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Article
Publication date: 10 June 2021

Fredrick Simpeh, Emmanuel Bamfo-Agyei and Christopher Amoah

The new normal introduced by COVID-19 has ushered in new safety regulations that are required to be implemented by all organisations, including the construction industry…

Abstract

Purpose

The new normal introduced by COVID-19 has ushered in new safety regulations that are required to be implemented by all organisations, including the construction industry. The implementation of the COVID-19 regulations, like any health and safety regulation, is not without hindrances. Consequently, this study aims to explore factors hindering the implementation of COVID-19 safety regulations at construction sites in Ghana.

Design/methodology/approach

The study adopted a qualitative research method using an open-ended questionnaire as a data collection instrument. The set of questionnaires were distributed by means of purposive and snowball sampling methods. The collected data were analysed by means of the thematic analysis technique.

Findings

It became evident that several factors militate against implementing COVID-19 safety regulations at construction sites. Cost of implementing COVID-19 safety measures, lack of compliance and ignorance were identified as the most hindering factors, whereas superstition, lack of personal protective equipment supply and theft of COVID-19 materials were reported by fewer respondents.

Research limitations/implications

The set of questionnaires were limited to small construction firms who were operating on site within 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 firms outside these regions because most of the small construction firms in the country share similar characteristics.

Practical implications

The recommendations proffered could help construction organisations devise strategies to overcome the barriers that hamper the implementation of COVID-19 safety regulations on site. Moreover, the findings could inform policymakers on what is required to enforce compliance on site.

Originality/value

COVID 19 is still new, and as a result, the body of knowledge is at the infancy stage. This article contributes to advancing the body of knowledge in the area of COVID-19 implementation challenges on construction sites.

Details

Journal of Engineering, Design and Technology , vol. 20 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1726-0531

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 2 July 2021

Christopher Amoah, Emmanuel Bamfo-Agyei and Fredrick Simpeh

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…

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.

Details

Smart and Sustainable Built Environment, vol. ahead-of-print no. ahead-of-print
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2046-6099

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 29 April 2021

Christopher Amoah and Linda Bikitsha

Emerging construction companies often liquidate due to their inability to institute strategies to handle their business risks. This study investigated the skills and…

Abstract

Purpose

Emerging construction companies often liquidate due to their inability to institute strategies to handle their business risks. This study investigated the skills and strategies adopted by emerging contractors to overcome business risk factors to make their businesses sustainable.

Design/methodology/approach

A qualitative research approach was adopted for the study. Semi-structured interview questions were used to solicit information from emerging contractors within the Construction Industry Development Board (CIDB) Grade one (1) to four (4) in the Gauteng Province of South Africa. The data gathered were analysed using qualitative content analysis to identify the main themes.

Findings

The study's findings indicate that emerging contractors face business risk factors that impact their project execution hugely. Thus to overcome these risk factors, they implement various strategies to curtail the risk they encounter in their businesses. These strategies include; human resource management (employing experienced and skilled labour and training of staff); communication management (with other employees about set goals); financial management (effective pricing of tender documents); procurement management (ensuring materials are available as and when necessary in their projects) and quality management (ensuring effective work supervision); among others.

Research limitations/implications

Although the study concentrated on the emerging construction firms in the Gauteng Province of South Africa, the findings may be applicable in other provinces and beyond South Africa.

Practical implications

In order for emerging contractors to prevent the collapse of their businesses, there is the need to be educated on effective project risk management to identify potential business risk, the mirage associated with the notion of the construction business profitability, effective tender pricing and strategic business partnership. These strategies, if well thought, will help sustain their businesses and growth in the construction industry.

Originality/value

The study has identified the management strategies used by emerging contractors to sustain their businesses in the construction industry. Thus, the finding will guide both emerging contractors who are already in the construction business and those planning to enter the construction market.

Details

International Journal of Building Pathology and Adaptation, vol. ahead-of-print no. ahead-of-print
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2398-4708

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 4 August 2022

Christopher Amoah and Hlatshwayo Nkosazana

Contract risk management has become a critical mission, as contract issues may lead to a loss of vast amounts of money to parties involved or cause project failure. This…

Abstract

Purpose

Contract risk management has become a critical mission, as contract issues may lead to a loss of vast amounts of money to parties involved or cause project failure. This study sought to identify effective management strategies to mitigate construction contract issues that might emerge during construction.

