Project risk assessment is an effective tool for planning and controlling cost, time and achieving the technical performance of a building construction project. Construction projects often face a lot of uncertainties, which places building construction projects at the risk of cost, time overruns as well as poor quality delivery. Considering the limited resources of developing countries, there is need to complete building projects on-time, on-budget, and to meet optimal quality hence, risk management is an important part of the decision making process in construction industry as it determines the success or failure of construction projects. In line with this need, this research aims to establish a system to improve the time, cost and quality performance of building construction projects in developing countries, through a comprehensive risk management model that ensures the expectations of clients are met.
To achieve the aim of this research, a mixed methodological approach was adopted. Through the review of literature, a conceptual risk management framework suitable to elaborate risk assessment of building construction projects especially for developing countries was developed. A questionnaire survey using a nonprobability sampling technique was conducted to elicit information from construction professionals in Nigeria to assess their perception of 79 risk factors identified from literature review based on the likelihood of occurrence and impact on projects using a five point scale. Responses from 343 construction professionals were drawn from 305 contractors and subcontractors and 38 clients (private and public) within the Nigerian construction sector. Response data was subjected to descriptive statistics to depict the frequency distribution and central tendency of responses. Subsequently, the risk acceptability matrix (RAM) was adopted to categorise and prioritise risk factors. 27 critical risks that affect building construction projects were identified. A Bayesian Belief Network (BBN) model was developed by structural learning and used to examine the cause and effect relationship amongst the 27 critical risk factors. The developed BBN model was subjected to validation using a multiple case study of two building construction projects in Nigeria. The result showed the interrelation between the 27 risk factors and how they contributed to cost and time overruns as well as quality problems. The critical risks directly affecting the cost of building construction project were: fluctuation of material prices; health and safety issues; bribery and corruption; material wastage; poor site management and supervision; and time overruns. The critical factors identified to directly affect quality were: supply of defective materials; working under harsh conditions; improper construction methods; lack of protective equipment; ineffective time allocation; poor communication between involved stakeholders; and unsuitable leadership style. Time overruns on building construction projects was directly caused by: quality problems; low productivity; improper construction methods; poor communication between involved parties; delayed payments in contracts; and poor site management and supervision.
As a consolidation of the findings of this research, a BBN model for identifying risk factors that directly affect time, cost and quality on building construction projects has been developed which has the potential for assisting construction stake holders to manage risks on their projects. In view of the findings, a best practice system for risk management in building construction projects in Nigeria has been developed with an implementation guide to help building construction practitioners to successfully implement risk management on their building construction projects. Suitable risk responses, also in the form of recommendations have been identified. The strategies include actions to be taken to respond to risks based on their perceived significance or acceptability as well as some positive risk responses, such as exploiting, sharing, enhancing and accepting, and other negative risk responses, such as avoidance, mitigation transfer and acceptance
Compensation is the remuneration which workers receive for their services or contributions to the organisation. The literature reviewed showed that compensation packages have relationship with workers’ motivation, job satisfaction, attraction and retention. On this basis, this study established a conceptual framework based on equity theory and used it to examine how compensation might be influencing workers’ motivation, job satisfaction, attraction and retention in the Ministry of Works and Transport of Jigawa State of Nigeria. The dependent variables considered in this study are limited to salary, allowance, gratuity, and pension as independent variables while the corresponding motivation, job satisfaction, attraction and retention are the dependent variables. The Positivist paradigm guided this empirical research; which holds the principle that knowledge is arrived at through the gathering of facts that provide the basis of laws. Thus, a quantitative research design was employed. A questionnaire was developed, pilot-tested and administered to gather data on workers’ motivation, job satisfaction, attraction and retention regarding four job compensable aspects, namely: salary, allowances, gratuity and pension. A total of 265 questionnaires were administered and 260 were collected through the early and late response technique. This represents a response rate of 98%. The respondents were selected using the stratified random sampling technique. The data collected was analysed using both descriptive statistics and structural equation modelling. The findings revealed that gratuity and allowance do positively and significantly influence workers’ motivation whereas salary and pension have no impact on workers’ motivation. Likewise, gratuity and pension do positively and significantly influence workers’ job satisfaction while salary and allowance have no impact on the job satisfaction of workers. Further, gratuity and pension do positively and significantly influence workers’ retention while salary and allowance have no impact on the retention of workers. Moreover, salary, gratuity and pension do positively and significantly influence workers’ attraction while allowance has no influence on the attraction of public construction workers in Jigawa state of Nigeria. Consequently, a framework was developed to reflect the factors that emerged for improving the motivation, job satisfaction, attraction and retention of the and equally address the pay disparity in Jigawa state. 67 respondents who participated in the main study were administered a second questionnaire to validate the framework. The subsequent findings revealed that the framework was relevant and could serve as a guide towards enhancing compensation practices and policies in the Ministry of Works and Transport. Thus, this study and its framework offer important policy recommendation to the Jigawa state government such as introducing new or improving the existing compensation packages of their workers.
