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Article
Publication date: 15 May 2020

Olalekan Oshodi, David J. Edwards, Ka Chi lam, Ayokunle Olubunmi Olanipekun and Clinton Ohis Aigbavboa

Construction economics scholars have emphasised the importance of construction output forecasting and have called for increased investment in infrastructure projects due…

Abstract

Purpose

Construction economics scholars have emphasised the importance of construction output forecasting and have called for increased investment in infrastructure projects due to the positive relationship between construction output and economic growth. However, construction output tends to fluctuate over time. Excessive changes in the volume of construction output have a negative impact upon the construction sector, such as liquidation of construction companies and job losses. Information gleaned from extant literature suggests that fluctuation in construction output is a global problem. Evidence indicates that modelling of construction output provides information for understanding the factors responsible for these changes.

Methodology

An interpretivist epistemological lens is adopted to conduct a systematic review of published studies on modelling of construction output. A thematic analysis is then presented, and the trends and gaps in current knowledge are highlighted.

Findings

It is observed that interest rate is the most common determinant of construction output. Also revealed is that very little is known about the underlying factors stimulating growth in the volume of investment in maintenance construction works. Further work is required to investigate the efficacy of using non-linear techniques for construction output modelling.

Originality

This study provides a contemporary mapping of existing knowledge relating to construction output and provides insights into gaps in current understanding that can be explored by future researchers.

Details

Engineering, Construction and Architectural Management, vol. 27 no. 10
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0969-9988

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 3 September 2018

Gerard de Valence

Official statistics on the output of the construction industry capture on-site activities of contractors and sub-contractors; however, the role of the industry linking…

Abstract

Purpose

Official statistics on the output of the construction industry capture on-site activities of contractors and sub-contractors; however, the role of the industry linking suppliers of materials, machinery, products, services and other inputs is also widely recognised. These two views have been called broad and narrow, with the narrow industry defined as on-site work and the broad industry as the supply chain of materials, products and assemblies, and professional services. An argument is made for using the term “built environment sector” (BES) for the broad industry definition of construction. The paper aims to discuss these issues.

Design/methodology/approach

Construction industry statistics capture the on-site activities of contractors and sub-contractors. This paper reviews research that adds to construction output the contributions of suppliers of materials, machinery and equipment, products and components, professional services and other inputs required to deliver the buildings and structures that make up the built environment.

Findings

The same term, “construction”, has been used in a number of ways in different definitional studies of the narrow and broad industry. The term that best encompasses the large number and range of participants in the creation and maintenance of the built environment, from suppliers to end users, is the BES.

Research limitations/implications

Construction economics makes an important contribution to researching the macroeconomic role of the BES. There is also a special role for construction economics in researching both the boundaries of the BES and the data available on the industries that contribute to the BES.

Practical implications

Measuring the BES would improve the understanding of its macroeconomic role and significance.

Social implications

Measuring the BES would contribute to city policies and urban planning.

Originality/value

The paper proposes a new approach to defining and measuring the industries that contribute to the production, maintenance and management of the built environment. It introduces a new name for the combination of those industries.

Details

Engineering, Construction and Architectural Management, vol. 26 no. 5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0969-9988

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Article
Publication date: 1 April 1996

GEORGE OFORI

The construction programmes of developing countries have constituted a significant part of the international construction market. However, while international contractors…

Abstract

The construction programmes of developing countries have constituted a significant part of the international construction market. However, while international contractors seek to exploit these opportunities, the host nations also wish to develop their construction industries over time. This paper shows how conflicting objectives of international contractors and host countries can be correlated for mutual benefit. It outlines strategies adopted by international construction enterprises and contrasts the approaches they adopt in industrialised countries with those in developing ones. It then compares the objectives of international construction enterprises to those of host countries. It uses Singapore's experience to illustrate likely future developments in the construction industries of emerging countries. Finally, it offers suitable approaches that international and local construction enterprises, and governments, should adopt at various stages of development of host countries' construction industries.

Details

Engineering, Construction and Architectural Management, vol. 3 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0969-9988

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Article
Publication date: 1 March 1998

BEE‐HUA GOH

It is widely believed that the construction industry is more volatile than other sectors of the economy. Accurate predictions of the level of aggregate demand for…

Abstract

It is widely believed that the construction industry is more volatile than other sectors of the economy. Accurate predictions of the level of aggregate demand for construction are of vital importance to all sectors of this industry (e.g. developers, builders and consultants). Empirical studies have shown that accuracy performance varies according to the type of forecasting technique and the variable to be forecast. Hence, there is a need to gain useful insights into how different techniques perform, in terms of accuracy, in the prediction of demand for construction. In Singapore, the residential sector has often been regarded as one of the most important owing to its large percentage share in the total value of construction contracts awarded per year. In view of this, there is an increasing need to objectively identify a forecasting technique which can produce accurate demand forecasts for this vital sector of the economy. The three techniques examined in the present study are the univariate Box‐Jenkins approach, the multiple loglinear regression and artificial neural networks. A comparison of the accuracy of the demand models developed shows that the artificial neural network model performs best overall. The univariate Box‐Jenkins model is the next best, while the multiple loglinear regression model is the least accurate. Relative measures of forecasting accuracy dealing with percentage errors are used to compare the forecasting accuracy of the three different techniques.

