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Major construction risk factors considered by general contractors in Qatar

Abdulaziz M. Jarkas (Projects Department, Al Mazaya Holding Co., KSC (Holding), Kuwait City, State of Kuwait)
Theodore C. Haupt (Department of Construction Management and Quantity Surveying, University of Kwazulu Natal, Durban, South Africa)

Journal of Engineering, Design and Technology

ISSN: 1726-0531

Article publication date: 2 March 2015

Issue publication date: 2 March 2015




The purpose of this paper is to identify, explore, rank the relative importance and determine the prevalent allocation response trends of the major construction risk factors considered by general contractors operating in the State of Qatar.


A structured questionnaire survey comprising 37 potential risk factors was distributed to a statistically representative sample of contractors. The influence ranks of the factors explored were determined using the “Relative Importance Index (RII)” technique, whereas the prevalent trend of contractors’ attitudes toward risk allocation of each factor investigated was quantified and expressed as a percentage, based on the number of respondents who selected a specific option, in relation to the total number of respondents.


The results obtained indicate that risks related to the “client” group are perceived as most critical, followed by the “consultant”, “contractor” and “exogenous” group-related factors, respectively. The outcomes further show that the “transfer” option is the contractors’ prevalent response to “client” and “consultant”-related risks, while the “retention” decision is the principal pattern linked to “contractor” and “exogenous” group-related risk factors.

Research limitations/implications

The dominant respondents’ perception that the crucial construction risks are related to clients and consultants suggests that these two parties have an essential role in controlling the negative ramifications of the associated factors.

Practical implications

The findings suggest that increasing designers’ awareness of the significant effect of applying the constructability concept can considerably help reducing the risks concomitant of the construction operation. Policy makers may contribute, moreover, in alleviating the risk of incompetent technical staff and operatives’ employment by controlling the migration of inexperienced and unskilled construction workforce into the State.


Given the knowledge gap for the major construction risk factors considered by general contractors in Qatar, the results reported in this study can provide clients, industry practitioners and policy makers with guidance to effectively manage the significant risks determined, which can further assist in achieving a reasonable level of competitiveness and cost-effective operation.



Jarkas, A.M. and Haupt, T.C. (2015), "Major construction risk factors considered by general contractors in Qatar", Journal of Engineering, Design and Technology, Vol. 13 No. 1, pp. 165-194.



Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2015, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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