Satisfaction has consistently been a source of concern to clients, stakeholders and customers in the construction industry globally. In Nigeria, despite the huge financial investments in construction and its associated economic benefits, construction projects are characterized by poor quality in aesthetics, high costs in maintenance and failure to meet or exceed the customers’ quality expectations. An even greater challenge is faced when considering government construction projects as re- occurring issues like on time delivery, operational and aesthetic excellence and even project abandonment continue to resurface. Although previous studies have developed models and frameworks to improve customer satisfaction in product and service organisations, researchers have not treated in detail issues involving customer satisfaction within projects which do not have profits and financial gains as the driving force such as government construction projects. The aim of this research was to develop a framework that would identify particular areas associated with project quality where adequate resources could be channelled in order to enhance customer satisfaction in government road construction projects in Rivers State, Nigeria. Sequel to an extensive literature review, a conceptual framework was developed to establish the relationship between three attributes of project quality namely performance, reliability and aesthetics and two attributes of customer satisfaction measured through contractor re-patronage and referral. 503 road construction practitioners within the Port Harcourt metropolis of Rivers State, Nigeria participated in a quantitative survey and data obtained was subjected to stepwise multiple regression analysis. The results showed that a strong, positive and significant relationship existed between the attributes of project quality and customer satisfaction with project quality explaining 54.8% of the variance in contractor re-patronage and 61.8% of the variance in contractor referral. Performance was however found to have the greatest effect on contractor re-patronage (R2=.550, adjusted R2=.548) while aesthetics had the highest effect on contractor referral (R2=.572, adjusted R2= .571). Reliability was found to have the weakest effect on customer satisfaction and could be attributed to its civil and structural Engineering links which are either unknown or invisible to the customer. 10 structured interviews with construction professionals were used to validate the developed framework and justify the research design. The findings support the framework and suggest that the knowledge and analysis of the construction costs, the use of competent professional experts, the provision of a revised legal framework for road construction, delegation of responsibility for road maintenance, avoidance of project abandonment, identifying and mitigating construction risks, adopting a strategy for project monitoring, enforcing health and safety considerations, provision of innovative excitement factors as well as post project evaluations were essential for enhancing project quality and customer satisfaction from government road construction projects. The study advocates for an adoption of the framework and concludes by making recommendations including the incorporation of government and private construction practitioners and further identifies areas for future study.
Fear of global, social and environmental catastrophes has led to most developed and developing economies to embrace sustainability as a desirable public policy goal. Therefore, the Abu Dhabi government has made public commitments to transform along a more sustainable trajectory and assigned the public sector the collective responsibility of leading this transformation. Henceforth, public sector organisations have to embrace sustainable practices, re-orient their activities to achieve wider societal sustainable outcomes and govern others to act more sustainably. However, little is known about how public sector organisations are responding to this encouragement in the Abu Dhabi. The aim of this research is to explore how Abu Dhabi public sector organisation is embedding sustainability strategies for improved competitiveness. Given the relatively new and unexplored nature of the research problem, qualitative research method was adopted to collect and analyse data. Semi-structured interviews with 60 professionals were used to collect data which was then analysed using content analysis for inference and conclusion. The study concluded that the concept of sustainability is perceived as a distinct concept. It is suggests that an organisation wide awareness-raising training programme on the concept of sustainability needs to be to developed and deployed. Also, there is a need for cross-sector collaboration to capture and share best and worst practices related to transformative change towards sustainability. The lack of leadership skills for successful deployment of sustainability initiatives is one of the most important challenges for organisation. Therefore, there is an urgent need to develop and deliver a bespoke training framework to address, improve and measure the effectiveness of leadership skills for driving change towards sustainability. Green technology has enormous potential to enable Abu Dhabi public sector organisation to meet its sustainability goals. It is recommended that future research on mobile applications for sustainability should focus on user readiness aspects, as well as organisation readiness for adoption and usage patterns of mobile devices. Overall, it is evident from the empirical findings that the outlook of improved sustainability initiatives efforts from the Abu Dhabi public sector organisation is quite promising at present. A strategic framework for transformative change towards sustainability was developed and validated. It is recommended to explore the level of embeddedness of sustainability initiatives in the public sector between developed and developing countries. This should lead to a generation of benchmark data and best practices in addressing global sustainability issues.
For over 30 years, authors have documented continuous improvement techniques that can help to improve the performance of the manufacturing sector. However, recent research has found that the uptake of these available techniques for the purpose of improving business performance is comparatively low as a result of barriers preventing their adoption by manufacturing SMEs. The aim and focus of this research is to develop a user-friendly framework which would guide both industry practitioners and other researchers to achieve business process improvements in an SME manufacturing environment. The framework developed in this study consists of four stages: 1) review of the current process to be improved; 2) identification of possible improvement in terms of prompts; 3) knowledge know-how to support transfer of proven continuous improvement techniques; and 4) continual review of the process to quantify the improvements. The framework uses a combination of three continuous improvement techniques: histograms, brainstorming and Five Whys to identify actions for management implementation. Such techniques have been merged to speed up and simplify the process of root cause analysis, thus encouraging SMEs to document their successes. This will enable other SMEs to learn from their experiences as well as from the knowledge gained by being part of the communities of practice. The methodology used in this research is mixed methodology and involves a combination of literature review, pilot study, a postal questionnaire with 50 respondents and two case studies. These case studies were then used to validate the framework, based on five structured interviews. Case studies involving two manufacturing SMEs include manufacturers of high-volume, low-cost components and low-volume, high-cost components. It was concluded that the root cause of a problem can be found by using: brainstorming, histograms and Five Whys. Sometimes, it was also possible to merge these techniques as one, thus reducing the analysis time. The case studies generated substantial savings, £27,500 and £1,366,055 for SME 1 and 2 respectively. Overall the benefits of the framework to SMEs include: using the developed user-friendly framework for improved business performance, knowledge transfer of learning continuous improvement techniques, learning about other SME successes and potential cost savings that could accrue for SMEs when they apply it. The framework developed in this research, therefore, has reduced some of the barriers which have prevented uptake of innovative techniques over the last 30 years.
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