Factors affecting international construction joint ventures: a systematic literature review

Mershack O. Tetteh*, Albert P.C. Chan, Amos Darko, Gabriel Nani

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalLiterature reviewpeer-review


International construction joint ventures (ICJVs) have become an important way of exploiting business opportunities for construction companies worldwide. Yet, several barriers and risk factors contribute to their failure. This study aims to identify the barrier and risk factors affecting ICJVs through the lens of a systematic review methodology. Findings from 43 peer-reviewed articles showed an increasing publication trend for the past three decades (1990–2020). The bulk of the studies were conducted in Asia and Europe, particularly China and the UK, respectively. Overall, 37 barrier factors were identified, and these fall into six categories, namely, inter-organizational differences, lack of expertise and confidence, lack of effective planning and strategies, lack of knowledge of ICJV’s fundamentals, conflicts, and management difficulties. Next, 53 risk factors were identified and grouped into six, namely, policy and political risks, legal risks, financial risks, management risks, project and technical risks, and market risks. More importantly, knowledge gaps in existing studies are highlighted and future research directions are then proposed. The list of failure factors creates a valuable frame of reference for researchers and practitioners to develop more reliable, comprehensive, and proactive management strategies for ICJVs.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)98-113
Number of pages16
JournalInternational Journal of Construction Management
Issue number1
Early online date10 Dec 2020
Publication statusPublished - 2023


  • barrier factors
  • construction management
  • International construction joint ventures
  • literature review
  • risk factors


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