Cardiff Metropolitan University
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A Systematic Literature Review Exploring How the UNs SDGs have limited application to Welsh Specialist Trade-Contractors in the Construction Industry and their Sustainable Development

conference contribution
posted on 2023-05-13, 13:51 authored by Natasha Stait, Emmet McLoughlinEmmet McLoughlin, Christopher Miller

The Construction Industry has specific features that outlines this sector from all other sectors, (Lu et al, 2021). In Wales 99% of Specialist Trade Contractors can be categorised as Small Firms employing less than thirteen people, with 55% of these being sole contractors, (CEW, 2019). For almost the past two decades, specialist trade contracting has been largely utilised in the Construction Industry, (El-Mashaleh, 2009). Specialist trade contractors assist main contractors in overcoming problems that relate to the need for specialist expertise, to reduce resource shortage and financial implications, (Elazouni and Metwally, 2000). Specialist trade contractors have a critical role in the adoption of innovation within a construction project. However, because specialist trade contractors are likely to already have adopted innovation within their specialism it has to be noted that because of this specialist behaviour they tend to endure very different challenges in adopting new innovations as the innovation processes tend to differ from large firms, (Goh and Loosemore, 2017). Thus, Gadde and Dubois (2010) noted that the construction project process emphasises transactional cost rather that relationship exchange. This fundamentally discourages integration and limits sustainable behaviours in the construction industry particularly when combined with the industries overarching problems of environmental performance and the combination of obtaining financial stability, (Briscoe and Dainty, 2005). 


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