Degree Name

Master of Engineering - Research


Faculty of Engineering


Achievement of high quality performance can provide a potential competitive edge in the construction industry. Subcontracting is a feature of the construction industry that has been identified as a source of poor quality and overall poor business performance. This thesis aims to determine the root causes of poor quality performance in the subcontracting system. Supply Chain Quality Management (SCQM) by integrating Quality Management into the Construction Supply Chain will be considered for its effectiveness to overcome quality problems. A set of Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) will also be developed as a major contribution to the thesis. KPIs, as a quality management tool, can ensure that SCQM can be effectively implemented in subcontracted projects.

A questionnaire survey was adopted as the research method. It received a total of 53 valid responses from 150 of the larger main contracting companies in Australia. The mean score value analysis and Relative Importance Index was used for data analysis and the data was then processed by Statistical Package for Social Scientists (SPSS). The findings from this research demonstrate that the factors attributed to poor quality performance are mostly soft factors, which could be properly addressed by the concepts of SCQM. From the survey, though the level of awareness of SCQM is not very high in the Australian construction industry, the willingness to accept some approaches related to this concept is high. This provides a possible foundation to implement SCQM in the construction industry. Lastly, a model of KPIs had been developed, based on the result from the previous theoretical studies and this survey, which will encourage the implementation of SCQM in subcontracted projects. It is expected that it will help construction companies achieve a better quality performance, especially in their subcontracted projects. Although the relationship between enhancement of quality and SCQM is not examined directly in this thesis, it does provide a perspective that SCQM could address poor quality performance caused by subcontracting.