Analyzing the Key Drivers of Contractors’ Temporary Competitive Advantage in the Competition of International High-speed Rail Projects

Qianwen Zhou, Xiaopeng Deng, Ruoyu (Roy) Jin, Tengyuan Chang

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


    After temporary competitive advantage (TCA) being proposed, this concept has received a lot of attention from academia and industry. For international HSR contractors, how to form their TCA and win out over the competition for new projects is crucial, while only a few studies focus on this issue. This research aims to develop a TCA system that reflects the characteristics of high-speed rail (HSR) contractors in the corporation and project levels. At first, exploratory factor analysis (EFA) and confirmatory factor analysis (CFA) was conducted to explore and examine the key drivers and their relationships with contractors’ TCA. The results revealed that experience-mining advantage was the most critical factor of the six common factors. Next, common factors were divided into three dimensions and discussed in-depth, including resource-based TCA (i.e., technical resource and social image) which had the highest significance, followed by performance-based TCA (experience-mining advantage and risk-controlling performance), and action-based TCA (i.e., funding strategy and organizational management). Finally, two case study projects were selected to investigate the competitive situation between CRH (China Railway High-speed) and Shinkansen (Japan) in the international HSR market. This study not only provides suggestions for contractors to improve their TCA in international HSR projects, but also contributes to the theoretical framework for the TCA theory.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)4579-4591
    Number of pages13
    JournalKSCE Journal of Civil Engineering
    Issue number11
    Publication statusPublished - 4 Oct 2019

    Bibliographical note

    This is a post-peer-review, pre-copyedit version of an article published in KSCE Journal of Civil Engineering. The final authenticated version is available online at:


    • case study
    • factor analysis
    • high-speed rail (HSR) project
    • international contractors
    • temporary competitive advantage (TCA)


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