents which will explain the
process of prequalification. European Union public procurement legislation requires
tender documents to explicitly define the prequalification criteria so as to improve
transparency and clarity in the procurement process (Ng & Skitmore, 1999).
Investigation from Banaitienė & Banaitis (2006) finds that inorder to procure a qualified
contractor, a multi criteria evaluation method must be adopted to evaluate the SC.

2.3.2. Factors affecting selection of prequalification criteria
The prequalification criteria vary with organizations and the type of the contracting
service being procured. Ng & Skitmore (1999) identified the variations for criteria as to
be attributed by the type of client or the type of the decision makers. The client criteria
play a vital role with the selection of SC (Russell & Skibniewski, 1998). The decisions
may vary with the type of client whether being a public or private sector enterprise.
Decisions made by public sector enterprise must be transparent for being accountable to
the public. Hence, the selection process is more clarity and shall be subject to the local
government regulations and the local procurement policies. However, the private sector
enterprises need not be more precise in selection of the SC as they are usually
independent in taking decisions and need not be accountable to the general public
(HOLT et al., 1995).
The criteria for selection of SC are vastly influenced by the type of decision maker who
decides upon the final winner. The decision maker need not be the employer always as
project management consultants or the architects may have a role in the selection of the
SC (Russell & Skibniewski, 1998) (Ng & Skitmore, 1999). In a case when the design
consultant has a choice to influence the decision, he may choose to go with the
contractor who has more expertise in design. Likewise, the employer may prefer to
employ contractor who have bid the contract with a lesser tender sum. Thus, the
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decision maker makes a high influence in the selection criteria depending on his
expertise, position within an organization, or the differences in their perception.

2.3.3. Current Subcontractor Selection Models
The interests in prequalifying subcontractors have introduced many SC selection models
which evaluate the subcontractors based on various criteria considered to be relatively
important for consideration. These factors were rated based on the subjective decision
of the experienced construction professionals. Figure 3 shows the process of SC
evaluation process performed by construction industry for procuring SC services.

Figure 3 – Building Service Subcontractor evaluation process

The subjective considerations such as financial position, reputation of the contractor,
resource capabilities, safety and environmental consideration are important to decide
upon the selection of the SC. The integration of Decision Support Systems (DSS) and
Expert Systems (ES) into SC rating has improved the SC selection process. These are
information systems which are designed to propose solutions for management issues.
The initial model from Albino & Gravelli (1998) proposed a neural network for
selection of SC. The neural network was based on a application case where management
Ident if y
evaluat ion
f act or s f or
pr equalif icat i
on
Evaluat e BSC
per f or mance
by r at ing
Summar ize
t he r at ings
f or BSC
per f or mance
Judge t he
r at ing
accor ding t o
exper t ise and
wit h t he
assist ance of
DSS & ES
Appoint t he
pr equalif ied
BSC
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and techinical innovations to an assembly operation in construction site. This proces
was proposed to formalize SC rating so as to reduce the expert's subjectivity. But KO et
al. (2007) criticized the neural network model by Albino as membership function and
network topology are hard to be identified. (El-Mashaleh, 2009).
Okoroh & Torrence (1999) proposed SC Performance Evaluation Model (SPEM) by
employing the Evolutionary Fuzzy Neural Inference Model (EFNIM) which synergises
Genetic Algorithm, Fuzzy Logic, and Neural Networks, proposed by Ko (2002). The
SPEM model overcomes the disadvantage of the primitive practices that includes the 1)
elimination of repeated evaluation process, 2) consideration of inter-dependency
between final scores and factors, 3) manifestation of larger impacted factors in decision
maker's perceptions, and 4) subjective evaluation of performance. This model was again
criticized by Lin & Chen (2004) citing that membership function of natural language
expression depends on the managerial perspective of the decision maker. Further, the
computation of a fuzzy weighted average is still complex and are not appreciated by
construction managers. Lin & Chen (2004) proposed a fuzzy linguistic approach which
was simpler and allows the evaluator to analyse the scores and weigh directly using
linguistic terms. Mohan and Matthews (2000) put forth an improved system for
selecting and partnering with subcontractors. That research first put all of the multiple
partnering relationships between subcontractors into a complete package to make a
comprehensively integral evaluation (Tserng & Lin, 2002). Tserng & Lin (2002)
developed Accelerated Subcontracting and Procuring (ASAP) model based on a web
based DSS XML and portfolio theory in financial management. It considered
subcontracting and procuring process into re-engineering through omnipresent Internet.
The ASAP models assumes that all the SC considered are prequalified. This advantage
of this model is that the SC can be selected by deciding on a selective trade-off between
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Table 2 - Prequalification Subcontractor Selection Models (Mangitung, 2010)
Prequalification Contractor Selection Models
Simple structured models (linear models):
• Dimensional Weighting (DW) (Russell 1988; Russell et al. 1990a)
• Multi-Attribute Analysis (MAA) (Holt 1993; Holt et al. 1994a)
Complex structured models:
• Multi-Attribute Utility Theory (MAUT) (Hatush 1996; Holt 1993; Holt et al.
1994b)
• Analytical Hierarchical Process (AHP) (Abudayyeh et al. 2007; Alarcon and
Mourgues 2002; Al-Harbi 2001; Fong and Choi 2000; Mahdi et al. 2002)
• Evidential Reasoning (ER) (Sonmez et al. 2001; 2002)
Artificial Intelligence (AI) models:
• Fuzzy Sets (FS) (Nguyen 1985)
• Knowledge-Based Expert System (KBES) (Russell et al. 1990b)
• Cased Based Reasoning (CBR) (Ng 1996)
• Artificial Neural Networks (ANN) (Elazouni 2006; El-Sawalhi et al. 2006;
Khosrowshahi 1999; Lam et al. 2000; Taha 1994)
Statistical models:
• Cluster Analysis (CA) (Holt 1996)
• Discriminant Analysis (DA) (Wong et al. 2003)
• Logistic Regression (LR) (Wong et al. 2003)
• Hybrid models (combination of two or more modelling techniques) (El-
Sawalhi et al. 2006; Holt 1993; Russell 1992)

2.3.4. Subjective Factors for Prequalification to procure building service
subcontractors in UAE
The selection of prequalification criteria varies with the type of organizations, client
interests, decision maker’s perceptions and also the type of contracting service being
procured. However there are a few set of criteria which are common in SC selection.
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Choosing the right prequalification criteria is an underlying factor in the successful
procurement of a subcontracting service. Following are the list of factors identified
crucial to evaluate the performance of BSC.

i. Quality Management Systems & their policies
The quality policies and the quality management systems are critical in determining
the success of the project. Quality ensures the fulfilment of meeting the employer’s
purpose. The effective management of quality requires appropriate quality policies
and quality management systems. Quality management systems in U.A.E. have
been predominantly adopting ISO 9000 which attempted to establish Europe wide
standards of quality that apply across industries and countries. The practise of
adopting ISO 9000 has been popular in the U.A.E. construction; however the ISO
9000 is a minimum quality management standard and does not guarantee the
project performance.
With the ISO 9000 quality management systems being bear minimal for assuring
quality, there have been relatively newer successors like the Total Quality
management system. But the relative acceptances of the successive models to ISO
9000 have been slow to adopt. It is very crucial to understand the quality policies
and their compliance to the standards to ensure the acceptance of quality within a
construction project.

ii. Health & Safety Practises
The construction industry have been notorious in the health and safety records
because of the higher number of accidents and the health issues associated with the
construction works. The growing concerns of safety practises inspired by
predominantly western health and safety management practises have lead the
U.A.E. to adopt health and safety regulations guided by the federal laws within the
state.
The Department of Municipal Affairs at Abu Dhabi has recently implemented a
code of practice for health and safety in construction sector. However, the code of
practises for health and safety in construction are not fully enforced in law, but it
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represents a radical change from current practices (Anon., 2007). However the code
is a local law and remains applicable to the emirate of Abu Dhabi only. Moreover
there is no statutory body dealing with the monitoring of health and safety issue in
the construction sector. Even though, there is a marked improvement in the
construction safety records, but the numbers is still a concern (Redfern, 2010).
Dealing with the absence of clearly established laws for health and safety in
construction industry, the importance of selecting a subcontractor on the rating of
their health and safety performance is very essential.

iii. Environmental Management
Environmental management is part of good business management ethics and is
widely an important strategy for corporate social responsibility. Due to the direct
environmental activities as a result of the construction related activities from the
building services, environmental management is an important part of the company
policy. The sustainable practises for construction of building services have its
footmark from the design to the construction. Adverse environmental impacts of
construction such as sound and vibration, pollution to water resources, demolition
and construction waste, soil and gas contamination, dust, hazardous emissions and
odours, demolition of wild life, and natural features and destruction of
archaeological relics have been major affects of the construction works. To mitigate
the level of environmental carbon footprint and damages, it is important to carry out
sustainable practises as a commitment to the corporate social responsibility.
In the U.A.E., there are Federal Laws and local laws for the environmental
regulations. However, there are no laws for monitoring of environmental
management or codes of practise for the construction sector (Zarouni, 2009). The
environmental management systems generally adopted by the U.A.E. construction
companies includes the international standard BS7750 and the ISO 14001. Hence,
the selection of building service SC should provide a high priority in the practise of
sustainable practises by the BSC. Within the supply chain, it is imminent to
integrate the environmental management policies so as to achieve overall
sustainable development.

