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Article
Publication date: 4 July 2016

Terence Y.M. Lam

The UK Government construction strategy has a clear objective to maximise potential and value for construction and infrastructure projects. The purpose of this paper was…

Abstract

Purpose

The UK Government construction strategy has a clear objective to maximise potential and value for construction and infrastructure projects. The purpose of this paper was to develop a performance outcome framework for the public-sector university client to identify the criteria for value against which construction consultants’ performance will be appraised for selection and monitoring purposes in outsourcing.

Design/methodology/approach

Multiple-case study method was used to examine the performance requirements of construction consultants, using three state universities having similar contexts in terms of organisation objectives and requirements on projects funded by the government.

Findings

Within the public-sector university environment, five performance outcomes are identified: time, cost, quality, innovations and working relationship with the client. These areas form a conceptual framework for measuring the performance of construction consultants.

Research limitations/implications

The performance outcome framework developed should be regarded as “conceptual”. University clients may have different organisation objectives and hence requirements for performance outcomes, which may further vary according to specific project situations. The framework should be adapted accordingly.

Practical implications

University clients and their professional advisors should specify the performance requirements under those five areas in tender documents for selection purposes and subsequently use them as key performance indicators to monitoring the consultant performance. Construction consultants should address these requirements in the tender proposals to add value to the project.

Originality value

There is a need to investigate what performance outcomes are required by the public-sector construction client. Based on the results of this research, frameworks and guidelines can be further developed for use by other public sectors, thus benefitting the wider public sector as a whole.

Details

Journal of Facilities Management, vol. 14 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1472-5967

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Article
Publication date: 29 May 2007

Rosanna Duncan, Julianne Mortimer and Jane Hallas

The UK Race Relations (Amendment) Act 2000 places a statutory duty on all public authorities to promote race equality throughout all their functions. The purpose of this…

Abstract

Purpose

The UK Race Relations (Amendment) Act 2000 places a statutory duty on all public authorities to promote race equality throughout all their functions. The purpose of this paper is to discuss steps being taken by social landlords in Wales and contractors and consultants to promote race equality within the construction procurement process.

Design/methodology/approach

The principle methods of data collection were focus groups with social landlords and postal questionnaires and semi structured telephone interviews with construction contractors and consultants.

Findings

Little action is being taken by social landlords in Wales to promote race equality within the construction procurement process. Furthermore, construction contractors and consultants that undertake work on behalf of social landlords are doing little to ensure race equality within their own organisations.

Research limitations/implications

A relatively small sample of construction contractors and consultants took part in the research.

Practical implications

In order to meet their obligations under current legislation social landlords need to ensure that they promote race equality within the procurement process. Construction companies including maintenance and minor works contractors that aspire to be engaged by social landlords will need to demonstrate that they are committed to race equality and its implementation and have the appropriate policies and procedures in place to ensure this.

Originality/value

This research is the first to evaluate the procurement practices of social landlords in Wales and how these practices may impact on race equality within the procurement process. The research also examined the steps being taken to promote equality by construction contractors and consultants operating within the social housing sector in Wales.

Details

Facilities, vol. 25 no. 7/8
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0263-2772

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Article
Publication date: 21 August 2017

Terence Lam

Public-sector construction clients in the UK and Australia have a clear objective to maximise potential and value for construction and infrastructure projects…

Abstract

Purpose

Public-sector construction clients in the UK and Australia have a clear objective to maximise potential and value for construction and infrastructure projects. Outcome-based performance predictive models, which link influencing factors to individual performance outcomes, were developed for the public-sector property management clients. The paper aims to discuss this issue.

Design/methodology/approach

Combined qualitative-quantitative methods were used to examine the causal relationships between performance outcomes and input economic and job performance factors. Hypotheses on individual relationships generated by a literature review were refined using the findings from a qualitative multiple-case study of three universities, and then tested by a quantitative hierarchical regression analysis using data from 60 consultancies collected from a questionnaire survey sent to the estate management offices of the universities, which form a unique public sector. Each performance project outcome was regressed against influencing factors. Performance predictive models were established in the form of regression equations.

Findings

Five performance outcomes are identified: time, cost, quality, innovations and working relationship with the client. These can be significantly predicted by regression models, based on performance influencing factors of project staff, competence of firm, execution approach, size of firm, consultant framework and competition level.

