A quantitative situation analysis model for strategic planning in quantity surveying firms : a thesis presented in partial fulfilment of the requirements of the degree of Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) in Construction at Massey University, Albany Campus, New Zealand
Quantity Surveying (QS) firms, like all organisations must continuously formulate and execute the strategies required to enable them to survive and succeed in a constantly changing business environment. Key challenges that firms are required to grapple with include the rapid pace of technological advances affecting professional practice, intense internal competition, and the struggle to attract and retain key talent. In the midst of these operation challenges, QS firm leaders must also dedicate resource to planning and executing strategy. Unfortunately, strategic planning in QS firms is often ad-hoc or neglected, and there is a distinct lack of framework s and tools specific to the QS context.
This study set out to redress this gap in literature and theory, by providing firstly a framework of key factors to be considered in a situation analysis – the core activity of the Design School approach to strategic planning, and secondly to provide a quantitative model based on that framework to enable firms to diagnose their Strategic Health – that is, their current performance and areas for improvement and optimisation, prior to formulating, selecting and executing strategic options to achieve their mission and vision.
To achieve this, this study takes a multi-stage mixed methods approach. Firstly, following a review of the literature, in-depth semi-structured exploratory interviews were undertaken with key leaders in the Australian and New Zealand QS profession that led to the development of a situation analysis (SA) framework of 28 External Factors and 26 Internal Factors. Two stages of descriptive survey were undertaken (in 2013 and 2020) which enables the development of a quantitative Strategic Health model based on the framework Factors. Finally, the developed model was tested amongst five similar case study firms. Based on the case study results the developed model correlates strongly with five self-reported measures of success.
The developed SA framework provides QS firms with empirically validated terms of reference when undertaking SA as part of their own strategic planning process. Due to the relatively small sample sizes involved, caution is urged in applying the developed Strategic Health model to situations outside of the population samples in the study.
Further testing of the model in larger population samples or in associated industries are recommendations for further research.
Keywords: quantity surveying, situation analysis, strategic health, strategic planning, Australasia