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iv. Human Resources
Construction industry is a labour intensive service industry where the human
resources are critical to the success factor for the construction project. To achieve
the required project performance, the quality of attracting and maintaining human
capital is critical. Levy & Sydney (2000) finds that the lack of competent managers
and highly skilled employees has placed the contracting organizations to focus on
training of personnel to improve productivity and qualified workers.
The human resource management practise in a BSC construction can be checked
for the employee motivation, worker participation, worker recognition practises,
management commitment and effective training of the employees. (Yankov &
Kleiner, 2001) (Olomolaiye et al., 1998) (John, 1996). These factors are to be
considered while assessing the human resource potential of a BSC.
Scarcity and quality of the human resources have been hampering the U.A.E.
building service construction industry (Anon., 2008). Many BSC are not training
there staff properly despite of the poor quality of the workmanship in the U.A.E.
building service sector. Since the majority of the building service subcontractors are
relatively smaller in size in comparison to the general contracting organizations,
there have been lack of investment by the companies in improving it human
resources. Moreover, the labour wages and the employee satisfaction of the U.A.E.
construction workers are poor leading to repetitive strikes at construction sites
(Anon., 2006). Care should be taken to analyse the Human resource management
policies and the management commitment towards achieving the required goals.

v. Financial Status
The financial implications of an organization demonstrates it credibility as a
successful performing contractor. The financial function plays a significant role in
achieving the objectives of the contracting organization from its financial resources.
(EDUM-FOTWE et al., 1996). The performance of the construction project may be
stalled if the subcontracting organization becomes insolvent. The strategy in
analysing the financial data remains critical to the assessment of the resources.
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There exists a variety of strategic tools for analysing the financial position of a
contracting organization. Traditionally, the financial functions are determined by
employing traditional ratio analysis of the financial data obtained from the balance
sheet of the subcontractor. Traditional ratios include the Liquidity ratio,
profitability ratio, leverage ratio and activity ratio. The liquidity is measured
traditionally by calculating the current ratio or the solvent ratio. The liquidity
demonstrates how a company can meet its liability. The leverage shows the capital
structure of the company, which is an implication of the company financial risk.
Profitability is determined traditionally by calculating the profit margins, return on
assets, return on equity and earnings per share. Leverage is measured traditionally
by determining the gearing ratio. Finally, the interest cover and the activities can be
determined from the asset turnover and the stock turnover. The interest cover is
focussed on analysing the relationship between profits available from the
organization’s business and the operations liabilities of interest payments.

vi. Performance records of past works
Studies from previous authors have ascertained that assessment of the contractor’s
past project is an important function for contractor selection. Tam & Harris (1996)
highlights the function of past project performance is high in terms of standardized
discriminant function coefficients. This shows that failures from the past project
have a higher probability of repetition with companies performing specialised
service that are highly repetitive in characteristics.
Building service sector being a highly specialised job have a habit of repeating the
past faults if the company do not take appropriate measure and changes in its
policies to improve quality control and key performance indicators.

vii. Records of disputes in previous projects
The construction industry is known to be notorious for high level of disputes caused
by lack of cooperation, limited trust, and ineffective communications leading to an
adversarial relationship among all project stakeholders (Chan et al., 2004) (Moore
et al., 1992). These disputes have caused various projects to lose it required
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performance and have resulted in a burden to the construction supply chain.
Building service sector being a highly specialised job have a habit of repeating the
past faults if the company do not take appropriate measure and changes in its
policies to improve quality control and key performance indicators.

viii. Plant & Equipment
With the increasing sophisticated technologies for construction, the reliance on
plant & equipments has been increasing. The plant & equipment is learned to have
a direct influence on the time and quality of the construction project (Hatush &
Skitmore, 1997). To improve the success factors, it is essential that the BSC shall
have the appropriate plant & equipment. The required plant & machinery should be
anticipated, identified and the responsible personnel for handling the equipment.
Appropriate working method statements are to be assessed where the commitment
and understanding of the infrastructure shall be known. The BSC should establish
clear and precise policy of using safe plants & machinery with trained operators, to
ensure safety at site (Sawacha et al., 1999).

ix. Professional Accreditation
Continual professional development is critical to the overall development of the
competency of the staff. Professional membership and accreditation alleviates
innovation within the company and allows for adopting international standards of
practise. The personnel are educated with the current and emerging trends within
the building service industry and helps improving the work ethics and practises for
better performance. In the current period of recession, the competition has sparkled
interests in companies to try new methodologies to improve the quality and cost.
Further, the accreditation of the contractor shall boost confidence in the employers
which demonstrates their capability in their works. The common professional
membership for the building service industry includes the ASHRAE, CIBSE, APM,
CIOB, RICS, etc. In the U.A.E., the practise of professional development has been
lesser practises in comparison to the contractors in the West. However, building
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service industry have been showing keen interests to associate and build knowledge
for improving best practises and boost innovation.

x. Training of Personnel
Adapting to the changes in the construction industry requires the personnel in
construction to be educated and made aware of the emerging trends. Training of
employees is required to establish good practises and not to be fallen behind the
latest technologies. Edum-Fotwe & McCaffer (2000) finds that to maintain the
competency of the staff, the knowledge and expertise should be achieved through
training. The management should be committed to invest resources for professional
development of their staff.

xi. Company Ownership
The relationship of the company ownership with performance has been established
by various authors. Since many of the building service subcontractors are of smaller
sizes, it is important to know the owner proprietors and senior managers are capable
of leading their staff through the new disciplines which might entail (Briscoe et al.,
2004). In the U.A.E., there are semi government and private owned BSC. Ke &
Isaac (2007) finds that the performance of firm improves with higher managerial
ownership but that, after a point, managers become entrenched and pursue private
benefits at the expense of outside investors. Moreover, the company ownership may
be a single ownership or a joint stock company. It is seen that the breakdown of the
sole control of the single shareholder and the presence of the other block-holders
may enhance the supervision and monitoring of the management and improve the
corporate governance.

xii. Method Statements of the works to be executed
The method statement is a set of instructions written to explain the process of the
works to be carried out by the SC. These documents are submitted to the employer
prior to the start of the works. It gives the employer or the prime contractor to
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identify the process that shall take place when the work is awarded. Method
statements in construction are generally undertaken to address the risks to health
and safety. It provides a clear idea about the quality process carried out so that the
employer or the PC can check for compliance with its policies. A method statement
shall specify the processes to be carried out at various stages and the appropriate
measures to protect the site personnel, the employer representatives and members
of the public who could be affected by the construction activities.
The work method statement comprises of the following data : a) purpose b) scope
of works c) references from previous employers d) defines the various activities and
the allocation of risk and responsibilities e) Plant & equipments required to carry
out the works f) risk assessment and management processes g) health and safety
processes.
During the prequalification process, it is essential to screen out the subcontractor
whose method statements do not comply within the interests of the employer. The
performance of the works can be assessed in advance, from the subcontractor’s
declaration on its statement. Hence, subcontractors with better method statements
can be given higher rating which shall establish the required performance levels for
the project.
2.3.5. Summary
The section 2.3 focussed and studied in depth the prequalification process of procuring a
BSC. Initially, the process of prequalification for selecting the BSC was discussed. The
factor affecting the decision for selecting prequalification process was analysed and it
was found that the factors were subjective and the ratings to the factor depends on the
perception of the decision maker. An insight into the current multiple criteria evaluation
models were carried out based on various journals and professional publications. It was
understood that integration of Decision Support Systems (DSS) and Expert Systems
(ES) into SC rating has improved the SC selection process. The models were found to
be applied using fuzzy logic, neural network, generic algorithm for analysis. Finally,
twelve numbers of major subjective factors were identified and discussed in detail
highlighting the significance of each factor in relevance to their relation with
subcontracting success factors.

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3.0. Research Methodology

This research paper aims to evaluate the current methodologies in sub contracting
procurement practises while establishing a set of recommendations to set out the
priorities for considering subjective factor of prequalification criteria required;
improving the selection of prequalification criteria on a more advantageous approach. In
order to achieve the objectives of the research, the strategies for the research should be
clearly structured, efficient and well defined. This chapter aims to present the research
methodologies and its design in order to achieve the set of objectives and establish a
framework for developmental research.

3.1. Research Process
The research process explains the strategy for the study. The initial research on the
subject area will be studied to establish the aims, objectives, and the rationale for the
research. Depending on the initial research, an extensive study on the literature review
will be undertaken. The prime research methodologies to be carried out in the
dissertation are preparation of literature reviews for subcontracting practises and the
prequalification criteria for BSC selection in the UAE. The study involves investigating
the sources of theory and previous researches to examine and establish the bases for the
subsequent, detailed work and finding the necessary alternatives, data collection through
means of investigation with various construction professionals from the U.A.E. and an
analysis of the findings. The online survey will be conducted to investigate the current
practises and their thoughts and perceptions on the current research subject. The data
obtained from the survey and the literature review will be compared and evaluated. The
analysis made from the comparative evaluation study will be undertaken from the
results to provide the conclusion and recommendations. Figure 4 demonstrates the
process of the research study for the preparation of the dissertation.
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Figure 4 – Research Process

Ident if y
Resear ch Ar ea
• Develop Aims & Obj ect ive
• Ident if y t he r at ionale f or t he st udy
Ext ensive
Lit er at ur e
Review
• Invest igat e & cr it ically analyse t he cur r ent pr act ises f or subcont r act ing
• Resear ch t hr ough web based and desk based st udy
Design
Quest ionnair e
• Ident if y Qualit at ive & Quant it at ive dat a
• Design f or analysis of cur r ent pr act ises
• Design f or analysis of suggest ed pr act ise
Dat a Collect ion
• Ident if y & sample t he const r uct ion pr of esionnals f or sur vey
• Send quest ionnair e online
• Collect t he sur vey r esult s
Dat a Analysis
• Evaluat e t he dat a using compar at ive evaluat ion
• Pr epar e st at ist ical dat a and gr aphical analysis
Conclusion &
Recommendat io
n
• Develop t he f indings f r om t he invest igat ions
• Pr epar e r ecommendat ions based on t he st udy f r om invest igat ions and
lit er at ur e r eview
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3.2. Literature Review
The development of the extensive literature review aims and objectives follows the
extensive literature review. The literature review is prepared prior to the development of
the questionnaire. The literature reviews aims to discuss the published data on a relevant
subject data or area which may also be taken from a certain time period (Anon., 2007).
The literature review discusses the current practises, the authors, the prevailing
hypotheses and theories, the current topics to be reviewed, relevant methodologies that
are appropriate. It also addresses the gaps in the current studies and reveal suggested
areas for improvement. The literature review shall be done using the following methods
- a) Web based study, b) Interviews & c) Desk based study.
The literature review will utilise the web based study to investigate academic journals
and professional publication to finding the relevant information regarding the subject.
Also, the data from desk based study using professional publications, academic text
books and journal from the library will be used to prepare the literature review.

