Engineering Consultancy: An Assessment of IT-enabled International Delivery of Services

Erik Baark

    Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articlepeer-review


    The delivery of engineering consultancy services in global markets has been dominated by a small group of firms located in Europe and the US. Like many other service industries, engineering consultants have depended on the movement of highly qualified people and establishment of local affiliates for rendering their services in overseas markets. However, the diffusion of new information technology (IT) and the use of advanced telecommunications have changed the patterns of production and delivery of engineering design services. This paper examines the role of IT in changing modes of internationalization in the sector, focussing in particular on the potential for IT-enabled delivery that would provide an increased tradability of services. It is argued that new technologies have led to integration of project work and new sources of competitiveness in major firms, but that the emerging capacity to deliver services in arms-length transactions across national borders does not appear to have been significantly exploited. Nevertheless, IT-enabled delivery of engineering consultancy services opens up possibilities for business process reengineering that may provide some firms new competitive advantages in global markets and lead to further integration of design and construction in partnerships or project consortia, or in the strengthening of design-build approaches in project execution.
    Original languageEnglish
    JournalTechnology Analysis & Strategic Management
    Issue number1
    Pages (from-to)55-74
    Publication statusPublished - 1999


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