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.
There has been a good effort made in Abu Dhabi for the last couple of years between government stakeholders to develop a road safety strategy, define rules and responsibilities, and gain a fully coordinated and integrated framework to deal with road safety. According to my point of view, the challenges that might be seen as a problem for the future development of Abu Dhabi can be the management and the usage of traffic safety technologies to reduce serious road traffic accidents. This study focused on the relationship between the use of traffic safety technologies and serious road traffic accidents on Abu Dhabi Highways. The motivation for this research is to implement correctly the traffic safety technologies in Abu Dhabi highways as a part of the need to adopt plans, programmes, and preventive measures to reduce or prevent the occurrence of traffic accidents in order to ensure the safety of individuals and property, in addition to preserving the security of the state and its human and economic components. The overall approach to this study is a mixed methodology, which combines quantitative and qualitative methods. A questionnaire is one method used in this regard, and is designed to be quantitative. In the quantitative method, comparing statistics of fatalities and injuries before and after installation of the speed cameras is used. As a result of this study and by making the connectivity between reviewing the results and findings of the literature review, identifying the questionnaire results, and exploring the before and after statistics led to findings which were used to develop a decision support framework that can be used to advise the regional safety strategy to be sustainable. The design framework was also validated through Abu Dhabi highways by a panel of experts, which was carried out using the focus group method, which was qualitative in nature. It is recommended from this research to invest much in traffic safety technologies, focus more on driver support systems and rapid response systems, improve driver behaviour as a priority in Abu Dhabi highways using traffic safety technologies, and integrate the compatibility of all of the above through an integrated system and specific performance indicators that are measured and followed up on an ongoing basis, and supported by geographic information systems (GIS).
This thesis is about risk management in fast-track construction projects. The aim of the study is to identify the risks in the UAE construction industry, understand how they are dealt with, and propose more effective frameworks for risk management in fast-track construction. A mixed method approach was used to fulfil the objectives of the study. 65 questionnaires were distributed to professionals in the construction industry, including contractors, sub-contractors, project managers and private consultants. Their responses were analysed using statistical techniques, and the results taken for discussion to a focus group of eleven experienced construction managers and experts. Secondary data was also collected via literature reviews of print and website articles, and of books and documents from company, government and industry-specific databases. The findings show that risks in construction projects can be internal or external, and that in the UAE, owner- and design-related risks are seen as the most significant. Knowledge about risk management is present, but more needs to be done to eradicate the problems associated with poorly managed fast-track construction projects. Using the suggestion of the focus group, a framework for risk mitigation was developed based on the Alien Eyes’ risk and Qualitative Risk Management models. The study discusses the implications of risk management for practitioners and academicians in the construction industry. Poor risk management, which is usually the consequence of inadequate recognition of and/or responsiveness to risks and uncertainties, can have a devastating impact upon projects. It is hoped that practitioners applying the findings and suggestions in this study will see positive change, improved profitability and greater competitive advantage as a result.
Apulu, Idisemi (University of Wolverhampton, 2012-02)
In recent years there has been an increase in the adoption of Information and Communication Technology (ICT) in organisations, as the use of ICT causes some form of revolution in business practices. All over the world, ICT has greatly transformed the manner in which companies conduct business. However, there is considerable evidence to show that Small and Medium Sized Enterprises (SMEs) in developing countries, particularly those in Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA), are yet to reap the full benefits offered by ICT as compared to their counterparts in the developed countries. Although the contribution of SMEs’ is of notable importance to many countries’ economy, yet those in developing countries lag far behind. For SMEs to survive and remain competitive in the current highly competitive business environment there is a need to adopt and use ICT effectively, in order to attain some level of competitive advantage. This research investigates factors affecting the adoption and effective utilisation of ICT, with particular emphasis on SMEs in Nigeria. It is presumed that SMEs’ adoption of ICT in Nigeria will provide opportunities to accelerate the country’s socio-economic growth as it will offer Nigeria the chance to ‘leapfrog’ some stages of development. The methodology adopted in undertaking this study is the qualitative research approach although a survey was used at the initial stage, to provide an exploratory snapshot of the SMEs in context. This research has empirically identified key factors motivating ICT adoption in Nigerian SMEs, and benefits resulting from the use of ICT in their organisational performance. Factors affecting the adoption and effective utilisation of ICT in Nigerian SMEs were also identified. Following this, strategies were proposed which led to the development of a framework that will assist to increase the adoption and effective use of ICT amongst SMEs in Nigeria and also, aid the further deployment of more sophisticated ICT solutions by these SMEs. The framework was validated via a survey and analysed with the aid of SPSS software. The findings obtained from the validation procedure indicated that the framework is valuable and suitable for use in practice since the research shows that the majority of respondents accepted the research findings and recommendations for success. This research offers recommendations that will assist the Nigerian government, stakeholders such as ISPs, as well as owners/managers of SMEs, in resolving the problems confronting SMEs in Nigeria.