3.3. Design of Questionnaire
The technique used for the research method are classified under two strategies;
quantitative and qualitative research (Fellows & Liu, 2009; Sanders et al, 2009). Due to
the synergism of technical and managerial aspect of the subject study, the strategy
required to analyse the data was concluded to combine the qualitative and the
quantitative strategy. The questionnaires are grouped under three sections. Section 1
requires the personal profile of the surveyor, while section 2 investigates the profile of
the company and their practises. The section 3 surveys the criteria for prequalification
based on the perception of the surveyor and the current practises of the respondent’s
company. Hence, section 1 and 2 are strategically analysed using the quantitative
analysis while the section 3 analyses the data qualitatively. The quantitative approach
enables the information gathered in the initial literature reviews to be utilised to
determine the reality of subcontracting procurement practises in practice (Fellows &
Liu, 2009) while the qualitative data explores the observation from an experienced
construction practitioner and identify the explanations and their possible concerns.
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In view of the diverse range of construction practitioners surveyed within the U.A.E.
construction sector, the questionnaire has been designed to keep the language simple
and easily communicated with the surveyor.

3.4. Sampling of Respondents
To investigate the current established practises in the procurement of subcontractor and
explore the observations from various construction professionals within the U.A.E.; the
respondents have been sampled from various aspects of the construction industry. The
surveyors targeted for the questionnaire involves such as clients, project management
consultants, consultants, contractors and subcontractors. The survey will mail through
webmail to 225 construction professionals within the construction supply chain of
varying roles and with proven expertise. The mailing list of the respondents was
obtained from the RICS website and CIOB website. The sampling of the construction
practitioners have been identified by random selection while only screening out
practitioners who are not involved in the construction industry and have not worked in
the U.A.E. The information collected from the respondents will critically analyse the
procurement practises of subcontractor selection and will provide a set of
recommendations for construction managers.

3.5. Data Analysis & Recommendations
The data analysis will focus on a review of the current practises of the subcontractor
prequalification practises from the participating surveyor and his/her organization. The
qualitative data indicating the personal profile and the profile of the respondent’s
current organization will be compared with the quantitative data for the ratings and
comments to the prequalification criteria; and comparative evaluations will be made to
explore the current practise of subcontractor prequalification criteria selection and
determine the reason for practise. To analyse the qualitative scores, the average Likert
scores will be calculated by finding the mean of the rating indicated by the respondent
to the subjective factor considered. The gathered data will be evaluated in relation to the
literature reviews to identify how the building service subcontractor selection practises
relates to the construction industry as a whole.
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4.0. Data Collection and Analysis

This chapter will discuss the purpose and the responses to the survey. The respondent’s
personal profile will be analysed along with the profile of the respondent’s current
company. The ratings indicated by the respondents for the subjective factors of
prequalification criteria will be analysed and will be ranked in accordance to their
significance. The ratings will be analysed and discussed in relation to the literature
review and the surveyor’s comments. The implications caused by the improper
consideration of the subjective factors will be analysed and discussed.

4.1. Purpose of the Survey
There have been extensive researches on the contractor selection method by
prequalification method. These researches were focussed on the selection of the
contractor from the perspective of a project sponsor or the owner of the project. From
the literature review, there have been multiple theories on the prequalification process
and as a result many models have been developed with varying strategy. However, these
researches were focussed on the contractor selection by the contractor. Further, the
suitability of these models varies with countries due to the different environment,
culture and the domestic politics. This survey shall evaluate the current practises of
prequalification for selecting BSC for U.A.E. construction projects.

4.2. Responses to the Survey
The survey was published online on 27
th
June 2011 online at Questionform.com . The
survey questionnaire was send to 225 construction professionals within the U.A.E.
chosen from the sampling of construction practitioners within the U.A.E. There was an
overall response of 37 people to the survey. The responses received were from leading
construction practitioners and having a diverse range of professionals with varying roles
and experience within the construction sector of U.A.E. The online survey was
published online for 30 days and was closed on 26
th
July, 2011.

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4.3. Establishing Expertise and Knowledge of the Respondent
The Section 1 of the online questionnaire was intended to determine the personal details
and the professional expertise of the respondent. This section aims to identify the
personal profile of the respondent as well as determine whether the personal profile of
the respondent meets the expectations of the survey. It also helps in comparative
evaluation of the quantitative analysis from the levels of the respondents expertises. To
comply with the confidentiality policy, the personal details of the respondent are not
revealed and shall be kept in confidence with the author.
The personal details determined the name of the respondent, current designation of the
respondent’s job, email id, contact telephone number and the name of the current
organization of his / her. However, the personal details were not mandatory and
decision to fill within the discretion of the respondent to reveal his personal details.
To identify the professional competence of the respondent, the respondent was asked to
provide his / her experience in the construction sector and the roles that he had played
during his career in the construction sector. From the survey, 36 respondents indicated
their experience as shown in the figure 5 below.

Figure 5 - Experience of Respondents
Respondents were asked to provide their experience. From the Figure 5, it is noted that
largest group of the respondents whom constituted 36% of the respondents were having
< 5 year s
22%
5 - 10 year s
17%
10 - 15 year s
25%
>15 year s
36%
Exper ience of Respondent s
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an experience of more than 15 years within the construction field while the least
response were from the respondent with an range of experience within 5 – 10 year with
a score of 17%.
It is noted that the cream of the responses were shared by the group of professionals
with an experience level of more than 15 years experience validating the quality of the
data received from the survey. The author is satisfied by the nature of the expertise of
the respondents and their fairly equal distribution of the result from different groups of
expertise.
The final question from the section 1 was to identify the various roles that the
respondent had worked demonstrating his working knowledge within the sector. The
respondents were requested to provide the current and his past roles within the
construction sector. The following figure displays the results from the roles provided by
the respondent.

Figure 6- Professional Roles of the Respondent
Respondents were asked to provide the various roles that they had worked during the
career in the construction industry. From the figure 6, it is noted that the 21% of the
respondents have worked in the role of project management, with estimation &
tendering, procurement, and quantity surveying having 15%, 15% and 14% share
respectively. Since, project management, estimation & tendering, procurement and
Pr oj ect
M anagement
21%
Human Resour ces
2%
Quant i t y
Sur veyi ng
14%
Est i mat i on
& Tender i ng
15%
Buyer
2%
Pr ocur ement
15%
Desi gn /
Techni cal
16%
QA/ QC
6%
Heal t h & Saf et y
3%
Ot her
6%
Pr ofessional Roles of t he Respondent
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quantity surveyors are directly involving with the subcontractor which constitutes 65%
of the respondents, it demonstrates that the responses have been made from a diverse
range of construction professionals who have direct involvement with the procurement
of subcontractors. The respondents who dealt with design and technical (16%), human
resources (2%), QA/QC (6%), health and safety (3%) and buyer (2%) formed 29 % of
the respondents. It is noted that a respondent need not have taken single roles but also
multiple roles. Moreover, there are chances where the respondents may have worked in
two or more roles simultaneously. In the present days of economic recession within the
U.A.E., companies within the U.A.E. have been adopting multitasking roles for
improving productivity and reduce the running costs of the organization.

4.4. Establishing Company Profile and their Current Practises
The questions from section 2 of the online questionnaire investigated the nature of the
company that the respondent is currently working. The brief profile of the company was
determined by asking the type of services, type of projects executed, employee strength
and the value of the contracts executed by the company.

Figure 7 – Type of services
The above Figure 7 displays the type of services executed by the company. The figure
shows that largest group of the respondents were working for contracting organization
Engi neer i ng
(Desi gn
Consul t ancy)
20%
Quant i t y
Sur veyor
13%
Pr oj ect
M anagement
20%
Cont r act or
39%
M at er i al Tr adi ng
4%
Ot her
4%
Type of Ser vices
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which constituted 39% of the respondents while 20% of the respondents were working
for Design Consultant & Project Management Consultants each, while 13% of the
respondents worked for Quantity Surveyors and 4% worked for trading companies. It is
noted that 1 respondent that he worked for the dispute resolution consultancy.


Figure 8 – Type of projects executed by the company
Respondents were asked to provide the type of projects executed by their current
company. The above figure 8 displays the type of projects executed by the company.
The figure shows that largest group of the respondents were working for building &
infrastructural projects which constituted 48% and 28& of the respondents respectively;
while 18% of the respondents were working for industrial projects. However, 6% of the
respondents indicated that they working for airport, marine and oil & gas project.
Interestingly, these projects are categorised under infrastructural projects.

Inf r ast r uct ur al
28%
Bui l di ng
48%
Indust r y /
Fact or y
18%
Ot her
6%
Type of Pr oj ect s execut ed
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Figure 9 – Number of Employees in the company
Respondents were asked to provide the number of employees working within his
organization. The above Figure 9 shows the number of employees working in the
respondent’s current organization. The figure shows that almost half of the respondents
were working for contracting organization having more than 1000 employees while
21% provided that they work for company with lesser than 50 people. This wide
disparity in the employees maybe owing to the type of organization they work.
Contracting companies requires larger number of employees to execute their work in
comparison with consultant firms who require only lesser number of people. However,
it is noted that there are contractors within the survey who have employees between 50
– 199 employees. This shows that contracting organizations of large and smaller size
have participated within the survey.

4.5. Establishing Current Working Practises of the Company
The section 2 of the online questionnaire investigates the current practises employed by
their companies. An evaluation of the current practises established in procurement of
subcontractors is carried out. The evaluation is done to make a comparative evaluation
and base for the analysis to the prequalification criteria selection.
< 50
21%
50 - 199
11%
200 - 499
11%
500 - 999
8%
> 1000
49%
Employee St r engt h
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There were six questions asked based on the procurement practises by the respondent’s
organization. The questions included whether the company subcontracted the building
service contractors, exclusion of materials from the scope of the subcontractor,
satisfaction of the respondent with the current procurement of the building service
subcontractor, nomination practises of the subcontractor, procurement route established
by the contractor and the client, pricing mechanism with the building service
subcontractor and finally the average value of the contracts executed by the
respondent’s company.


