Many large Chinese Construction Firms (CCFs) have been entering and developing the overseas construction markets in line with the development of the integration of global economies since 1950s. However, two aspects affect CCFs developed their international construction market. One aspect is that many factors in the current dynamic global construction market, which may affect Chinese firms expanding their businesses overseas. The other one aspect is practical competitiveness framework for CCFs’ overseas business still absent. Therefore, it is necessary to establish a framework to analyse and improve Chinese construction firms’ international competitiveness.

The aim of this PhD research is to investigate factors influencing the competitiveness of Chinese construction firms in the global market.

This paper establishes a framework for improving Chinese construction firms’ international competitiveness via analysis of both quantitative and qualitative data employing a sequential explanatory strategy. Quantitative data is used to explore the top global construction firms and the key issues in the global construction market. Qualitative data is used to identify the key competitiveness indicators (KCIs) from the academic literature review and the annual reports and web pages of top global construction firms, and thus, a preliminary competitiveness framework was established by the secondary data. The Modified-Delphi method was applied in the interview to investigate the KCIs of a construction firm’s international operations, in order to refine the preliminary framework and then establish a new competitiveness framework for CCFs.