The approach to water management worldwide is currently in transition, with a shift from centralised infrastructures to greater consideration of decentralised technologies, such as rainwater harvesting (RWH). Initiated by recognition of drivers, including water demand, increasing risk of ground-water pollution and flooding, the value of RWH is filtering across the academic-policy boundary. However, in Nigeria, implementation of sustainable water management (SWM), such as RWH systems, is inefficient social, environmental and technical barriers, concerns and knowledge gaps exist, which currently restrict its widespread utilisation. This inefficiency contributes to water scarcity, water-borne diseases, and loss of lives and property due to flooding. Meanwhile, several RWH technologies have been developed to improve SWM through both demand and storm-water management. Such technologies involve the use of storage tanks, surface water reservoirs and ground-water recharge pits as storage systems. A framework was developed to assess the significance and extent of water management problems, match the problems with existing RWH-based solutions and develop a robust ready-to-use multi-criteria analysis tool that can quantify the costs and benefits of implementing several RWH-based storage systems. The methodology adopted was the mixed method approach, involving a detailed literature review, followed by a questionnaire survey of 1067 household respondents, 135 Nigerian Architects and Civil Engineers and focus group discussion with Stakeholders. A total of 1042 sets of data were collected through a questionnaire survey and analysed using SPSS, Excel and selected statistical methods to derive weightings of the attributes for the tool. Following this, three case studies were selected to collect data for hydrological modelling using the RainCycle model. From the results it is found that the most important barrier constraining sustainable RWH regime in Ibadan was obsolete and insufficient operational equipment, followed by poor renumeration of water corporation staff and misuse of available funds. In addition, the measure of importance of storage capacity was established, with the highest score of 4.5 which reflects the general inadequacy of storage as a major barrier to the adoption of RWH as a sustainable water management method. Further, respondents’ major health hazards associated with drinking contaminated water was established. A larger proportion (61.2%) of respondents chose prevalence of typhoid fever; some have a prevalence of diarrhea (19.4%), while few of respondents’ water sources is free from water-borne diseases (2.3%). The tool developed is an integrated platform of related evaluation techniques, including Whole Life Cycle Cost Analysis and Multi-Attribute Utility Theory. The tool uses data including cost and quantities of materials for building a RWH storage system and quantifies the cost and benefits of alternative RWH-based systems that can improve project management. This tool is novel, given its integration of the analytical techniques mentioned above and application for selecting the most appropriate RWH-based SWM systems. The implementation of the tool is envisaged to provide an objective platform for the quantification of the costs and benefits of RWH-based systems prior to implementation.
This study explores the challenge of low citizen engagement and participation in e-Government in terms of lack of knowledge, experience, trust in e-Services and government itself. The research addressed the issues of factors that influence citizens' acceptance and adoption of e-government services in Libya, how to overcome the barriers, and determine serious games can promote citizen usage. This study applied an integrated approach utilising the Technology Acceptance Model and Trustworthiness Model theoretical models in a focused framework of intention to use. This research applied mixed research methodology, with exploratory sequential case study (quantitative) and qualitative investigation of the Libyan e-Government project and barriers to its implementation by semi-structured interviews. Furthermore, a quantitative survey questionnaire was used to validate the proposed framework, and a post-test questionnaire was also used to evaluate the effectiveness of the serious game. A conceptual framework was developed for all factors that may affect users’ intention to use e-Services and determine the adoption needs: the two main factors are e-Government adoption issues (including citizen trust in government, e-Services and the internet) and knowledge and experience. Using serious games is of a great value in learning and expanding knowledge, practicing and training, building self-confidence, and increasing security and privacy mechanisms. It would build trust between users and agencies by experiencing e-Services’ reliability, dependability, efficiency and capability, thus promoting adoption and use.
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