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The COVID-19 pandemic: the woes of small construction firms in Ghana

Christopher Amoah (Quantity Surveying and Construction Management, University of the Free State - Bloemfontein Campus, Bloemfontein, South Africa)
Emmanuel Bamfo-Agyei (Department of Building Technology, Cape Coast Technical University, Cape Coast, Ghana)
Fredrick Simpeh (Quantity Surveying and Construction Management, University of the Free State - Bloemfontein Campus, Bloemfontein, South Africa)

Smart and Sustainable Built Environment

ISSN: 2046-6099

Article publication date: 2 July 2021

Issue publication date: 1 December 2022

624

Abstract

Purpose

COVID-19 came as a surprise to the global economy and devastated many sectors worldwide, including the construction sector. Small construction firms are believed to be an engine of growth in many developing countries, including Ghana; thus, their survival cannot be trivialized. This study explored the impact of the COVID-19 on the businesses of the small confirms in Ghana.

Design/methodology/approach

A qualitative research approach was adopted for this study. Open-ended interview questions were distributed via email to 45 small construction firms (D3K3 and D4K4) purposefully selected. Thematic contents analysis was used to analyze 30 interview questions received.

Findings

This study has revealed that the COVID-19 has severely affected small construction firms in Ghana. Small construction firms are struggling in their finances; their cash flow/payments for work done are severely affected; they cannot secure contracts and management site efficiently. Their worker's productivity level has dwindled, which has subsequently escalated their project cost and completion time. These effects identified are significantly affecting the survival of these small construction firms.

Research limitations/implications

The study included small construction operating in the Central, Western and Greater Accra regions of Ghana during the second wave of the COVID-19 pandemic. However, the findings may be applicable to construction sites outside these regions.

Practical implications

The implication is the COVID-19 pandemic hugely impacts the small construction firm's business operations. Therefore, they must be mindful of the new norm (COVID-19) and institute strategies to help them overcome the challenges and sustain their businesses.

Originality/value

The study gives insight into the effects of the COVID-19 on the businesses of small construction firms in Ghana and proposes strategies that they must implement to overcome their challenges and sustain their businesses.

Keywords

Citation

Amoah, C., Bamfo-Agyei, E. and Simpeh, F. (2022), "The COVID-19 pandemic: the woes of small construction firms in Ghana", Smart and Sustainable Built Environment, Vol. 11 No. 4, pp. 1099-1115. https://doi.org/10.1108/SASBE-02-2021-0025

Publisher

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Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2021, Emerald Publishing Limited

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