Details

Engineering, Construction and Architectural Management, vol. 5 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0969-9988

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 1 February 1994

GEORGE OFORI

Construction industries in developing countries face many problems. One of these is the low level of their technological development. This paper considers how a national…

Abstract

Construction industries in developing countries face many problems. One of these is the low level of their technological development. This paper considers how a national technology policy can help improve the situation. After a brief discussion of technology and its development, construction technology development is considered. The nature of, and potential benefits from, technology policies are discussed. Ghana's experience and that of other countries in construction technology development are outlined. Courses of action for achieving progress are then indicated.

Details

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

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Article
Publication date: 16 May 2019

Qinghua He, Ting Wang, Albert P.C. Chan, Hanzhang Li and Yangxue Chen

The purpose of this paper is to review the existing literature on project success in academic journals, specifically within the context of construction engineering and…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to review the existing literature on project success in academic journals, specifically within the context of construction engineering and management (CEM). It also aims to provide a holistic picture of existing research and to identify research implications in this specific area.

Design/methodology/approach

The paper is an extensive literature review of a total of 164 peer-reviewed journal papers between 2007 and 2017, using a mixed bibliographic and bibliometric method that considers annual circulation, institutional and regional contributions, author contributions, citations, categories of research methods and keywords networking.

Findings

There has been an increasing research interest in CEM project success. The largest number of published studies targets the developed regions, especially in Hong Kong, whereas the papers related to the developing economies remain weak. Questionnaire, interview and case study have comprised the main data collection methods, and descriptive data analysis was performed in most of the case/field studies. The subtopic related to the critical success factors (CSFs) is considered as the most popular in the keywords network in the targeted research area. Four implications, namely, megaproject success, project success in developing countries, relationships between CSFs and success outcomes, and the influence of human factors are highlighted in future research.

Originality/value

This paper departs from earlier research by using a mixed bibliographic and bibliometric method, especially facilitating to analyze and illustrate the interlinkages between keywords effectively. Additionally, it provides a clear picture of the existing literature on CEM project success, which contributes to insights for successful construction project management. Finally, the holistic analysis identifies gaps in the body of knowledge, revealing avenues for future research.

Details

Engineering, Construction and Architectural Management, vol. 26 no. 8
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0969-9988

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 29 June 2021

Murali Jagannathan and Venkata Santosh Kumar Delhi

Strong and independent judiciary symbolizes transparency and impartiality in the dispute resolution process. However, litigation is often time-consuming and affects the…

Abstract

Purpose

Strong and independent judiciary symbolizes transparency and impartiality in the dispute resolution process. However, litigation is often time-consuming and affects the working relationship between the disputants. In the construction context, where projects typically have a short life span of three to four years, dispute resolution through litigation induces unaffordable process delays. Despite the inherent challenges associated with litigation, it is observed that disputing parties resort to litigation. This behavior, called the litigation dilemma, ostensibly appears counterintuitive to rational decision-making.

Design/methodology/approach

The study identifies 35 “decision to litigate” (DTL)-triggers from a review of the literature and court cases followed by expert interviews and groups them into thematic research domains using Exploratory Factor Analysis (EFA) followed by Confirmatory Factor Analysis (CFA).

Findings

DTL studies in construction stands benefited through interdisciplinary research. “Presumptuous decision-making,” “construction project characteristics,” “milieu influence,” “interest in amicable resolution,” “positional focus” and “opportunism” are the six focus areas to decode the DTL in construction.

Research limitations/implications

The study identifies factors that consolidate the knowledge from various fields with the substantive experience of construction professionals from across the world to help understand the dynamics behind the DTL in the context of contract-linked disputes in construction.

Originality/value

The findings from the domains of law, behavior, sociology and economics can help understand the above dilemma in the context of contractual disputes in construction. However, studies that explore the “decision to litigate” (DTL) contractual disputes in construction are limited, providing a vast scope for further research. The current study addresses a part of this gap.

Details

Engineering, Construction and Architectural Management, vol. ahead-of-print no. ahead-of-print
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0969-9988

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Article
Publication date: 14 July 2021

Yijie Zhao, Kai Qi, Albert P.C. Chan, Yat Hung Chiang and Ming Fung Francis Siu

This paper aims to make a systematic review of the manpower prediction model of the construction industry. It aims to determine the forecasting model's development trend…

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to make a systematic review of the manpower prediction model of the construction industry. It aims to determine the forecasting model's development trend, analyse the use limitations and applicable conditions of each forecasting model and then identify the impact indicators of the human resource forecasting model from an economic point of view. It is hoped that this study will provide insights into the selection of forecasting models for governments and groups that are dealing with human resource forecasts.