Research limitations/implications

The performance predictive models developed should be regarded as “conceptual”. Public-sector clients may have different organisation objectives and hence different requirements for performance outcomes, which may further vary according to specific project situations. The models should be adapted to suit individual needs. Adjustments can be made by using the combined qualitative-quantitative methods adopted in this research, thus creating customised models for property management and construction-related clients.

Practical implications

The client’s professional team should focus on the significant performance influencing factors and take advantage of the performance predictive models to select quality consultants. Construction consultants should address the factors in the tender proposals in order to add value to the project and benefit the client.

Originality/value

The existing input-based assessment approach applied at the tender stage cannot guarantee the strategic project objectives to be achieved. The performance predictive models are adaptable for property management and construction disciplines within the wider public sector, thus contributing to achievement of the government construction policy.

Details

Property Management, vol. 35 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0263-7472

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Article
Publication date: 20 March 2017

Bekithemba Mpofu, Edward Godfrey Ochieng, Cletus Moobela and Adriaan Pretorius

A voluminous amount of research has been conducted on project delay in the recent past; however, the persistence of the problem demands that a relentless quest for…

Abstract

Purpose

A voluminous amount of research has been conducted on project delay in the recent past; however, the persistence of the problem demands that a relentless quest for solutions is upheld. It can be argued that the problem is likely to be more pronounced in areas where development pressure is the highest. One such area is the United Arab Emirates (UAE) where the construction industry is said to have reached an unparalleled position in the last decade. The purpose of this paper is to identify the most significant causes of delays in the UAE construction industry.

Design/methodology/approach

A survey was conducted targeting three key types of stakeholders, namely clients, contractors and consultants. Validity and reliability were achieved by first assessing the plausibility of construction delay variables in UAE. The verification took place after the interpretation of quantitative data, this involved presenting the findings to the main participants. The validation took place after the verification process. Rigour was achieved by engaging participants previously engaged in UAE and focussing on verification and validation, this included responsiveness of the researchers during group discussions, methodological coherence, appropriate sampling frame and data analysis.

Findings

From the analysis, the study unveiled a number of important causes of construction delays in the UAE, ranging from unrealistic contract durations to poor labour productivity, with consultants and clients seemingly shouldering the bulk of the “blame game”. It was evident that all the three main stakeholders in a construction project (clients, consultants and contractors) need to change their existing practices in order to ensure timely delivery of projects. The research also confirms that delays are country specific and appear to be time related hence they should be viewed within the social, economic and cultural settings of the UAE.

Research limitations/implications

A major limitation of the current study was the use of a single approach to facilitate data collection.

Practical implications

It was evident that practitioners need to change their existing practices in order to ensure timely delivery of projects. Continuous coordination and relationship between practitioners are required through the project life cycle in order to solve problems and develop project performance.

Originality/value

As suggested in this study methods should be put in place to reduce long and bureaucratic processes within the client’s organisations, not only to fulfil the requirements of the contract but also to suite fast-track projects.

Details

Engineering, Construction and Architectural Management, vol. 24 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0969-9988

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Article
Publication date: 1 January 1995

SIMON T. KOMETA, PAUL O. OLOMOLAIYE and FRANK C. HARRIS

The importance of clients' responsibilities in the construction process, as perceived by both clients and consultants, was assessed through a structured questionnaire…

Abstract

The importance of clients' responsibilities in the construction process, as perceived by both clients and consultants, was assessed through a structured questionnaire survey. Using the relative index ranking technique, clients' fundamental needs and responsibilities in the construction process were analysed and ranked. Results indicate that the four most important needs are: functionality of the building, safety of the building, quality of the building, and completion time. The four most important clients' responsibilities identified by clients themselves are: planning/design, project finance, project implementation/management, and project definition/formulation. The four most important clients' responsibilities to project consultants are: project finance, project definition/formulation, planning/design, and project implementation/management. If both consultants and clients understand the fundamental needs of construction clients and if clients themselves are prepared to take an active role in the construction process, the chances of producing more successful projects will improve.

Details

Engineering, Construction and Architectural Management, vol. 2 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0969-9988

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Article
Publication date: 2 September 2019

Terence Y.M. Lam

Outsourcing architectural and engineering services is a trend for public-sector construction projects. This study aims to examine what tender selection criteria should be…

Abstract

Purpose

Outsourcing architectural and engineering services is a trend for public-sector construction projects. This study aims to examine what tender selection criteria should be considered when assessing the performance outcomes of consultants in relation to sustainable design, construction and management of buildings within the context of property and facilities management of existing building portfolios.

