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Publication date: 1 May 2019

Sondre Evjen, Gustav Gunnerud, Ola Lædre, Rune Søfting and Jardar Lohne

Reports from the Norwegian police indicate that actors in the architecture, engineering and construction industry face severe competition from criminal actors. Sub…

Abstract

Purpose

Reports from the Norwegian police indicate that actors in the architecture, engineering and construction industry face severe competition from criminal actors. Sub-contractors working within the law struggle to be competitive compared to dubious sub-contractors. This study aims to examine (1) what the sub-contractors’ perceptions of current contracting practices are, (2) what problems they face and (3) what countermeasures can be used to improve the situation.

Design/Methodology/Approach

The research was carried out on the basis of a qualitative approach. A literature review and a document study of reports from the sub-contractors, public agencies and other relevant organisations were conducted. In addition, in-depth interviews were conducted with the management of eight sub-contractors in the Norwegian architecture, engineering and construction industry.

Findings

There is a significant difference in the perception of the reality between contractors’ management and the blue-collar workers. Management among the contractors maintain that their control systems work; however, the result from this study shows that it is easy for the sub-contractors to take advantage of loopholes or avoid the countermeasures.

Research Limitations/Implications

This paper is limited to Norway and use only the paint industry as a case study.

Practical Implications

This study shows that sub-contractors constitute an important source of information in the effort to prevent dubious sub-contractors as they are the actors who experience the greatest pressure and competition from them. Therefore, contractors should include the sub-contractors in the process of developing measures to prevent this misconduct.

Originality/Value

A very little research has been carried out within this field of study in Norway.

Details

10th Nordic Conference on Construction Economics and Organization
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-83867-051-1

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Article
Publication date: 7 October 2021

Nathaniel Ayinde Olatunde, Imoleayo Abraham Awodele and Bosede Olajumoke Adebayo

The purpose of this study is to examine the impact of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) on indigenous contractors in a developing economy with a view to enhancing their…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this study is to examine the impact of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) on indigenous contractors in a developing economy with a view to enhancing their performance.

Design/methodology/approach

The study used a purposive sampling technique to select 37 indigenous contractors with ongoing construction contracts in Osun State, Nigeria who provided data for the study. A structured interview protocol was used to elicit the required information from the interviewees and frequency, percentage and content analysis were used for data analysis.

Findings

The results showed that the critical impact of COVID-19 on indigenous contractors in a developing economy is: time overrun, loss of profit and creation of dispute. Further results showed that other impacts are a disruption in supply of labour, locally sourced materials are with additional cost, the additional cost of implementing COVID-19 protocols, difficulty in sourcing imported materials and absence of new jobs with the corresponding retrenchment of workers.

Practical implications

The study recommended special palliatives for the indigenous contractors from the government so as to cushion the impact of the pandemic on them, thereby enhance their survival and performance. A special arbitration panel is set up in each state of the federation to look at disputes arising from the aftermath of the pandemic, this is with a view to adequately compensate indigenous contractors with genuine and properly compiled claims. inferring from the findings of the study, it suffices to say that the severity of the impact of the pandemic is very high on indigenous contractors in developing economies, as such a better preparedness strategy could lessen the impact of such pandemic in the future.

Originality/value

The study is an attempt to unearth the impact of COVID-19 on indigenous contractors with ongoing construction contracts in a developing economy. The study will be of value to construction stakeholders in providing the information needed to devise strategies to minimise the impact of a pandemic on indigenous contractors in future projects thereby enhance their performance.

Details

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

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Article
Publication date: 1 June 1997

H.H. Martin

Presents a discussion of the research survey carried out at the Faculty of Technology Management at the Eindhoven University of Technology concerning contractors

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1857

Abstract

Presents a discussion of the research survey carried out at the Faculty of Technology Management at the Eindhoven University of Technology concerning contractors’ maintenance. First, gives a brief introduction to the emerging contracting out phenomenon in The Netherlands. Then, provides an overview of several contract types that can be offered by contractors and the potential difficulties that have to be solved in establishing such contracts. Complements this with some first‐hand experiences gained in actual situations. Further discusses the importance of taking the initiative by the contractor in developing a contracting out market for maintenance. Finally, makes suggestions with respect to developing in‐depth research in this area.

Details

Journal of Quality in Maintenance Engineering, vol. 3 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1355-2511

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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: 22 August 2008

Robert H. Kieserman

This paper aims to explain the rules and regulations for using independent contractors in a library setting.

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1848

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to explain the rules and regulations for using independent contractors in a library setting.

Design/methodology/approach

The paper uses the personal expertise of the author who has been a professor of human resources management as well as a library consultant to all types of libraries for over 15 years.

Findings

The importance of treating independent contractors very differently from employees is emphasized. The paper provides a step‐by‐step guideline on the compliance issues by which every library and independent contractor must abide to guarantee a legitimate relationship in the eyes of the Internal Revenue Service.

Originality/value

This paper helps the library director and the library department manager more intelligently use independent contractors within the operation of a library organization.