Figure 10– Subcontracting practises with building service specialists
The above figure 10 shows the subcontracting patterns practises by the company in
employing subcontractors. 51% of the BSC who surveyed did not subcontract the entire
building services while 38% procured the building service subcontractors. 11% of the
respondents procure the BSC seldom. This figure indicates that 49% of the respondents
were employing building service subcontractors for their projects. One respondent
indicated that his company did not employ building service subcontractors had in-house
building service division. Hence, they do not procure the building service
subcontractors.
38%
51%
0%
11%
Q) Do you subcont ract t he ent i r e bui l di ng ser vi ces?
Yes
No
Unsur e
Somet i mes
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Figure 11– Exclusion of materials from the scope of works
The above figure 11 shows whether the respondent’s company had excluded the
materials from the scope of the works of the BSC. 57% of the respondents had not
excluded materials from the scope of work while 30% of the respondents had excluded
materials from the scope of works of building service subcontractors who surveyed did
not subcontract the entire building services while 38% procured the building service
subcontractors. 11% of the respondents were not aware whether the materials had been
excluded from the scope of works while 2% responded that they sometimes exclude
materials from the scope of works.

Figure 12 – Satisfaction of the current procurement practises by the respondent
30%
57%
2%
11%
Q) Have you excl uded mat er i al pr i ces f r om t he scope
of bui l di ng ser vi ce cont ract or s?
Yes
No
Unsur e
Somet i mes
43%
22%
5%
30%
Q) Ar e you sat i sf i ed w i t h t he t he pr ocur ement
pract i ses of sub cont ract or s i n your company?
Yes
No
Unsur e
Somet i mes
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The figure 12 evaluates the satisfaction of the respondent with the current practises of
procuring subcontractor by their companies. 43% of the surveyors responded that they
were satisfied with the current practises while 22% were not happy with the
subcontracting procurement practises by their company However 30% responded that
they were not always happy with the subcontracting practises. The figure indicates that
52% of the respondents were found not satisfied in the subcontracting procurements
always or seldom. This shows that there is a need for evaluating the current practises
and make appropriate changes to the strategy for procuring contractors must be
implemented to improve BSC selection.


Figure 13– Nomination of building service subcontractors
The above figure 13 investigates the nomination practise of the BSC by the employer or
the project sponsor. It was found that 65% of the respondents indicated that client had
not always nominated the subcontractor and 6% claimed that their client had nominated
the subcontractor sometimes, while 23% of the respondents said their client had always
nominated the subcontractor. Since the majority of the respondents indicated that the
client did not always nominate the building service subcontractor, the choice of
selecting the building service subcontractor lies with the prime contractor. The results
also shows that the majority of the clients are not involved in nominating the
subcontractor. This may cause delays in project and may also have an impact on the
build ability of the project.
6%
65%
6%
23%
Q) Does t he cl i ent al w ays nomi nat es t he bui l di ng
ser vi ce sub cont ract or ?
Yes
No
Unsur e
Somet i mes
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Figure 14 – Establishment of Procurement Route
The above figure 14 determines the procurement routes established by the employer
with PC. From the figure, it was found that 41% of the respondents indicated traditional
procurement route, 43% with design and build while 16% of the respondent’s followed
management contracting. It shows that the majority of the contractors were procured by
design and build. This may be due to the fact that 52% of the respondents were working
on infrastructural or industrial projects. Since, majority of the industrial and
infrastructure projects requires higher quality in design and the quality of the work, the
commonly adopted procurement route is the design and build, while housing projects
are commonly known to be procured through traditional procurement. But, the
respondents working for infrastructure projects have shown that the procurement route
established were management contracting.

41%
43%
16%
Q) Indi cat e t he Pr ocur ement r out e t hat t he
r espondent ' s company had est abl i shed w i t h t he cl i ent
Tr adi t i onal
Desi gn & Bui l d
M anagement Cont r act i ng
Pr ocur ement of Bui l di ng Ser v i ce Subcont r act or s i n U.A.E. : An ev al uat i on of
subj ect i v e f act or s f or pr equal i f i cat i on cr i t er i a
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Figure 15 – Pricing mechanism established with the building service subcontractor
The above figure 15 investigates the establishment of the pricing mechanism by the PC
with its BSC. The figure shows that 46% of the respondents were following lump sum
contracts while remeasurement and priced activities were having almost equal share of
19% and 18% respectively. Target costing and cost reimbursable pricing occupied 10%
and 7% respectively.


Figure 16 – Average Value of Contracts (in Million AED)
46%
18%
19%
10%
7%
Q) Indi cat e t he Pr i ci ng mechani sm est abl i shed by t he
r espondent ' s company w i t h bui l di ng ser vi ce sub
cont ract or
Lump sum
Pr i ced act i vi t i es
Remeasur ement
Tar get cost i ng
Cost r ei mbur sabl e pr i ci ng
13%
14%
27%
27%
19%
Q) Indi cat e t he Average val ue of cont ract execut ed (i n
M i l l i on AED) by t he r espondent ' s cur r ent company
< 10
10 - 100
100 - 500
500 - 1000
> 1000
Pr ocur ement of Bui l di ng Ser v i ce Subcont r act or s i n U.A.E. : An ev al uat i on of
subj ect i v e f act or s f or pr equal i f i cat i on cr i t er i a
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The figure F16 shows the average value of the respondent’s company in million AED.
The statistics helps in establishing the complexity and size of the projects being
executed. It was found that 27% of the respondents indicated that they are executing
projects within the value of 100 to 500 million AED and 500 to 1 billion AED each.
19% of the respondents were working with project higher than 1 billion AED while 14
% and 13% of the respondents indicated that they were working for projects with an
average value of lesser than 10 million AED and 10 to 100 million AED respectively.

4.6. Assessment of Factors for Prequalification Criteria
The section 3 aims to evaluate the prequalification criteria by assessing the rating for
factors required to assess the subcontractor. This assessment shall be the basis for
adding data into the subcontractor selection models to procure the best possible BSC.
The analysis of the reasons for ranking the factors and impacts from improper
consideration of these factors are evaluated from the respondents.

4.6.1. Rating Priority for Factors of Prequalification Criteria
In section 3(a) of the online questionnaire, the respondent was asked to give individual
ratings for the factors considered in selection of BSC by the respondent’s organization.
The ratings provided in the table 3 indicate the scores provided by the respondents to
each factor. The factors were sorted and ranked in accordance to the factor significant
indexas shown in the Table 3 . As per the results from the survey, it is understood that
the respondents have provided the highest rating towards Health & Safety while
company’s professional membership and accreditation has been given the least priority.
The priority given to Health & Safety indicates that there is a significant level of
priority required for considering the factor.





Pr ocur ement of Bui l di ng Ser v i ce Subcont r act or s i n U.A.E. : An ev al uat i on of
subj ect i v e f act or s f or pr equal i f i cat i on cr i t er i a
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Table 3 – Rating of Factors for Prequalification of BSC
Factors for Prequalification
Factor
Significance
Index
Rank
H&S 4.054 1
Performance in previously similar
contracts
4.027 2
Method Statements 3.946 3
Quality 3.811 4
Human Resources 3.595 5
Financial Status 3.514 6
Environment 3.459 7
Training of Personnel 3.27 8
Plant & Equipment 3.27 8
Previous or Current records of legal
disputes
3.27 8
Company Ownership 3 11
Professional Company membership 2.892 12

The Factor Significance Index is determined from the mean of the ratings to Likert scale
provided by the respondents. The Likert scale was scaled in a range from 0 to 5 with 0
being the least significant and 5 being the most significant. The mean of the Likert scale
was calculated by adding the ratings indicated by the respondents to the Likert scale and
the result was divided by the number of respondents. The means score for each factors
were calculated and tabulated in a chart. A bar graph representing the factors given to
determine the mean score for prequalification criteria is shown in figure 17.
Factor Significant Index =
∑ RI

i=0
ì

Where R
i
is the rating provide by the respondent i towards the Likert scale.
Since the total number of the surveyors who respondents to the survey were 37, the
limits to i ranges from 1 to 37.
Pr ocur ement of Bui l di ng Ser v i ce Subcont r act or s i n U.A.E. : An ev al uat i on of
subj ect i v e f act or s f or pr equal i f i cat i on cr i t er i a
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Figure 17 – Bar Chart of mean scores for factors of the prequalification criteria
A - Quality
B - H&S
C - Environment Management
D - Human Resources
E - Financial Performance
F - Previous or Current records of legal disputes
G - Plant & Equipment
H - Performance in previously similar contracts
I - Professional Company membership & accreditation
J - Training of Personnel
K - Company Ownership
L - Method Statements

4.6.2. Respondent’s Comment on the Subjective Factors for Subcontractor
Prequalification
In section 3(b) of the online questionnaire, the respondents were asked to briefly explain
the reason for the ratings provided for the subject factors provided in the previous
question, since the ratings provided by the respondent were subjective. This will give
the author an insight to the explanation to the surveyor’s perception of the factor. The
0
0.5
1
1.5
2
2.5
3
3.5
4
4.5
A B C D E F G H I J K L
F
a
c
t
o
r