Design/methodology/approach

Combined qualitative-quantitative methods are adopted to examine the causal relationship between sustainable performance outcomes and influencing factors, using primary data collected from the estate offices of the UK universities, which form a unique public sector. The performance factors identified form the basis of selection criteria.

Findings

The qualitative multiple-case interviews identify economic, environmental, social and functional sustainability measures as the attributes of performance outcome. The quantitative hierarchical regression analysis generalises that sustainable performance outcomes can be significantly influenced by task and contextual performance factors.

Research limitations/implications

The scope of the study is limited to university estates. Further research should be conducted on other property and facilities management and construction-related organisations so that the sustainable procurement approach developed by this research can become more robust and applicable to the wider public sector.

Practical implications

At the tender stage, estate managers should adopt a sustainable procurement approach for selection of construction consultants: focussing on the significant task performance (project staff and execution approach) and contextual performance (collaborative consultant frameworks) influencing factors to optimise the project sustainability outcomes in relation to economic, environmental, social and functional values.

Originality/value

The sustainable procurement approach developed by this research benefits property and facilities management, as well as construction disciplines within the wider public sector, thus contributing to the government construction policy on promoting sustainability to the built environment.

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Article
Publication date: 1 November 2006

Jianxi Cheng, David G. Proverbs and Chike F. Oduoza

Client satisfaction is one of the major determinants of project success and therefore is a fundamental issue for construction participants who must constantly seek to…

Abstract

Purpose

Client satisfaction is one of the major determinants of project success and therefore is a fundamental issue for construction participants who must constantly seek to improve their performance if they are to survive in the marketplace. However, client satisfaction has remained an elusive issue for a majority of construction professionals. This research aims to investigate the performance of construction consultants to determine those key performance attributes which have a crucial impact on client satisfaction, and from that to identify ways of improving the services provided by such consultants.

Design/methodology/approach

This research presents the results of a UK‐wide client satisfaction survey based on the performance of a large engineering and management consultancy organisation whom they employed.

Findings

Results indicate that key performance attributes for consultants including technical accuracy; overall quality of services and people, have been identified as the main client satisfaction criteria. Clients consider effective communications and their service providers as being most important in determining their satisfaction levels. Furthermore, it is revealed that clients' strategic decisions and the overall performance of consultants in those key areas make a significant contribution towards client satisfaction.

Originality/value

The outcome of this research will improve the understanding of the client satisfaction phenomenon and benefit clients and construction consultants.

Details

Engineering, Construction and Architectural Management, vol. 13 no. 6
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0969-9988

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Article
Publication date: 10 April 2019

Timothy Rose, Karen Manley and Kristian Widen

The purpose of this study is to examine product innovation as a means of addressing infrastructure shortages in developed economies and to improve the sustainability of…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this study is to examine product innovation as a means of addressing infrastructure shortages in developed economies and to improve the sustainability of infrastructure. The obstacles to product innovation in the road industry are compared between different types of participants in the supply chain to provide guidelines for interventions to improve innovation rates.

Design/methodology/approach

This exploratory study uses descriptive data from a large scale survey of the Australian road industry. The three top-rated product innovation obstacles for the following four types of participants are examined: contractors, consultants, suppliers and clients.

Findings

The four groups were found to disagree about the relative importance of the obstacles. Contractors and suppliers ranked “restrictive price-only tender assessment” used by clients as their number one obstacle, while consultants thought there was too much emphasis by the clients on direct costs compared with whole-of-life costs. On the other hand, clients felt suppliers do not do enough thorough testing prior to proposing a new product and disagreed with suppliers about who should carry the risk of new product failure.

Research limitations/implications

The conceptual framework was found to yield novel insights with significant policy implications. The construction-specific contextual determinants that were integrated by the authors into a broad innovation diffusion process proved useful in categorising road product innovation obstacles across the four surveyed supply chain groups – without overlap or omission. The new framework also proved useful in ordering the key obstacles across groups for interpretation and discussion. In disaggregating product obstacles according to groups, these contextual determinants were proven to be mutually exclusive and to represent important focal points in promoting the uptake of product innovation in construction. Although the current study has usefully provided quantitative data concerning construction innovation obstacles, there are limitations due to its reliance on descriptive statistics. Future work by the authors is proposed to analyse the relationships between innovation obstacles and supply chain partners using inferential statistics to further develop and validate these early findings. The current study is an interim step in this work and an important contribution in identifying and addressing firm-level barriers seen to be constraining construction product innovation.

