Modelling the Satisfaction of Contractors: The Impact of Client Performance
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AbstractAn assessment of the performance of UK clients on 55 ‘case projects’ as considered by contractors is presented and used to develop models of contractors' satisfaction. Principal component analysis (PCA) reveals five dimensions to contractor satisfaction, classified in this research as (i) support provided to contractors, (ii) clients' attitude, (iii) clients' understanding of their own needs, (iv) quality of clients' brief, and (v) financial aspects of performance. Knowledge of these models should enable clients to perform better, which is conducive towards satisfactory participant performance and overall project performance. The models identify three key aspects of client performance that are found to significantly influence contractors' satisfaction levels, namely, (i) the capability of the client's representative, (ii) the client's past performance and project management experience and (iii) the financial soundness and reputation of the client. Additionally, the nature of the project and certain characteristics of contractors also influence satisfaction levels. The models demonstrated accurate predictive power and were found to be valid and robust. Clients could use the models to help improve their performance, leading to more successful project implementation. This will also promote the development of harmonious working relationships within the construction project coalition (PC). (Emerald Group Publishing Limited)
CitationEngineering, Construction and Architectural Management, 9(5/6): 453-465
JournalEngineering, Construction and Architectural Management
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An investigation into the impact of culture on construction project performanceAnkrah, Nii Amponsah (University of Wolverhampton, 2007-10)For many years, government backed reports have continued to deplore the poor performance of the construction industry with many projects failing to exceed or live up to the expectations of clients. There is a common belief that the culture of the construction industry is one of the factors that has an impact on its performance. The culture of the construction industry at the project level is often associated with such attributes as fragmentation, antagonism, mistrust, poor communication, short-term mentality, blame culture, casual approaches to recruitment, machismo and sexism. These attributes are in turn associated with project outcomes like litigation, poor health and safety performance, and inferior quality. Whilst such associations are helpful to the extent that they focus attention on the failings of the industry, and point to aspects that need to be improved, they are arbitrary and often based on no more than anecdotal evidence, and as such do not provide a systematic basis for assessing the real impact of culture on performance. This research was thus undertaken to look for empirical evidence of a relationship between cultural orientations and project performance outcomes. Adopting social cognitive theory and defining culture as the unique configuration of solutions – embodied in attitudes, behaviours and conditions – that a construction project organisation and its members adopt in dealing with problems at the project level, a quantitative research methodology was employed in investigating the culture within the project coalition, also referred to in this thesis as the construction project organisation (CPO). CPOs were profiled to determine their cultural orientations. Several project performance indicators were also assessed and the relationships between these performance measures and the cultural orientations were examined. Analysis revealed five principal dimensions of culture along which project organisations differ. These dimensions are workforce orientation, performance orientation, team orientation, client orientation and project orientation. With the exception of performance and client orientation, the other dimensions of culture were found to be significantly associated with project performance outcomes. These associations were modelled using multiple regression, and from these models it can be inferred inter alia that projects with higher workforce orientation have better participant satisfaction and innovation and learning outcomes. Projects with higher team orientation have better participant satisfaction and health & safety and quality outcomes. Likewise projects with higher project orientation have better health & safety and quality outcomes. Although causality cannot be assumed, these findings support the thesis that culture matters. It is therefore recommended that project participants – and in particular contractors, devote more effort and resources towards improving the orientations of their CPOs in respect of the dimensions of culture identified as having significant association with project performance outcomes, particularly workforce, team and project orientations.
A comparative study of contractor performance based on Japanese, UK and US construction practiceHong, Xiao (University of Wolverhampton, 2002)Globalisation of world economy requires that any robust benchmarking of contractor performance be conducted on an international level. The Japanese and US construction industries are internationally renowned as world leaders. Notwithstanding this, when at its best, UK construction has been shown to be excellent, and capable of matching any other construction industry in the world. A comparison of contractor performance and practices between the three countries can distinguish their respective strengths and weaknesses and provide an opportunity for contractors to learn from each other and improve their performance. However, comparing international construction is onerous because of the uniqueness of construction products and the complexity of the production process. Each of the existing methods developed for this purpose has its own limitations in terms of comparability and/or representativeness of data. Having undertaken an international review of contractor performance, the research has: e defined 'best practice' for contractors and established criteria to evaluate contractor performance and practice in terms of construction cost, construction time, construction quality and sustainable development; * developed a new research approach towards comparing international contractor performance based on a hypothetical construction project which maintains the comparability and representativeness of data; 9 conducted a questionnaire survey arnong contractors in the three countries to collect information in regards to their performance and practices; * identified the significant differences in contractor performance and practices between the three countries and revealed the possible causes for the disparities; e developed six best practice performance models by means of multiple regression analysis. The thesis concluded that there exist significant differences in contractor performance and practice between Japan, the UK and the US. Based on the practices of contractors in the three countries, factors significantly influencing contractor performance are identified and measures for performance improvement are recommended for contractors.
The Performance of Contractors in Japan, the UK and the US: A Comparative Evaluation of Construction CostXiao, Hong; Proverbs, David G. (Routledge (Taylor & Francis), 2002)Globalization of the world economy demands that performance comparisons are undertaken at an international level. A new research protocol has been developed for comparing contractor performance internationally by combining the appropriate characteristics of two established approaches in order to balance the requirements of comparability and representativeness. This new approach is used to reveal some important international performance characteristics among Japanese, UK and US contractors. Building costs in the UK, when adjusted for exchange rate fluctuations, are significantly higher than those in Japan and the USA. Furthermore, cost certainty and client satisfaction are higher in Japan than in the UK, but there is no significant difference between Japan and the USA. Disparities in cost performance between the three countries are believed to originate from differences in the relationships between contractors and clients and also in the construction process. (Routledge)