The research design and methodology is presented in

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The research design and methodology is presented in Chapter 3. This chapter provides a detailed introduction to how the study was carried out, what methods were applied to address research problems, how the data was acquired and
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9 analysed, and finally how the research results were formulated and assessed for reliability. Chapters 4 and 5 report the major findings of the study. The detailed results of the research are presented and analysed. A case study of a real estate developer in China is also presented to illustrate the applicability of the original study. Furthermore, the effectiveness of research results is validated through a round of re-visit interviews with pervious interviewees. Through these interviews, additional valuable information related to this research and to future study is presented. Finally, practical managerial recommendations and suggestions for real estate industry practitioners are discussed in Chapter 6. In the last part of this chapter, the academic contributions of this research are summarised and the limitations of the study and a research agenda for the future are given.
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10 CHAPTER 2. LITERATURE REVIEW AND THEORETICAL FRAMEWORK 2.1 INTRODUCTION This chapter presents a comprehensive literature review of existing research covering three areas. The first review is of the real estate industry, in particular real estate development in China. The second review is of literature related to theories of competitiveness. It is here that we first present the definition of competitiveness as well as address the competitiveness of business organisations. The third review is of research into competitiveness in the real estate industry. A series of theories of competitiveness in real estate are summarised first. Then, a comparison of competition evaluation methods is made. Based on this review, an evaluation model for the competitiveness of real estate developers in China is proposed. The factors in this initial model are re-examined and complemented by experts and surveys as presented in Chapter 3. 2.2 REVIEW OF THE REAL ESTATE INDUSTRY 2.2.1 Real Estate Industry in China The real estate industry China emerged as a commercial operation accompanying with reforms and opening-up policies started in 1978, before then housing was merely a kind of social welfare distributed to the people by the government. From 1980, private-owned capitals were permitted to invest in the real estate market. From then on, the real estate industry had increased dramatically to become a very large industry and the gross product of the industry leaped to 28.4 billion Yuan at
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11 the end of 1991(CSSB, 1990-1995). In last 10 years, domestic and foreign investors have invested heavily in the industry and this had led to the housing prices in major cities in China hitting a record high (Jiang, D.C, Chen, J.H and Isaac, D, 1998).
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