Skip to main content

Research Repository

Advanced Search

The impact of competitive fee tendering on construction professional service quality

Hoxley, M


M Hoxley


P Barrett


It is less than fifteen years since the associations representing construction
professionals in the UK surrendered to Government pressure, and abolished
mandatory fee scales, predicting as they did so that abolition would inevitably
lead to a decline in the standard of service provided to clients. Competitive
fee tendering is now the principal route for the appointment of construction
professionals in the UK and during the recent recession, fee levels fell to
unprecedented low levels. The main aim of this research project is to
ascertain whether fee tendering has led to a decline in service quality.
The research commences with a literature review of professional services in
a construction industry context. The framework for the review is the three
stage consumer behaviour model and the variables identified by the literature
search are then developed into a process model. The model is underpinned
by the important variables to be investigated - the method of appointment and
clients' perceptions of service quality. A literature review of these subjects
leads to the development of one main hypothesis (that clients' perceptions of
service quality are lower for fee tendered appointments) and four subhypotheses.
The hypotheses are tested by the analysis of data arising from the
assessment of 244 professional consultants by their clients. The main
research instrument is a measurement scale developed by comparing four
previous studies, with the much used SERVQUAL scale (Parasuraman,
Zeithami and Berry, 1991), providing the main foundation of the scale.
The data do not support the main hypothesis - either for the entire client
sample or for public sector clients only. However the hypotheses that service
quality is higher when care is taken with the pre-selection of tenderers and
when adequate weighting has been given to ability, are supported. The thesis
concludes with implications for the professions and for clients, and with
recommendations for further research.


Hoxley, M. The impact of competitive fee tendering on construction professional service quality. (Thesis). University of Salford

Thesis Type Thesis
Deposit Date Sep 19, 2011
Publicly Available Date Sep 19, 2011
Award Date Jan 1, 1998


Downloadable Citations