Design/methodology/approach

A quantitative research approach was adopted for the study. Structured questionnaires made up of close-ended questions were distributed to construction professionals in South Africa via the SurveyMonkey platform. The data were then analysed using descriptive statistics.

Findings

The findings indicate that the critical sources of contract-related disputes are ambiguous definitions of the contract parties' scope of their rights and obligations, lack of precise arrangements regarding the calculation of contractual penalties for failure to meet the deadline, lack of detailed specification of the works and specific milestones, lack of provisions regulating changes to the project documentation during the construction stage, an excessive amount of contractual penalties on contractor's side and lack of provisions regarding the rules of performing additional and replacement works and their settlement. However, for these disputes to be effectively managed, strategies such as reduction uncertainties in project's phases, setting up contingency plans, construction guarantee, extension of time claims, payment guarantee, retention and escalation clause should be implemented by the parties involved.

Research limitations/implications

Even though the empirical study focused on construction professionals in South Africa, the findings could be applied to other countries outside of South Africa.

Practical implications

To effectively manage and prevent contract disputes from averting project failures and losses to parties involved in the contract, construction professionals need to be aware of strategies that must be implemented before and during the project execution. If well implemented, these strategies will help a construction project be successful and experience fewer contractual disputes.

Originality/value

The study has identified the knowledge gap concerning suitable contract risk management strategies available for implementation to effectively prevent any contract parties from losing money, time and project failure.

Details

International Journal of Building Pathology and Adaptation, vol. ahead-of-print no. ahead-of-print
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2398-4708

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 24 September 2021

Odwa Mazele and Christopher Amoah

Infrastructure development and management form the central part of the government's commitment and responsibility to deliver essential services to the communities…

Abstract

Purpose

Infrastructure development and management form the central part of the government's commitment and responsibility to deliver essential services to the communities. However, much focus has been placed on the development aspect, with very little focus on the management and maintenance aspects, causing service delivery problems. This study explores the causes of poor management of immovable municipal infrastructure in South Africa.

Design/methodology/approach

A qualitative approach was adopted; thus, a sample of 15 participants consisting of senior municipal workers, local organizations and forums in Ngqushwa Municipality in Eastern Cape were identified and interviewed. The interview data were analyzed using thematic content analysis to determine the common themes and the frequencies.

Findings

The study's findings indicate numerous causes of poor municipal infrastructure management, including lack of funding, lack of capacity, poor planning and oversight, lack of By-laws, grant dependency and corruption. The municipality's failure to address these issues has resulted in increased service protests, destruction of public property, interruption of services and loss of confidence in municipal administrations.

Research limitations/implications

Although the study concentrated on one municipality, the findings may be applicable to other South African municipalities.

Practical implications

To provide efficient services for the inhabitants to curtail aggravated service delivery protests, there is an urgent need for the municipalities to institute effective measures to manage and maintain the infrastructure that serves the communities.

Originality/value

The study has identified the factors underpinning ineffective management of the municipalities' facilities and the resultant's effects. Thus, the findings will guide the government and the authorities on the infrastructural management strategies for effective service delivery.

Details

Property Management, vol. 40 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0263-7472

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 22 August 2020

Christopher Amoah, Kahilu Kajimo-Shakantu and Tanya van Schalkwyk

The concept of government reconstruction development programme (RDP) social housing in South Africa was rolled out in 1994 after the African National Congress Government…

Abstract

Purpose

The concept of government reconstruction development programme (RDP) social housing in South Africa was rolled out in 1994 after the African National Congress Government came to power when the apartheid rule was abolished. The main aim of the government was to enhance the lifestyles of the poor in society through the provision of houses that they could not afford in the open market. However, many concerns have been reported about the social housing project in terms of poor project implementation and the delivery of deliverables that do not befit the need of the end-users. This study aims to assess the flaws in the application of project management (PM) principles in the construction of these social houses.

Design/methodology/approach

A quantitative approach was adopted for the study by making use of closed- and open-ended questionnaires to collect data from 1,893 social housing inhabitants in Bloemfontein, Free State. Descriptive statistics and R programming language software were used to analyse the data collected.