S
i
g
n
i
f
i
c
a
n
c
e

I
n
d
e
x
Fact or s f or Pr e qualif icat ion Cr it e r ia
Pr ocur ement of Bui l di ng Ser v i ce Subcont r act or s i n U.A.E. : An ev al uat i on of
subj ect i v e f act or s f or pr equal i f i cat i on cr i t er i a
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question was however not mandatory and the response rate for the questionnaire was
51.3% where 19 surveyors responded to the question.
The Table 4 indicates the general reasons for indicating the rating provided in the Likert
Scale at section 3(a) of the online questionnaire by the respondents
Table 4 –Respondent explanation of ratings provided
Sl
No.
Factor
evaluated
Key Comment to the factors with ratings in brackets
1 Qualit y
• To compl y w it h t he st andar ds of t he pr ime cont r act or (5)
• To compl y w it h local r egu lat ions.(5)
• To st andar dise t he busin ess pr ocesses f or mut ual
under st anding. (5)
• To i mpr ove f ir st t ime del iver y as t oo much t i me and money
is wast ed by r ect if ying d ef ect s.(3)
• Ensur es indep endent ly audit ed st andar ds. (5)
• Impor t ant t o know t hat t hey t ake qualit y of wor k ser iously
and t hey ar e of f iciall y cer t if i ed.(4)
• To get d eliver abl es at a cer t ain l evel of st andar d.(3)
• Impor t ant t o know pr ocedur es ar e in p lace(4)
2 H & S
• Saf et y per f or mance and po licy is t h e No 1 consider at ion in
any cont r act awar d (5)
• Absolut ely par am ount in 21st cent ur y const r uct ion(5)
• Saf e wor k pr act ices in t heir or ganisat ion cascades t o our
pr oj ect s t hr ough t he mat er ial w e pr ocur e. (5)
• A saf e company who loo k af t er t heir employees is
t r adit ionally a good co mpany. (4)
• Essent ial f or secur ing our own po licy r equir ement s and lo w
accident r at es. (5)
• Should be conf ident in ab ilit y t o d eli ver wor ks saf ely. (4)
• Ensur es indep endent ly audit ed st andar ds. (5)
• This is t he basis f or any sor t of const r uct ion. (5)
• To boost conf id ence in d eli ver ing pr oj ect saf ely.
• Accident s af f ect peop le’ s li ves, cause d elays and cost
money.(3)




Pr ocur ement of Bui l di ng Ser v i ce Subcont r act or s i n U.A.E. : An ev al uat i on of
subj ect i v e f act or s f or pr equal i f i cat i on cr i t er i a
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Sl
No.
Factor evaluated Key Comment to the factors with ratings in brackets
3
Envir onm ent
M anagement
• Viewed wit h ever gr ow ing impor t ance b y Employer s.(4)
• Essent ial t o maint ain our own ISO 14001 policy and impr ove
sust ainable pr act ises.(5)
• Alt hough, t he f act or needs t o be gi ven h igher pr ior it y, but
envir on ment al pr act ises ar e in a embr yonic st at e at UAE (2)
• Due t o com mit ment t o envir on ment set up in our po licy(5)
• We don’ t consider en vir on ment al concer ns ser iousl y as t he
client s haven' t insist ed on sust ainab le pr act ises. Besid es t her e
ar e no incent i ves f r o m t he local aut hor it ies t o pr om ot e
sust ainabilit y in const r uct ion(3)
• This is impor t ant t o a UK busin ess oper at ing a JV in UAE(3)
• It is one of an int er nat ionally-r ecognised pr act ise t hat is
r equir ed f or evaluat ing how wel l an or ganisat ion manages it s
envir on ment al r esp onsibil it ies.(2)
4
Human
Resour ces
• Academ ic qualif icat ion or exper ience is val id (4)• The
company is pr i mar il y concer ned wit h t he comp et ence of t h e
management . (3)• Cont r act or loo ks f or cheap er opt ions(4)•
To assur e t hat t he r ight peop le ar e employed in d eli ver ing t h e
cor r ect mat er ial(4)• To ensur e a qualit y pr oduct (5)•
Fundament al t o ensur e qualit y d eli ver y on t im e and w it hin
budget (3)• Level of t echnical kno wledge(4)• Need t o
demonst r at e t hat t hey have appr opr iat ely qualif i ed st af f t o
per f or m t he var ious r o les(4)• Th is descr ibes how you plan
dif f er ent t asks and coor d inat ion ef f ect ivel y(4)• t o get smoot h
f low of wor k(3)• Human r eso ur ces w er e well est ablish ed in
our or ganisat ion in addit i on t o t hat t he well exp er i enced and
qualif ied engineer s w er e app oint ed t o d esign t he pr oj ect s(4)•
Exper ience of per sonn el is essent ial f or d eliver y of lar ge
complex schem es(4)



Pr ocur ement of Bui l di ng Ser v i ce Subcont r act or s i n U.A.E. : An ev al uat i on of
subj ect i v e f act or s f or pr equal i f i cat i on cr i t er i a
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Sl
No.
Factor evaluated Key Comment to the factors with ratings in brackets
5
Financial
Per f or mance
• The com pany wish t o manage t heir exposur e t o cont r act or
insolvency / bankr upt cy(4)
• Need ed t o ensur e conf idence t hat t he SC has t he f inancial
means t o successf ull y del iver (4)
• To assess t h e st abilit y of t he BSC(4)
• To est abl ish t he BSC ar e f inancially sound(2)
• To get smo ot h f low of wor k(2)
• Dur ing t he cur r ent r ecession t i me, man y r eput ed
cont r act or s ar e st r uggling wit h insuf f icient r esour ces as a
consequence of losing cont act s and has ser iousl y af f ect ed t he
qualit y of w or ks p er f or med. (4)
• Level of t ur nover im por t ant s impor t ant t o j udge t heir
capabilit y t o handle wor k(3)
• Conf id ence in f inancial posit ion of cont r act or must exist (3)
6
Pr evious or
Cur r ent r ecor ds
of legal disp ut es
• A good r ecor d of paying sub-cont r act or s is par amount . (3)
• Impor t ant t hat pr oj ect s st ar t out wit h t he par t ies
cooper at ing as a t eam. (4)
• When a vendor is ser ious about cust omer sat isf act ion it
shows in t he ant ecedent s.(5)
• We do not w ish t o subj ect our selves or t he Emplo yer t o an y
unnecessar y r isk f r om an unscr upulous subcont r act or (5)
• Assist s in gain ing an under st anding of t he way t he Company
is likely t o oper at e(2)
• Abil it y t o r eso lve disput es(3)
• Impor t ant t o est ablish t hat t her e ar e no legal clai ms(4)
• To m inimise r isk of un-n ecessar y legal comp licat ions(5)
• To get smo ot h f low of wor k
• Wit h pr oj ect s being b id at ver y comp et it ive r at es,
companies have lo wer ed t heir pr of it mar gins t o lo w l evels so
as t o sur vive. This has caused many cont r act or s t o r educe
t heir per f or mance because of t heir money saving measur es.
This has been an issu e f or disp ut es wit h t he client s and main
cont r act or s. Also t he client s in UAE ar e r ep eat edly missing
r egular paym ent s which ar e one of t he maj or r easons f or
disput es. (5)
• Good cont r act should obviat e disput es(2)
• Legal disput es can pr esent a r isk if not closed out b ef or e
commencem ent on your pr oj ect (3)

Pr ocur ement of Bui l di ng Ser v i ce Subcont r act or s i n U.A.E. : An ev al uat i on of
subj ect i v e f act or s f or pr equal i f i cat i on cr i t er i a
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Sl
No.
Factor evaluated Key Comment to the factors with ratings in brackets
7
Plant &
Equipment
• M ost SC buy t his ser vice f r om t he PC. (2)
• Insuf f icient r esour ces may sever el y af f ect pr ogr ess(5)
• To ensur e t hat t he suppl ier has t he wher e-w it h-all t o deliver
as agr eed(5)
• We can assist wit h our o wn plant and equip ment should t he
need ar ise(3)
• Consid er ed wit h sim ilar r at ing as Hu man r esour ces(2)
• Audit abl e level of r esour ces and w ell maint ained p & e is
impor t ant (4)
• Essent ial t ime schedule ef f ect ively(5)
• To get smo ot h f low of wor k(2)
• Impor t ant need plant t o do j ob(4)
8
Per f or mance in
pr eviousl y
similar cont r act s
• A good t r ack r ecor d of past per f or mance builds conf idence
in t he cont r act or ’ s abilit y t o del iver . Th is wou ld, how ever , b e
of f set against t heir valu e f or money.(4)
• Past r ecor d is on e of t he most t angible f act or s(5)
• Excell ence d esir ed, but not mandat or y.(4)
• Alt hough not t ot ally necessar y, on e has t o st ar t somewher e;
exper ience of t he pr o blems t hat may occur is ext r emely
usef ul.(4)
• Relevant t o gain an under st anding of t he Com panies
capabilit ies.(4)
• Cr it ical, par t icular in t er ms of a h ealt hcar e pr oj ect (5)
• To have a b et t er mind set about t hem(4)
• To r ed uce super vision and monit or cost (4)
• M ain qualif icat ion r elat ed t o p er f or mance on M & R or JV
par t ner cont r act s(4)
• The past p er f or mance d ict at es t he f act or s of H& S, Qualit y,
Pr ogr amme and Co mmer cial. (5)








