Examining Criteria for Choosing Subcontractors for Complex and Multi-Systems Projects

Shimon Fridkin, Sigal Kordova

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Numerous companies from diverse industries use subcontracting in their operations. In complex projects, subcontractor selection is a crucial managerial decision that significantly impacts project success. The current mixed-methodology study examines that criteria that high-tech defense and civilian companies use to choose optimal subcontractors. The qualitative aspect derives from semi-structured interviews; the quantitative findings were obtained using three statistical methods: Friedman’s two-way analysis of variance by ranks, hierarchical cluster analysis, and multidimensional scaling (PROXSCAL). Data analysis yielded twelve leading criteria for subcontractor selection, categorized into four clusters of varying strength. The three highest-rated criteria were significantly stronger than the others and included system reliability and quality, level of service, and flexibility to change. The lowest rated criteria were leadership and innovation, and number of systems supplied in the past. The findings provide practical insights applicable to subcontractor selection and expand our knowledge of complex project management.

Original languageEnglish
Article number14988
JournalSustainability (Switzerland)
Issue number22
StatePublished - Nov 2022


  • complex projects
  • hierarchical cluster analysis
  • project management
  • subcontractors


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