Challenges Facing Small-sized Construction Firms in the Gaza Strip

Bassam A. Tayeh1, *, Wesam S. Alaloul2, Waleed B. Muhaisen1
1 Civil Engineering Department, Faculty of Engineering, Islamic University of Gaza, Gaza, Palestine
2 Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, Universiti Teknologi PETRONAS, Bandar Seri Iskandar, 32610 Tronoh, Perak, Malaysia

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Creative Commons License
© 2019 Tayeh et al.

open-access license: This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International Public License (CC-BY 4.0), a copy of which is available at: ( This license permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.

* Address correspondence to this author at the Civil Engineering Department, Faculty of Engineering, Islamic University of Gaza, Gaza, Palestine;
Tel: 00972595174717; E-mail:



The construction industry is the most active tool for societies development and one of the main pillars in the Palestinian economy.


The aim of this study is to identify the main internal and external challenges that small-sized construction firms are wrestling in the Gaza Strip. In addition to that, to review briefly small-sized construction firms’ characteristics, stages of survival and growth and importance to the economy.


At first, all the relevant literature was systematically reviewed. A survey was conducted through a questionnaire to collect the data from 68 contractors. Likert scale data were analyzed to rank the success factors and the barriers using Relative Importance Index (RII).


The most affecting small-sized construction firms’ challenges are: start-up cost, foreign currency fluctuation, access to finance during the execution of work, continuous abruption and unstable prices of construction material, nomination and recruitment policies for the team, the lack of clarity of vision and the difficulty of developing a strategic plan far away, the complexities of dealing with suppliers, and the general economic situation.


Based on the above challenges, small-sized construction firms should have a protection against unequal competition and a mitigation of financial loads. In addition, group motivational measures, improve the opportunities for the small contractors to survive and grow.

Keywords: Challenges, Small sized firms, Construction industry, Gaza strip, SMEs, Relative importance index, Likert scale.