Integrated Manufacturing-Services Businesses in the Australian Building and Construction Sector

Karen Manley, Jane Marceau


This paper establishes that the emergence of integrated manufacturing-service businessesis a key trademark of innovative industries and ‘the new economy’. Having establishedthe benefits of such integration, the phenomenon is reviewed in relation to theAustralian building and construction (B&C) sector. It is hypothesised that manufacturerssupplying building and construction work are adding value to their own activity, and that ofthe sector, by enhancing their product offerings via the provision of services. A small surveyis undertaken, with the findings revealing the nature of service provision by manufacturersin the Australian B&C sector. It appears that the ‘bundling’ of products and servicesby these manufacturers is a key competitive strategy yielding significant benefits for themand the sector as a whole.

Full Text:



California Management Review (1998) Spe-cial Issue of Knowledge and the Firm. Cali-fornia Management Review, 40 (3).

Carson, I. (1998) The World as a Single Ma-chine. The Economist, 347 (8073), s3âs6.

Coyle, D. (1997) Economics: The Weightless Economy. Critical Quarterly, 39 (4), 7.

DISR (1998) R & D Scoreboard '98. Depart-ment of Industry Sciences and Resources. Ausindustry/IR & D Board, Canberra.

Drake, K. (1998) Firms, Knowledge and Competitiveness. OECD Observer, 211, 24â27.

Gann, D.M. and Salter, A. (1998) Learning and Innovation Management in Project-Based, Service-Enhanced Firms. Interna-tional Journal of Innovation Management, 2 (4), 431â454.

Garcia-Mila, T. and McGuire, T.J. (1998) A Note on the Shift to a Service-Based Econ-omy and the Consequences for Regional Growth. Journal of Regional Science, 38 (2), 353â364.

Kennedy, P. (1999) Commercial Manager, Baulderstone Hornibrook, Telephone Inter-view, August 9th.

Liu, J. (1999) Knowledge Economy Affects the Globe' Beijing Review, 42 (5), 6â7.

Marceau, J., Manley, K. and Sicklen, D. (1997) The High Road or the Low Road?: Al-ternatives for Australia's Future. Australian Business Foundation Limited, Sydney.

Masood, E. (1998) Britain Embraces 'Knowl-edge Economy'. Nature, Dec 24, 714â716.

Normann, R. and Ramirez, R. (1993) From Value Chain to Value Constellation: Design-ing Interactive Strategy. Harvard Business Review, 71 (JulyâAugust), 65â78.

Pappas, N. and Sheehan, P. (1998) The New Manufacturing: Linkages between Produc-tion and Service Activities. In: Sheehan, P. and Tegart G. (eds) Working for the Future. Victoria University Press: Melbourne.

Walters, D. and Lancaster, G. (2000) Imple-menting Value Strategy Through the Value Chain. Management Decision, 38 (3), 160â178.