Pr ocur ement of Bui l di ng Ser v i ce Subcont r act or s i n U.A.E. : An ev al uat i on of
subj ect i v e f act or s f or pr equal i f i cat i on cr i t er i a
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Sl
No.
Factor evaluated Key Comment to the factors with ratings in brackets
9
Pr of essional
Company
member sh ip &
accr edit at ion
• Accr edit at ion is impor t ant wit h t he r elevant t r ade
inst it ut ions, however , qualit y / envir o nment al cer t if icat ions
ar e mor e impor t ant (2)
• Some compan ies do n ot r egist er w it h all t he t r ade
inst it ut ions f or t heir par t icular discip line. The r egist r at ion
wit h an essent ial inst it ut ion f or t he par t icular Pr oj ect would
be r equir ed. (3)
• Helps suppor t suit abil it y and capabil it y of t he Company t o
per f or m and d eli ver successf ull y(2)
• Pr omot es d evelopment (4)
• Good t o know t hat companies ar e t aking t his ser iousl y and
also means a t hat t hey have r eached a cer t ain st andar d in
t er ms of best pr act ice (4)
• To have bet t er un der st anding how t hey meet d if f er ent
int er nat ional st andar ds(3)
• To get d eliver abl es at a cer t ain l evel of st andar d. (1)
• Past per f or mance mor e impor t ant t han let t er s af t er
name(2)
10
Tr aining of
Per sonnel
• The com pany have an ob ligat ion t o ensur e cont r act or ' s
employ a t r aining pr ogr am me. This is dep endent on t he
pr oj ect f unding mechanism as t hir d par t y f under s such as
councils mandat e t r aining pr ogr am mes und er t heir mast er
f unding agr eem ent s. (3)
• As long as t he per sonn el on sit e ar e t r ained and not
unskill ed, whoso ever inst igat ed t hat t r aining, albeit a pr evious
employer of t he per sonn el, is not f u lly impor t ant (3)
• Essent ial as it shows a commit m ent t o keeping and
devel oping r esour ce plus com mit ment t o cont inuall y i mpr ove
and keep pace w it h developm ent in t he indust r y(4)
• Impor t ant t o keep kno wledge up t o dat e b y CPD and/ or up
t o dat e plant and equip ment t r aining (4)
• To m eet new t asks in t ime(3)
• To get a smoot h f low of wor k(1)
• Says a lot about pr ogr essive nat ur e of compan y(4)
• Tr aining is impor t ant but exp er ience of management m or e
so. (4)



Pr ocur ement of Bui l di ng Ser v i ce Subcont r act or s i n U.A.E. : An ev al uat i on of
subj ect i v e f act or s f or pr equal i f i cat i on cr i t er i a
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Sl
No.
Factor evaluated Key Comment to the factors with ratings in brackets
11
Company
Owner ship
• It is not a pr obl em pr o viding t hat a Par ent Co mpany
Guar ant ee is pr ovid ed pr e cont r act awar d(1)
• Capabil it y is mor e impor t ant t han t he nat ur e of t h e
company own er ship(1)
• The ab ilit y t o p er f or m t h e cont r act wit h qualit y and h ealt h
and saf et y in mind is of mor e imp or t ance t han t he
const it ut ion of t he Company. (1)
• Relevant in t er ms of over all secur it y and f inancial
st anding(2)
• Cr ed it abilit y(4)
• To know if company ho w management can suppor t in t he
event of an y l egal issues(3)
• M ust ver if y t o ensur e t o f ace any sit uat ion in f ut ur e. (4)
• This n eeds t o b e consider ed due t o any pot ent ial polit ics. (4)
12
M et hod
St at ement s
• M et hodology is impor t ant but t he t echnical evaluat io n of
bids only car r i es a 30% w eight ing (3)
• To ensur e t hat t he what -wh y-how of t hings ar e cl ear ly
under st ood(5)k
• Essent ial t o car r y out good wor king pr act ice and ensur e
healt h and saf et y issues ar e addr essed.(5)
• Fundament al t o sho w a clear un der st anding of t he pr oj ect
and how it has t o b e built (4)
• Good t o see h ow t hey en visage t he inst allat ion b eing under
t aken t o est ablish t h eir pr of essionalism(5)
• To plan and pr epar e each and ever y it ems - t o avoid
sur pr ises dur ing execut ion(5)
• M ust ver if y and check b ef or e execut ion of all act ivit i es at
sit e.(4)
• Full under st anding b y subcont r act or s at t ender st age ar e
insist ed(4)
• Not so impor t ant as long as t h e exp er ience and t r ack r ecor d
of t he business exist s. (2)

4.6.3. Negative Implication of Improper consideration of the Subjective Factors
for Building Service Subcontractor Prequalification
The question was constructed to investigate if there were any negative implications
caused as a result of improper consideration of the factor for prequalification of BSC.
From the literature review, it is understood that improper subjective evaluation of a BSC
Pr ocur ement of Bui l di ng Ser v i ce Subcont r act or s i n U.A.E. : An ev al uat i on of
subj ect i v e f act or s f or pr equal i f i cat i on cr i t er i a
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on the selection shall cause a significant reduction in the successful performance of a
project. The figure 18 below shows the graphical representation of the responses.


Figure 18 - Negative Implication of Improper consideration of the Subjective Factors for
Building Service Subcontractor Prequalification
The surveyors were asked to comment on their experiences from improper
consideration of BSC. It was found that 46% of the respondents indicated that they had
experiences negative implications due to improper consideration of the PQC; while 38%
of the surveyors were not aware about the problem. But 16% of the respondents said
they have not faced any problems due to improper consideration of PQC. The general
responses are summarised from the surveyors are listed below.
 Due to procurement of subcontractor with lesser experience which was chosen
solely on price caused the project to perform badly in relation to time, cost and
quality.
 Little emphasis was placed on the method statements and technical evaluation of
a bid. This resulted in poor contractor performance during the construction
phase, which resulted in programme delays, cost escalation and disputes.
 The subcontractor was not able to deliver the required performance as a result of
improper consideration of factors.
38%
16%
46%
Negat i ve Impl i cat i on of Impr oper consi derat i on of t he
Subj ect i ve Fact or s f or Bui l di ng Ser vi ce Subcont ract or
Pr equal i f i cat i on
Yes
No
Unsur e
Pr ocur ement of Bui l di ng Ser v i ce Subcont r act or s i n U.A.E. : An ev al uat i on of
subj ect i v e f act or s f or pr equal i f i cat i on cr i t er i a
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 A contract signed without verifying the antecedence of a subcontractor resulted
in loss of profits, unnecessary stress on our team and delay in project execution.
 Bad results happened due to low quality policy because of urgency to meet
deadlines or mile stones.
 Subcontractors went bankrupt part way through major contracts due to
inconsideration of the subcontractor’s financial capabilities.
 During the times of economic crisis, the profit margins are reduced so as to
survive. Hence, the priorities have been given to procure BSC on the basis of
cost and lesser consideration of the factors of quality.
 Management with insufficient experience and inability to drive the project.

4.7. Discussion on the Subjective Factor for Building Service Subcontractor
Prequalification
The studies on the theories for the Subcontracting practises were carried out in the
literature review at Chapter 2. From the studies, it was established that selection of the
appropriate BSC is critical to the successful performance of a project. The practises of
procuring subcontractors within the construction supply chain was discusses. The
various subcontractor selection models were investigated and the various factors for
subjective evaluation were determined. From the research of primary data, the rating
criteria for the selection of the building service subcontractors were not available from
the academic or professional publications. However, the rating mechanism is critical to
the appointment of the building service subcontractor. Although there are various
models for subjective evaluation of a subcontractor, but in reality the judgment of the
ratings are developed from the perceptions of the procurement team.
The core objective of the study is to investigate the current practise of rating the
subjective factors while prequalifying a BSC. The questionnaire for the survey was
constructed to provide a rating mechanism for the selection of the building service
subcontractor. The answers provided to the key questions will be critically analysed
with the theory from literature review. However, it is not possible to benchmark the
criteria with a model because there is not a rating criteria devised for subcontractors by
any academicians.
Pr ocur ement of Bui l di ng Ser v i ce Subcont r act or s i n U.A.E. : An ev al uat i on of
subj ect i v e f act or s f or pr equal i f i cat i on cr i t er i a
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The rating from the surveyors seems to demonstrate that the participants have a fair
knowledge in terms of procurements of BSC. There ratings indicated as shown in the
Table 5 shows that the variances between the respondent’s scores were not wide
relatively.

Table 5 – Rating of Factors for Prequalification of Building Service Subcontractor with
variance
Factors for Prequalification
Factor Significance
Index
Rank Variance
H & S 4.054 1 0.545
Performance in previously
similar contracts
4.027 2 0.518
Method Statements 3.946 3 0.437
Quality 3.811 4 0.302
Human Resources 3.595 5 0.086
Financial Performance 3.514 6 0.005
Environment 3.459 7 -0.05
Training of Personnel 3.27 8 -0.239
Plant & Equipment 3.27 8 -0.239
Previous or Current records of
legal disputes
3.27 8 -0.239
Company Ownership 3 11 -0.509
Professional Company
membership
2.892 12 -0.617

Respondents have selected that H & S as the highest priority and should be the most
valued while assessing a BSC with a mean score of 4.054. This shows that construction
safety is a considered important to construction practitioners and the lives of people are
valued with higher regard. The respondents stated that H&S boosted confidence and is
absolutely paramount in achieving the targeted time, cost and quality aspects. The
performance in the previous projects is considered to be the second highest priority for
subjective assessment with a mean score of 4.027. The respondents commented that the
good performance of a BSC in its previous projects builds confidence in the contractor’s
ability to deliver. The other advantages listed by the respondents were that there will be
a reduction in supervision and monitoring costs; and there results dictate the H&S,
Quality, Project delivery schedule and the commercial aspects. It is noted that the
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respondents agreed to Tam & Harris (1996) who determined the coefficient of relation
between the past project performance and the predicted project performance. The
difference between the factors is relatively lower which shows the importance of both
the entities. There was only a marginal difference between both the factors. However, it
is noted that the variance between the respondents results were comparatively higher for
both the factors.
Method Statement was ranked third in the rating criteria with a mean score of 3.946
followed by the Quality with a mean score of 3.841 having a marginal difference. Both
of the factors are known to be directly influencing quality and duration of the works and
the ratings indicates that the respondents find that quality is essential. Method
Statements demonstrates the work that a contractor shall perform at site and hence the
required performance can be evaluated from the method statements.
Human Resources and Financial Performance ranked 5
th
and 6
th
in the rating scale with
a mean score of 3.595 and 3.514. The variances for the ratings by the respondents were
relatively lower to the top three factors. Human resources and financial performance
demonstrates the capability of the BSC in terms of their human and financial resources
respectively. It is essential to maintain the human resource efficiently and the
management should be committed to alleviating the human capital. It is also equally
important to determine whether the BSC are maintaining their financial position intact
to keep the project insulated from the turbulence of economic bankruptcy existing
within the U.A.E. Many projects have known to fail due to the depression of financial
resources by the contractor. It is also understood from the lower variance index with a
variance of 0.086 and 0.005 respectively that the respondents had an equal voice on the
priority for the human resource and the financial performance while procuring a BSC.
The environment policies and management practises were ranked 7
th
in position of
ratings having a mean score of 3.459. The variance for the factor was -0.05 and this
depicts that the environmental policies were considered only moderately significant
with the majority of the respondents rating it to 3. This may be due to the employer’s
commitment to the environment and their compliance to the ISO14001 environmental
policy. The subjective factors of training of personnel, plant & equipment and previous
or current records of legal disputes shared the 8th respectively with a mean score of 3.27
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each. The results show that all the participants found that the three factors are of equal
significance.
Company ownership is ranked 11
th
in the ratings indicated by the respondents with a
factor significant index of 3. The result indicates that company ownership of the BSC is
of lesser significance while considering the BSC selection but should also be valued in
the criteria. The least rating was given to the BSCs professional membership and
accreditation with a mean score of 2.892. As per the literature review, company
membership is of importance in establishing innovative practises and developing the
professionals. But it is understood from the variance score of -0.617 that the
respondents had a wide opinion on its significance. This shows that there is a difference
in opinion about the consideration of its rating while selecting a BSC.
The Table 6 shows the standard deviation of the responses by the participants on the
ratings for subjective evaluation of BSC. It is seen that the respondents R6, R31 and
R33 were display to a high level of deviation from the mean score. This indicates that
they had generally a higher difference in opinion in contrast to the other respondents.