Practical implications

Results suggest there is a need for government clients to carefully consider the differing perspectives across the supply chain when developing strategies to encourage the adoption of mutually-beneficial innovative products on their construction projects. Inclusive focus groups examining the drivers, configuration and benefits of collaborative procurement systems are recommended to reduce innovation obstacles.

Social implications

Society relies on urban infrastructure for daily living and the current study contributes to stretching infrastructure investment dollars and reducing the environmental impact of infrastructure provision.

Originality/value

No previous study has compared the perception of product innovation obstacles across different road industry supply chain partners. This is a significant gap, as differences in opinions across the supply chain need to be understood to develop the shared expectations and the improved relationships required to improve product innovation rates. Product innovation is important because it has been shown to improve efficiency (potentially addressing the road investment gap) and reduce deleterious environmental impacts.

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Article
Publication date: 1 January 1997

WILL HUGHES

The context of construction management (CM) reveals that this method of procurement is as much a management philosophy as a contract structure. It is important to consider…

Abstract

The context of construction management (CM) reveals that this method of procurement is as much a management philosophy as a contract structure. It is important to consider legal and contractual issues in this context. The interplay between management and law is complex and often misunderstood. Before considering specific issues, the use of contractual remedies in business agreements is discussed. In addition, the extent to which standardising a form of contract detracts or contributes to the success of projects is also considered. The dearth of judicial decisions, and the lack of a standard form, render it difficult to be specific about legal issues. Therefore, the main discussion of legal issues is centred around a recently completed research project which involved eliciting the views of a cross‐section of experienced construction management clients, consultants and trade contractors. These interviews are used as the basis for highlighting some of the most important legal points to consider when setting up CM projects. The interviews revealed that the advantage of CM is the proximity of the client to the trade contractors and the disadvantage is that it depends on a high degree of professionalism and experience; qualities which are unfortunately difficult to find in the UK construction industry.

Details

Engineering, Construction and Architectural Management, vol. 4 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0969-9988

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Article
Publication date: 13 May 2014

Nicholas Chileshe and Geraldine John Kikwasi

Despite the extensive research on critical success factors (CSFs), there is a paucity of studies that examine CSFs for the deployment of risk assessment and management…

Abstract

Purpose

Despite the extensive research on critical success factors (CSFs), there is a paucity of studies that examine CSFs for the deployment of risk assessment and management processes in developing countries, particularly, Africa. The purpose of this paper is to investigate the perception of construction professionals on CSFs appertaining to the deployment of risk assessment and management practices (RAMP) in Tanzania with the aim of filling the knowledge gap.

Design/methodology/approach

The primary data were collected from 67 construction professionals working with clients (private and public), consultants, and contractor organisations (foreign and local) within the Tanzanian construction. Response data was subjected to descriptive and inferential statistics with one-way analysis of variance to examine the differences in the perception of the identified CSFs.

Findings

The descriptive and empirical analysis demonstrated a disparity of the ranking of the ten CSFs among the groups; however, the differences were not significant. Based on the overall sample, the results of the mean score ranking indicate that “awareness of risk management processes”; “team work and communications”; and “management style” were the three highly ranked CSFs whereas “co-operative culture”; “customer requirement”; and “positive human dynamics” were considered to be the least important.

Research limitations/implications

The study did not differentiate the perceptions of the CSFs according to the ownership (local or foreign), and the sample consisted of organisations in one industry operating in Tanzania. Consequently, the findings may not generalise to other industries or to organisations operating in other countries.

Practical implications

For RAMP to be implemented effectively, Tanzanian constructional-related organisations should consider the identified CSFs as a vehicle for improving project success through reduction of risk uncertainty. Furthermore, regardless of the type of organisation, “management style”, “team work and communication” are necessary for the successful deployment of RAMP.

Originality/value

This study makes a contribution to the body of knowledge on the subject within a previously unexplored context. The study provides insights on the drivers and enablers (CSFs) of risk assessment implementation across the Tanzania construction sector.

Details

Engineering, Construction and Architectural Management, vol. 21 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0969-9988

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