A technique for developing strategic differentiation for small architectural firms

Heintz, J and Aranda-Mena, G 2016, 'A technique for developing strategic differentiation for small architectural firms', in Arto Saari and Pekka Huovinen (ed.) Proceedings of the CIB World Congress: Volume III - Building up business operations and their logic - Shaping materials and techonologies (WBC16), Tampere, Finland, 30 May - 3 June 2016, pp. 33-44.


Document type: Conference Paper
Collection: Conference Papers

Title A technique for developing strategic differentiation for small architectural firms
Author(s) Heintz, J
Aranda-Mena, G
Year 2016
Conference name WBC16
Conference location Tampere, Finland
Conference dates 30 May - 3 June 2016
Proceedings title Proceedings of the CIB World Congress: Volume III - Building up business operations and their logic - Shaping materials and techonologies (WBC16)
Editor(s) Arto Saari and Pekka Huovinen
Publisher Tampere University of Technology
Place of publication Tampere, Finland
Start page 33
End page 44
Total pages 12
Abstract Since the crash in 2007, the number of small architectural firms has risen dramatically as both recently graduated and recently laid off architects decide to go out on their own. In such a crowded market firms will need to find some way to distinguish themselves from their many competitors. Arguing from the Resource Based Strategy theory the authors assert that to be successful architectural firms must build and promote competences which are both scarce and in demand in order to compete successfully. This should especially be the case in a 'buyers' market'. Architect starting their own firms must provide something more than standard package of architectural services will not be enough to permit new firms to gain clients. A series of case studies was used to compare this theoretical proposition with the experience of recently established architectural firms (+-5 years). The case studies gathered firm histories including the original goals of the principle architect(s), their entrance strategies and marketing approaches, their client list and portfolios of acquired and completed projects. This permitted a comparison to be made between the firm profile the architects originally desired to establish, and the profiles eventually realized. In particular, the perceived selling points which the principle architects believed would provide them with the ability to acquire projects with the services they eventually were able to sell. The case studies supported the assertion that a clear differentiation strategy is one means of successfully launching a firm and gaining a client base.
Subjects Building Construction Management and Project Planning
Architecture Management
Building Science and Techniques
Keyword(s) Architectural Firm
Strategy
Differentiation
Competences
Copyright notice © 2016 TUT - Tampere University of Technology
ISBN 9789521537431
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