Asee peer logo

Covering Business Development Topics in an Undergraduate Course

Download Paper |


2015 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


Seattle, Washington

Publication Date

June 14, 2015

Start Date

June 14, 2015

End Date

June 17, 2015





Conference Session

Teaching the Business Side of Construction

Tagged Division


Page Count


Page Numbers

26.413.1 - 26.413.9



Permanent URL

Download Count


Request a correction

Paper Authors


Suat Gunhan University of Texas, San Antonio

visit author page

Dr. Gunhan is an Associate Professor at The University of Texas at San Antonio

visit author page

Download Paper |


Covering Business Development Topic in an Undergraduate CourseAbstractConstruction firms have diverse business segments in which future graduates can be employedat. These graduates are expected to be the leaders in their positions in the segment they areemployed. Graduates of construction management or related fields, who choose constructioncareers, usually go on to work for construction companies. A construction engineer is expectedto possess technical and managerial skills. Technical content is well covered in constructioncurricula and it is considered a fundamental knowledge and skill. Technical skills play key rolefor graduates to step in to the industry. If the new hires nurture their technical capabilities withgood business skills in following years, they build successful careers. Construction business is apeople oriented business and employees from field engineers to executives are on the front linesserving clients on a daily basis. Due to credit-hour limitations, other than the ProjectManagement and Construction Capstone courses at the University of , allcore courses have fundamental technical content. Therefore, different teaching strategies wereput in place in order to cover leadership and business development contents. These are usuallythe subjects covered at graduate level studies but graduating students prefer directly working inthe industry and they build many managerial skills on the job.Business Development topic is covered in Project Management course. The content includesdefinition, distinction between marketing and sales in construction, service vs. productmarketing, client expectations from a construction entity, construction marketing, networking,professional organizations, and client maintenance. Even though the topic is broader than thecontent mentioned above, the author believes that the selected content provides basic andintroductory understanding of business development concepts in construction business. Particularexamples are provided in client maintenance section that explains how sensitive the projectprocess is in terms of client relationships. Students provided positive feedback for the contentbusiness development content. They especially benefitted from the examples given on clientmaintenance section.   

Gunhan, S. (2015, June), Covering Business Development Topics in an Undergraduate Course Paper presented at 2015 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Seattle, Washington. 10.18260/p.23752

ASEE holds the copyright on this document. It may be read by the public free of charge. Authors may archive their work on personal websites or in institutional repositories with the following citation: © 2015 American Society for Engineering Education. Other scholars may excerpt or quote from these materials with the same citation. When excerpting or quoting from Conference Proceedings, authors should, in addition to noting the ASEE copyright, list all the original authors and their institutions and name the host city of the conference. - Last updated April 1, 2015