Title

Comparing Performance and Impediments of Construction and Professional Disadvantaged Business Enterprises in Transportation

Document Type

Article

Abstract

Disadvantaged/Minority/Women business enterprises (DBE/MBE/WBEs) in construction and professional fields face several impediments that hinder their business growth and overall performance. In this study, a survey was conducted to compare the importance of the factors that most affect business performance of these business enterprises, the impediments they face, and the advantages and disadvantages of being a DBE/MBE/WBE; the survey was conducted with construction and professional firms in the transportation industry. When comparing responses from 259 business enterprises, the results indicated that construction firms placed significantly higher importance to financial issues and safe work practices than professional firms. In addition, construction firms ranked lack of technology, an unskilled work force, and an expensive work force as significant impediments to their business success as compared to professional firms. No significant differences were detected ranking the advantages of being DBEs. However, regarding the disadvantages of being a DBE, construction firms ranked excessive bid shopping significantly higher than professional firms. The respondents provided a set of recommendations to improve the status of DBEs for use by government policy-makers/owners and prime contractors.