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Table 6 – Standard Deviation in Surveyor’s responses to ratings

4.8. Summary
This chapter analysed and discussed the survey results. The subjective factors were
graded with the scores provided by the surveyors. The factors were ranked and the
R1 0.741
R2 0.983
R3 0.978
R4 1.166
R5 0.622
R6 2.537
R7 0.917
R8 1.104
R9 1.21
R10 1.299
R11 1.03
R12 0.524
R13 0.809
R14 0.885
R15 1.123
R16 1.017
R17 1.225
R18 1.105
R19 1.125
R20 1.044
R21 0.694
R22 0.915
R23 0.871
R24 0.776
R25 0.842
R26 1.097
R27 1.089
R28 1.136
R29 0.782
R30 1.07
R31 2.537
R32 1.537
R33 2.209
R34 0.837
R35 1.108
R36 0.885
R37 0.849
Respondent Standard Deviation
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scores were discussed in relation to the literature review. The construction
professional’s explanations were gathered for analysing the scores provided. The impact
of improper consideration of the subjective evaluation was analysed. The results
obtained from this chapter will help the researcher to draw research conclusion.






















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5.0. Conclusion and Recommendations
This chapter aims to present a conclusion to the set of aims and objective mentioned in
Chapter1. The conclusions shall be drawn from the research for the literature review in
conjunction with the results obtained from the data analysis of the survey. A set of
recommendations shall be presented to achieve the best possible approaches and
measures to improve the practice of selection of building service subcontractor in
U.A.E.

5.1. Analysis of subcontracting practise in supply chain management and study of
their merits & challenges
Construction projects are characterised by multiple organizations with the relationship
being temporary. The supply chain management calls for integrating the multiple
organizations within a supply chain. Subcontracting is a common practise adopted in
construction supply chain where services are procured from specialist contractors or
suppliers. This enables the prime contractors to focus on the major works and the prime
contractors to optimise the usage of resources and improve the cash flow with improved
project performance. However, the subcontracting is faced by the myriad of challenges
caused by the high risk of uncertainties from the downstream. The control of
subcontractors is more complicated with multiple layers of subcontracting within the
supply chain.

5.2. Examining the role of building service subcontractor and their procurement
process
Building services required for the safe, comfortable and environmentally friendly
operation of modern buildings. The building services subcontractors are responsible for
ensuring the cost-effective, environmentally sound and sustainable design and
maintenance of engineering services in buildings. Hence, it is important to ensure a high
level of quality in the building service during construction. Procuring the right
subcontractor is critical to achieve the client’s expectations for building services. One
stage tendering and two stage tendering are the current procurement practises within the
industry with the latter being more efficient in procurement. Two stage tendering
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screens the lesser performing subcontractor based on a set of predetermined factors for
evaluating the subcontractor performance.
Realizing the importance of the building service in construction, the commonly used
construction contract in U.A.E., like the FIDIC, allows employers to nominate their
building service subcontractor to ensure the right subcontractor for the job. It improves
time, build ability of the project and an effective cost management program can be put
in place. But nomination practises can be set to abuse as the prime contractor may be
entitled to problems caused by the defaults of the building service subcontractor
although the prime contractor can object the nomination based on indemnity.
It is understood that the current prequalification practises have many shortcoming due to
lack of a universal approach to prequalification methodologies. The qualified
subcontractors may lose their competency in the long run and also there are higher
chances of new subcontractor being unable to qualify. However, the subjective
evaluation is an art based on the perceptions of the decision maker or the employer.

5.3. Analysis of the Prequalification Criteria of BSC and the various
subcontractor selection models.
Selecting the qualified building service subcontractor is established to hire building
service subcontractors with the desired performance. Subcontractors are screened under
various factors which are predetermined by the decision maker or the employer
depending upon their perception. The decisions of the factors are reliant upon the type
of employer or the type of the decision maker. The public sector decisions depend upon
the procurement practises and regulations of the country.
To facilitate prequalification, there have been various subcontractor selection model
which employ Decision Support Systems (DSS) and Expert Systems (ES). These are
designed to propose solutions for management issues. They simplify and help in
analysing the qualification of the BSC. Many models using neural network, fuzzy logic,
and generic algorithm are employed for performance evaluation of the BSC.


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5.4. Evaluation of Subjective factors for prequalification criteria to select the
BSC
Selection of BSC based on the lowest bidding subcontractor shall hamper the
performance of the project. Hence, the contractor’s qualification, and project
characteristics are to be considered in selecting the BSC. The performance of a building
service subcontractor for prequalification is determined by the multiple criteria
evaluation. The decision maker evaluates the performance by grading the subjective
factors. The literature review investigated the various factors for prequalification criteria
and the factors were asked to be rated by the lead construction practitioners within the
U.A.E. The following table 7 indicates the results of the ratings indicated by the
respondents.
Table 7- Ranking of factors for prequalification criteria


5.5. Recommendations
To improve the practises of building service subcontractor selection in U.A.E., the
author finds many recommendations from the context of the literature review and the
data analysis. The following recommendations are believed to improve the project
performance from the perspectives of good practises of subcontractor selection.
Factors for Prequalification Rank
Factor
Significance
Index
H & S 1 4.054
Performance in previously
similar contracts
2 4.027
Method Statements 3 3.946
Quality 4 3.811
Human Resources 5 3.595
Financial Performance 6 3.514
Environment 7 3.459
Training of Personnel 8 3.27
Plant & Equipment 8 3.27
Previous or Current records of
legal disputes
8 3.27
Company Ownership 11 3
Professional Company
membership
12 2.892
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 From the survey, it was understood that major group of the respondents
experienced negative implications from poor qualification of building service
subcontractors. Two stage tendering need to be practised by screening the
building service subcontractors who do not attain the prequalification score and
the qualified subcontractors to be evaluated from their bids.
 Qualified building service subcontractors need to be appointed to attain the
required project expectations. The subjective factors shall be derived from
evaluated and predetermined criteria.
 Building service subcontractors shall be qualified using multiple criteria
evaluation methods for selection and should not be on the basis of cost alone.
 Prequalification score shall be evaluated using the decision support systems
combining the elements of cost and subjective factors.

5.6. Limitation of Research
Walker (1997) states that the quality of the results from an investigative research
depending on the research methodology, the data collection techniques and the tools for
analysis of the findings. This investigative research for the evaluation of
prequalification criteria is a subjective area where the results are determined upon the
perception of the surveyor.
The results from the survey could not be compared with the rating criteria of present
practise due to the lack of academic data on the subject. The rating criteria currently in
practise is based on the perception of the decision maker or the procurement team based
on their experience and varies with organization and their scenario.
The absences of professional guidelines in procurement and construction processes
within the U.A.E. construction sector have caused wide range of practises within the
U.A.E. The majority of the construction works are carried out by overseas contracting
firms in joint venture with local contracting firms. The construction practises by the
overseas contractor vary with differing contracting organizations. They bring the
construction practises established in their parent country. It was not possible to sample
organizations based on the country of the parent company of the surveyor.
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Due to restrictions in time and resource, the survey was only able to explore the
subjective factor as a general scenario rather than evaluating the factors based on the
type of project being executed.

5.7. Recommendation for Future Research
The research had identified that there exists many multiple criteria evaluation methods
employing decision support systems and experts systems. However, the focus of the
application was on selection of contractors from the perspective of the employer. There
exist issues in subcontracting which are confined to subcontractors and there exists a
wide opportunity for research in studying their practical application towards
subcontractor selection. Moreover, the author suggests similar in-depth studies by
applying various analytical tools like artificial intelligence, fuzzy logic, artificial neural
networks, etc toward selection of subcontractors.














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Sawacha, E., Naoum, S. & Fong, D., 1999. Fact or s af f ect ing saf et y per f or mance on const r uct ion
sit es. Int er nat ional Jour nal of Pr oj ect M anagement , 17(5), pp.309-15.
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const r uct ion pr oj ect s. Jour nal of Civil Engineer ing and M anagement , 16(1), p.47–56.
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INDUSTRY. M anagement Resear ch News, 24(3).
Pr ocur ement of Bui l di ng Ser v i ce Subcont r act or s i n U.A.E. : An ev al uat i on of
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Zar ouni, T., 2009. Envir onment al M anagement Challenges in Dubai . [ Online] Avai lable at :
ht t p:/ / www.slideshar e.net / zar ounee/ envir on ment al-managment -in-dubai [ Accessed 2 Ju ly
2011] .

