Findings

The findings reveal that there was a profound failure in the application of PM principles in the construction of the social houses leading to the provision of deliverables that do not meet the needs of the beneficiaries. There are also poor project deliverables and lack of consultations that could have probably been prevented had proper PM systems been put in place by the government throughout the project lifecycle. This lack of proper PM philosophies has generated dissatisfaction among the beneficiaries leading to numerous complaints about the social housing programme.

Research limitations/implications

The survey was done in only RDP housing communities in Bloemfontein in the Free State Province of South Africa; however, the result may be applicable in other RDP housing programmes.

Practical implications

The empirical results indicate that the government has been providing houses with disregard to project objectives by not instituting an appropriate PM systems; hence, the main objective of providing befitting houses to the less privileged to enhance their living conditions has woefully failed, as the inhabitants do not see any improvement of their social standings after receiving the houses. This means the government might have wasted resources as a result of ineffective PM throughout the project implementation.

Originality/value

This study has identified PM flaws in the construction of the RDP houses, which have led to poor project deliverables. This study thus gives recommendations with regard to proper PM strategies for the implementation of the same or similar project in the future to achieve project objectives.

Details

Journal of Facilities Management , vol. 18 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1472-5967

Keywords

Open Access
Article
Publication date: 5 August 2022

Christopher Amoah and Demetri Steyn

Complying with the code of conduct by professionals in the construction industry worldwide has become a significant issue over the years. This has led to projects'…

Abstract

Purpose

Complying with the code of conduct by professionals in the construction industry worldwide has become a significant issue over the years. This has led to projects' failure, leading to losses to both the client and contractors. The study's objective is to identify the challenges of construction professionals in complying with their code of conduct and preventing corrupt practices.

Design/methodology/approach

Quantitative approach was used to collect empirical data by sending questionnaires to 56 construction professionals in South Africa. Data gathered were analysed through Excel statistical tool. Mean values were calculated for the quantitative data, whilst thematic content analyses were used to generate frequencies and percentages for qualitative data.

Findings

The findings indicate that construction professionals experience many unethical issues in their work duties such as inflated tender prices, overpricing the rates, tender-based kickbacks, bribes for projects, unethical methods of project execution, use of lower grade materials than specified, discrimination, among others. However, issues such as greediness, acceptance of corruption as usual practice, lack of knowledge about the code of conduct, the only way to get contracts, part of the process, and peer pressure create a challenge in complying with the code of conduct and preventing corrupt practices among construction professionals.

Practical implications

Construction professionals face many unethical and corrupt practices in their project management and execution, which they cannot overcome due to many factors. Therefore, there is the need to sensitise the professionals in the construction industry regarding their code of conduct as well as the danger associated with engaging in corrupt practices in their work and their implication on project performance.

Originality/value

The findings give an insight into the critical factors curtailing the construction professional's ability to comply with their code of conduct and be corrupt-free in their line of duty. Thus, professional associations can use the findings in guiding their members.

Details

International Journal of Building Pathology and Adaptation, vol. ahead-of-print no. ahead-of-print
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2398-4708

Keywords

Open Access
Article
Publication date: 19 May 2022

Christopher Amoah and Jeanne Smith

This study aims to examine the challenges for green retrofitting implementation in existing residential buildings to lower the running cost and achieve a better…

Abstract

Purpose

This study aims to examine the challenges for green retrofitting implementation in existing residential buildings to lower the running cost and achieve a better energy-efficient system.

Design/methodology/approach

This study adopted a qualitative approach by interviewing conveniently selected 16 construction professionals, made up of architects, quantity surveyors and engineers. Data received were analysed using the content analysis method.

Findings

The findings revealed that the main barriers to incorporating green retrofitting in the existing residential buildings as the nature of the existing structures, limited knowledge, not being a priority and high costs involved in the process. Moreover, other factors influencing property developers’ decision to apply energy-efficient principles in a residential home include cost (initial capital and maintenance), level of knowledge, nature of the climate in the area, local legislation, more independence and increasing the property’s market value and environmental aspect.

Research limitations/implications

This study is limited to South Africa; thus, the literature available was limited.

Practical implications

People’s perceptions, either wrong or correct, affect their ability to make an informed decision to adopt green retrofitting principles, thereby denying them the opportunity to reap the associated benefits. Therefore, there is an urgent need for the construction industry stakeholders and government to increase educational opportunities for property owners on the importance of green retrofitting.

