Award Date

12-1-2013

Degree Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Science in Engineering (MSE)

Department

Civil and Environmental Engineering

First Committee Member

Pramen Shrestha

Second Committee Member

Moses Karakouzian

Third Committee Member

Neil Opfer

Fourth Committee Member

Ashok Singh

Number of Pages

64

Abstract

Construction and professional disadvantaged, minority, and women business enterprises (DBE/MBE/WBEs) face several impediments that hinder their business growth. A questionnaire survey was conducted to determine the important factors that affect their business performance, impediments faced by these business enterprises, advantages, and disadvantages of being DBE (DBE will be an umbrella designation for DBE, MBE, and WBE). This study compares the difference in responses from these two groups. A total of 333 business enterprises responded to the questionnaire. The survey results showed that construction firms gave significantly higher importance to "financial" issues and "safe work practices" as their most important factors for business performance than professional firms do. The construction firms' ranked "lack of technology," "unskilled manpower," and "expensive manpower" as significant impediments to their business success as compared to professional firms. However, no significant difference was detected in the ranking of the advantages of being DBEs between these two groups. Regarding the disadvantages of being a DBE, construction firms ranked "excessive bid shopping" significantly higher than professional firms. The respondents also provided a set of recommendations for the government policy makers/ owners and prime contractors to improve the DBE status.

Keywords

Advantages; Construction industry; DBE/MBE/WBE; Impediments; Minority business enterprises; Performance; Professional; Small business – Growth

Disciplines

Business | Construction Engineering and Management | Entrepreneurial and Small Business Operations

Language

English


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