Design/methodology/approach

The common search engine, Scopus, was used to retrieve construction manpower forecast-related articles for this review. Keywords such as “construction”, “building”, “labour”, “manpower” were searched. Papers that not related to the manpower prediction model of the construction industry were excluded. A total of 27 articles were obtained and rated according to the publication time, author and organisation of the article. The prediction model used in the selected paper was analysed.

Findings

The number of papers focussing on the prediction of manpower in the construction industry is on the rise. Hong Kong is the region with the largest number of published papers. Different methods have different requirements for the quality of historical data. Most forecasting methods are not suitable for sudden changes in the labour market. This paper also finds that the construction output is the economic indicator with the most significant influence on the forecasting model.

Research limitations/implications

The research results discuss the problem that the prediction results are not accurate due to the sudden change of data in the current prediction model. Besides, the study results take stock of the published literature and can provide an overall understanding of the forecasting methods of human resources in the construction industry.

Practical implications

Through this study, decision-makers can choose a reasonable prediction model according to their situation. Decision-makers can make clear plans for future construction projects specifically when there are changes in the labour market caused by emergencies. Also, this study can help decision-makers understand the current research trend of human resources forecasting models.

Originality/value

Although the human resource prediction model's effectiveness in the construction industry is affected by the dynamic change of data, the research results show that it is expected to solve the problem using artificial intelligence. No one has researched this area, and it is expected to become the focus of research in the future.

Details

Engineering, Construction and Architectural Management, vol. ahead-of-print no. ahead-of-print
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0969-9988

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 1 April 2000

RICHARD FELLOWS and ANITA M.M. LIU

This paper supplements and extends consideration of quantitative models with application to building (costs and) prices by examining human elements inherent in modelling…

Abstract

This paper supplements and extends consideration of quantitative models with application to building (costs and) prices by examining human elements inherent in modelling. In considering the concepts of modelling, attention is focused on the recently developed sociology of science, which questions the traditional perspective of total separation of a reality from the observer—the ‘objective’ basis of scientific positivism. It is argued that human activities are fundamental in, and inseparable from, reality and so, they are integral in modelling. The aim of modelling should be to enhance understanding and knowledge rather than to secure inert objectivity. Application to modelling of prices of building projects investigates how prices are formulated, which prices are commonly modelled and the impact of the decision‐makers involved. It is concluded that new models are required, perhaps developed through methodological pluralism, which identify people‐oriented variables and assumptions explicitly. Further, the models should be stochastic and with sound bases in theories of economics and human behaviour to ensure that users are aware of the major variabilities in the processes modelled and so, by realistically informing, promote better decision making.

Details

Engineering, Construction and Architectural Management, vol. 7 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0969-9988

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 6 June 2017

Saad Sarhan, Christine Pasquire, Emmanuel Manu and Andrew King

The construction industry has been subject to substantial criticism for its short-term “hit-and-run” relationships which are focussed on win-lose situations. Despite the…

Abstract

Purpose

The construction industry has been subject to substantial criticism for its short-term “hit-and-run” relationships which are focussed on win-lose situations. Despite the wide recognition of these problems the industry persistently resists the radical demanded of it. Therefore, the purpose of this paper is twofold. First, to investigate why this might be the case by reviewing the governance problem confronting clients and decision makers in construction procurement, as conceptualised in transaction cost economics (TCE). Second, to critically analyse and question the efficiency and effectiveness of various safeguarding approaches, which are taken for granted and commonly practiced in construction, from a lean perspective.

Design/methodology/approach

The analysis of this paper is based on an in-depth critical review of 76 construction procurement and contractual-related articles, ranging from 1994 to 2016, using theories of Lean construction and TCE as an analytical lens.

Findings

Findings reveal that clients and decision makers often tend to safeguard their project-specific assets, against opportunism and exploitation, through the deployment of formal contractual arrangements and governance structures. These arrangements and structures typically dominate the management of the project delivery often to the detriment of the project itself; but because there is a belief that interests are safeguarded, clients and decision makers feel they have taken the best course of action. This goes a long way to explaining the coherence of the current construction model.

Research limitations/implications

To the best of the authors’ knowledge, this paper is the first to demonstrate the usefulness of using principles of Lean construction in association with TCE when analysing construction-procurement-related issues. In particular, the use of a “lean” lens helps to expose the impact of procurement governance arrangements on process flow. The study also provides a potential research agenda that can lead to the development of prescriptive conceptual frameworks for causal analysis of institutionalised waste in construction.

Practical implications

The paper attempts to expose to clients and decision makers the amount of waste (and unnecessary cost) they embed by adhering to prevailing unfit-for-purpose contractual governance approaches. It also helps decision makers to consider alternative procurement arrangements and organisational techniques that could be of value and support collaborative ways of working.

Originality/value

The study contributes to the overall understanding of waste in construction by providing insight into various imperfect procurement and contractual arrangements, which are taken for granted and impede efficiency and improvement efforts in construction. The findings presented provide a theoretical anchor and rationale for developing alternative approaches to the design and delivery of capital projects.

Details

International Journal of Managing Projects in Business, vol. 10 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1753-8378

Keywords

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