This research is focused on small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs) considering they represent 99.9% of active businesses while big companies only stand for 0.01% in every industry in the UK. Additionally, Hall (1994) supports that most of the companies that go out of business in the first five years are SMEs (for the UK, any business with less than 250 employees). This research also focuses on SMEs considering the survival rates on the five year mark have dropped below 50% for the whole UK industry as supported by Office for National Statistics (ONS).
According to ONS, in 2010 only 46.8% of businesses created in 2004 had survived while exhibiting a drop of 5.4% to 41.4% in 2015 for businesses established in 2010. Also, Gunasekaran, Bharatendra, & Griffin (2011) support SMEs are the main actors towards successfully operating large-scale domestic and global supply chains, and if big companies want to increase their competitiveness, they have to select suitable partnering firms (suppliers) most of which are SMEs.
Further reasoning to research resilience in the construction industry and the way companies operate in the UK derives from the fact that “little has been documented on what response strategies construction companies adopt as a result of an economic recession” (Tansey, Meng, & Cleland, 2013); moreover, the ONS states the UK faced the beginning of an economic downturn during 2008 and 2009 which caused SMEs to confront limited access to finance. Consequently, it is appropriate to research factors that make companies resilient over time.