Pr ocur ement of Bui l di ng Ser v i ce Subcont r act or s i n U.A.E. : An ev al uat i on of
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Appendix A – Covering Letter to Questionnaire Participants

09 June, 2011

Dear XXXXX,

As a r eput ed const r uct ion indust r y p er sonnel, I w ould r eq uest you t o suppor t m e by f ill ing my
online sur vey pr o vided in t h e l ink belo w. I am cur r ent ly pr epar ing my disser t at ion f or t he
mast er s in const r uct ion pr oj ect management at Her iot - Wat t Univer sit y (U.K.) which
invest igat es t he pr ior it y consid er ed f or pr ocur ing build ing ser vice sub cont r act or s at U.A.E.
The sur vey is int ended f or const r uct ion pr of essionals who ar e d ealing wit h pr ocur em ent s,
t ender ing, super visi on and managem ent of const r uct ion pr oj ect s. The online sur vey t akes only
t en minut es t o comp let e t he quest ionnair e.
The online quest io nnair e sur veys t he var ious f act or s, t heir pr ior it y and t heir r eason behind t he
select ion of bu ilding ser vice subcont r act or s. As a par t of my r esear ch f or my disser t at ion I want
t o est ablish t he views of pr of essionals wit hin t he const r uct ion sect or . This inf or mat ion w ill
allow m e t o ascer t ain t he cur r ent appr oach t o t he cr it er ia d et er min ed t o pr ocur e building
ser vice sub cont r act or s in t he U.A.E. and ho w it may be impr o ved t o ben ef it all in f ut ur e
pr oj ect s.
I will b e happy t o h ear any ot h er comment s/ quest ions you have or sho uld you wish t o d iscuss
any of t he po int s r aised.
Link t o t he quest ionnair e: ht t p:/ / shij pi.quest ionf or m.com/ pub lic/ Onlin e-Sur vey- _-M anaging-
Pr ocur ement

Thanks & Regar ds,

Shij o Joseph V.
M Sc. Const r uct ion Pr oj ect M anagement
Her iot Wat t Univer sit y (U.K.)






Pr ocur ement of Bui l di ng Ser v i ce Subcont r act or s i n U.A.E. : An ev al uat i on of
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Appendix B –Online Questionnaires






Pr ocur ement of Bui l di ng Ser v i ce Subcont r act or s i n U.A.E. : An ev al uat i on of
subj ect i v e f act or s f or pr equal i f i cat i on cr i t er i a
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Pr ocur ement of Bui l di ng Ser v i ce Subcont r act or s i n U.A.E. : An ev al uat i on of
subj ect i v e f act or s f or pr equal i f i cat i on cr i t er i a
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Pr ocur ement of Bui l di ng Ser v i ce Subcont r act or s i n U.A.E. : An ev al uat i on of
subj ect i v e f act or s f or pr equal i f i cat i on cr i t er i a
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Pr ocur ement of Bui l di ng Ser v i ce Subcont r act or s i n U.A.E. : An ev al uat i on of
subj ect i v e f act or s f or pr equal i f i cat i on cr i t er i a
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Pr ocur ement of Bui l di ng Ser v i ce Subcont r act or s i n U.A.E. : An ev al uat i on of
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Pr ocur ement of Bui l di ng Ser v i ce Subcont r act or s i n U.A.E. : An ev al uat i on of
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Pr ocur ement of Bui l di ng Ser v i ce Subcont r act or s i n U.A.E. : An ev al uat i on of
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Pr ocur ement of Bui l di ng Ser v i ce Subcont r act or s i n U.A.E. : An ev al uat i on of
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Appendix C – Surveyor’s Response to Questionnaire

Pr ocur ement of Bui l di ng Ser v i ce Subcont r act or s i n U.A.E. : An ev al uat i on of
subj ect i v e f act or s f or pr equal i f i cat i on cr i t er i a
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Pr ocur ement of Bui l di ng Ser v i ce Subcont r act or s i n U.A.E. : An ev al uat i on of
subj ect i v e f act or s f or pr equal i f i cat i on cr i t er i a
2 0 1 1

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Pr ocur ement of Bui l di ng Ser v i ce Subcont r act or s i n U.A.E. : An ev al uat i on of
subj ect i v e f act or s f or pr equal i f i cat i on cr i t er i a
2 0 1 1

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Pr ocur ement of Bui l di ng Ser v i ce Subcont r act or s i n U.A.E. : An ev al uat i on of
subj ect i v e f act or s f or pr equal i f i cat i on cr i t er i a
2 0 1 1

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Pr ocur ement of Bui l di ng Ser v i ce Subcont r act or s i n U.A.E. : An ev al uat i on of
subj ect i v e f act or s f or pr equal i f i cat i on cr i t er i a
2 0 1 1

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Pr ocur ement of Bui l di ng Ser v i ce Subcont r act or s i n U.A.E. : An ev al uat i on of
subj ect i v e f act or s f or pr equal i f i cat i on cr i t er i a
2 0 1 1

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Pr ocur ement of Bui l di ng Ser v i ce Subcont r act or s i n U.A.E. : An ev al uat i on of
subj ect i v e f act or s f or pr equal i f i cat i on cr i t er i a
2 0 1 1

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Pr ocur ement of Bui l di ng Ser v i ce Subcont r act or s i n U.A.E. : An ev al uat i on of
subj ect i v e f act or s f or pr equal i f i cat i on cr i t er i a
2 0 1 1

96
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Pr ocur ement of Bui l di ng Ser v i ce Subcont r act or s i n U.A.E. : An ev al uat i on of
subj ect i v e f act or s f or pr equal i f i cat i on cr i t er i a
2 0 1 1

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Pr ocur ement of Bui l di ng Ser v i ce Subcont r act or s i n U.A.E. : An ev al uat i on of
subj ect i v e f act or s f or pr equal i f i cat i on cr i t er i a
2 0 1 1

98
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Pr ocur ement of Bui l di ng Ser v i ce Subcont r act or s i n U.A.E. : An ev al uat i on of
subj ect i v e f act or s f or pr equal i f i cat i on cr i t er i a
2 0 1 1

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Pr ocur ement of Bui l di ng Ser v i ce Subcont r act or s i n U.A.E. : An ev al uat i on of
subj ect i v e f act or s f or pr equal i f i cat i on cr i t er i a
2 0 1 1

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Pr ocur ement of Bui l di ng Ser v i ce Subcont r act or s i n U.A.E. : An ev al uat i on of
subj ect i v e f act or s f or pr equal i f i cat i on cr i t er i a
2 0 1 1

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Pr ocur ement of Bui l di ng Ser v i ce Subcont r act or s i n U.A.E. : An ev al uat i on of
subj ect i v e f act or s f or pr equal i f i cat i on cr i t er i a
2 0 1 1

102
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Pr ocur ement of Bui l di ng Ser v i ce Subcont r act or s i n U.A.E. : An ev al uat i on of
subj ect i v e f act or s f or pr equal i f i cat i on cr i t er i a
2 0 1 1

103
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Pr ocur ement of Bui l di ng Ser v i ce Subcont r act or s i n U.A.E. : An ev al uat i on of
subj ect i v e f act or s f or pr equal i f i cat i on cr i t er i a
2 0 1 1

104
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Pr ocur ement of Bui l di ng Ser v i ce Subcont r act or s i n U.A.E. : An ev al uat i on of
subj ect i v e f act or s f or pr equal i f i cat i on cr i t er i a
2 0 1 1

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Pr ocur ement of Bui l di ng Ser v i ce Subcont r act or s i n U.A.E. : An ev al uat i on of
subj ect i v e f act or s f or pr equal i f i cat i on cr i t er i a
2 0 1 1

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Pr ocur ement of Bui l di ng Ser v i ce Subcont r act or s i n U.A.E. : An ev al uat i on of
subj ect i v e f act or s f or pr equal i f i cat i on cr i t er i a
2 0 1 1

107
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Pr ocur ement of Bui l di ng Ser v i ce Subcont r act or s i n U.A.E. : An ev al uat i on of
subj ect i v e f act or s f or pr equal i f i cat i on cr i t er i a
2 0 1 1

108
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Pr ocur ement of Bui l di ng Ser v i ce Subcont r act or s i n U.A.E. : An ev al uat i on of
subj ect i v e f act or s f or pr equal i f i cat i on cr i t er i a
2 0 1 1

109
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Pr ocur ement of Bui l di ng Ser v i ce Subcont r act or s i n U.A.E. : An ev al uat i on of
subj ect i v e f act or s f or pr equal i f i cat i on cr i t er i a
2 0 1 1

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Pr ocur ement of Bui l di ng Ser v i ce Subcont r act or s i n U.A.E. : An ev al uat i on of
subj ect i v e f act or s f or pr equal i f i cat i on cr i t er i a
2 0 1 1

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Pr ocur ement of Bui l di ng Ser v i ce Subcont r act or s i n U.A.E. : An ev al uat i on of
subj ect i v e f act or s f or pr equal i f i cat i on cr i t er i a
2 0 1 1

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Pr ocur ement of Bui l di ng Ser v i ce Subcont r act or s i n U.A.E. : An ev al uat i on of
subj ect i v e f act or s f or pr equal i f i cat i on cr i t er i a
2 0 1 1

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Pr ocur ement of Bui l di ng Ser v i ce Subcont r act or s i n U.A.E. : An ev al uat i on of
subj ect i v e f act or s f or pr equal i f i cat i on cr i t er i a
2 0 1 1

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Pr ocur ement of Bui l di ng Ser v i ce Subcont r act or s i n U.A.E. : An ev al uat i on of
subj ect i v e f act or s f or pr equal i f i cat i on cr i t er i a
2 0 1 1

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Pr ocur ement of Bui l di ng Ser v i ce Subcont r act or s i n U.A.E. : An ev al uat i on of
subj ect i v e f act or s f or pr equal i f i cat i on cr i t er i a
2 0 1 1

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Appendix D – Surveyor’s Response Analysis


























Pr ocur ement of Bui l di ng Ser v i ce Subcont r act or s i n U.A.E. : An ev al uat i on of
subj ect i v e f act or s f or pr equal i f i cat i on cr i t er i a
2 0 1 1

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Appendix E – Dissertation Preparation Program

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