Originality/value

This study provides the occupants with the possible barriers and problem areas with implementing these principles. They will thus make an informed decision when implementing sustainable design methods.

Details

Journal of Facilities Management , vol. ahead-of-print no. ahead-of-print
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1472-5967

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 6 December 2021

Henry Duncan John Mwamvani, Christopher Amoah and Emma Ayesu-Koranteng

The study aims to find the causes of road projects implementation delays in Blantyre, one of the four city councils (CCs) in Malawi.

Abstract

Purpose

The study aims to find the causes of road projects implementation delays in Blantyre, one of the four city councils (CCs) in Malawi.

Design/methodology/approach

The study followed a qualitative research approach using a Blantyre City Council (BCC) as a case study. This study combined in-depth, face-to-face interviews with councillors, secretariat staff, consultants, and contractors who worked on the city's road projects. Data gathered were analysed using thematic content analysis. Also, some road project documents were examined.

Findings

The findings from the case study revealed the primary cause of road project construction delays as the shortage of engineers in conducting detailed proposed projects surveys resulting in incomplete project scope definition before contractor's procurement. Other identified factors were service providers delaying the removal of existing public utility infrastructure from project sites, client funding issues, scope changes, and client delays in issuing instructions to the contractors during project implementation. Another factor was the shortage of construction equipment and construction materials experienced by some appointed contractors.

Research limitations/implications

Only road construction projects and stakeholders operating from Blantyre city, Malawi, were contacted for the study; thus, the findings may not be generalizable.

Practical implications

There is an urgent need to increase technical employees, especially engineers and other critical technical staff such as quantity surveyors in Blantyre. Employees' conditions of service should be conducive to attract qualified people to undertake effective management and assessment of projects before commencement to identify the feasibility of proposed projects to decrease the rate of road construction project delays.

Originality/value

The study has established Blantyre city's core challenges in implementing its road projects seamlessly and has provided mitigation measures for dealing with the shortcomings.

Details

Built Environment Project and Asset Management, vol. 12 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2044-124X

Keywords

Open Access
Article
Publication date: 25 April 2022

Vuyokazi Precious Camngca, Christopher Amoah and Emma Ayesu-Koranteng

The construction industry’s daily processes demand heavy data usage and communication between project participants to meet client requirements. Thus, the application of…

Abstract

Purpose

The construction industry’s daily processes demand heavy data usage and communication between project participants to meet client requirements. Thus, the application of information technology in project implementation has been increasing in the construction sector (CS) lately. However, the same cannot be seen in public sectors responsible for implementing government projects in South Africa. This study aimed to investigate the causes and effects of the underutilisation of information communication technology (ICT) in the building section of a public sector in a municipality in South Africa.

Design/methodology/approach

A qualitative approach was adopted for the study, using a public sector in one of the municipalities as a case study. Face-to-face interviews were conducted among the building unit workers, using unstructured interview questions. The data collected were analysed using the ATLAS.ti software.

Findings

The findings indicate a lack of understanding of existing and newly available ICT software and hardware technology among staff within the building technology due to lack of digitalisation in construction projects implementation, inadequate system upgrades, lack of adequate ICT resources, lack of financial resources for internet and software application subscriptions and lack of ICT training leading. The issues mentioned above have led to the outsourcing of projects professionals, slow pace of electronic emails, untrained professionals, usage of different and unlicensed software, resulting in the underutilisation of ICT within the whole building section. This change also adversely affects all officials, especially the junior officials who have graduated using the most recent ICT technology during their studies.

Research limitations/implications

The building department of only one public sector was used for the study; therefore, the findings may not be generalisable. The case study public sector’s name is withheld for confidentiality purposes.

Practical implications

Adequate change management and continuous development, combined with the allocation of proper resources, would be necessary for all staff members. Enormous investments had to be made in the ICT equipment by providing a sufficient budget in the building section of the public sectors. The building section within public sectors should provide change management to all aged skills staff by attending seminars to learn new ICT technology applied within its work environment.

Originality/value

The study established the causes of the underutilisation of ICT in the CS, especially in the public work departments and municipalities, and how this contributes to service delivery.

Details

Journal of Facilities Management , vol. ahead-of-print no. ahead-of-print
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1472-5967

Keywords

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