Details

The Bottom Line, vol. 21 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0888-045X

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Article
Publication date: 8 May 2007

Thanapun Prasertrungruang and B.H.W. Hadikusumo

This study is intended to investigate the current practices and problems in heavy equipment management as well as to identify practices capable of alleviating equipment…

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1439

Abstract

Purpose

This study is intended to investigate the current practices and problems in heavy equipment management as well as to identify practices capable of alleviating equipment management problems for highway contractors in Thailand.

Design/methodology/approach

Equipment management practices were identified and analysed by SPSS using a questionnaire survey. ANOVA test was used to reveal significant differences in equipment management practices among different contractor sizes. Relationships between equipment management practices and problems were also revealed.

Findings

The equipment management practices vary, to some extent, among different contractor sizes. While practices of medium and small contractors tend to be similar, practices of large contractors are different from those of smaller contractors. Large contractors often put more emphasis on outsourcing strategy for equipment management. Moreover, large contractors frequently dispose of or replace equipment as soon as the equipment becomes inefficient before incurring high repair costs. Conversely, smaller contractors tend to mainly emphasise on the company finance and the budget availability as they often rely on purchasing strategy, especially buying used machines. Overall, equipment practices of large contractors were found to be more successful than smaller contractors in minimising equipment management problems, including long downtime duration and cost.

Originality/value

This research is of value for better understanding practices and problems relating to heavy equipment management among different contractor sizes. The study also highlights practices that are capable of reducing problems relating to heavy equipment management for highway contractors.

Details

Engineering, Construction and Architectural Management, vol. 14 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0969-9988

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Article
Publication date: 1 October 2002

C.Y. Yiu, S.M. Lo, S. Thomas Ng and Michael M.F. Ng

Contractor selection models have been developed for large scale works with the assumption of the availability of contractor’s information for the clients. However, a…

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1824

Abstract

Contractor selection models have been developed for large scale works with the assumption of the availability of contractor’s information for the clients. However, a similar study of small building works, especially building maintenance and repair works, is almost ignored. In light of the small amount of work, the employment of building consultants for the selection of contractors in small works is often not feasible, and the cost of acquiring the contractor’s information is often prohibitively high. This research uses case studies to show that a contractor selection model for large scale works does not perform well in small works without the advice of the consultant. The high proportion of specification costs in small works contracting deters the detailed design and documentation stage. A wider variation of tender sums is therefore expected and revealed in the case studies. This paper reviews the building procurement mechanism in small building works in Hong Kong and argues that the employment of a property management agent is conducive to the contractor selection process. Accordingly, further investigations are warranted for a contractor selection model for small building works.

Details

Structural Survey, vol. 20 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0263-080X

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Article
Publication date: 1 August 1996

Nasrollah Ahadiat and Keith Ehrenreich

Government contractors operate under circumstances unmatched in the commercial marketplace. A significant factor for conducting business in that environment is the use of…

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1513

Abstract

Government contractors operate under circumstances unmatched in the commercial marketplace. A significant factor for conducting business in that environment is the use of heavy regulations. Government regulations for defence contractors include such procurement requirements as cost accounting standards, cost limitations and cost exclusions as outlined in the Defense Contract Audit Manual, Federal Acquisitions Regulations and Defense Acquisition Regulations. Defense Contract Audit Agency auditors must perform all necessary audits and ascertain contractor compliance with these standards as part of their internal control review. While contractors maintain costly accounting systems for the sole purpose of reporting to the Government, frequently adverse audit opinions are presented resulting in adversarial relationship between the two parties. First, addresses some of the most significant issues that lead to the development of conflict between the Goverment auditors and contractors, then provides some recommendations which are expected to reduce tension and increase efficiency of audit operations.

Details

Managerial Auditing Journal, vol. 11 no. 6
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0268-6902

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Article
Publication date: 21 July 2021

George Ofori, Zhe Zhang and Florence Y.Y. Ling

This study examines the initiatives that would enable contractors in Singapore to improve the level of construction productivity.

Abstract

Purpose

This study examines the initiatives that would enable contractors in Singapore to improve the level of construction productivity.

Design/methodology/approach

A two-pronged research method was employed: questionnaire survey with contractors (109 responses received) and in-depth interviews with 12 subject matter experts. The questionnaire covered questions such as the current and future improvement measures.

Findings

The results show that the top three motives for achieving high productivity (increase profitability, on time delivery and enhance corporate competitiveness) are underpinned by profit maximization. Factor analysis revealed several categories of productivity improvement strategies. Among these, only site operations category is under the control of contractors. Other important categories include government's initiatives and design factors.

Research limitations/implications

While contractors are the producers of built products, their productivity is very much dependent on other factors and other parties. The long-standing exhortation to contractors to improve productivity is necessary but not a sufficient condition to improve it.

Practical implications

Recommendations are provided for the government, designers, contractors and other stakeholders on what can be done to improve productivity.

Originality/value

This research adds to knowledge by showing that contractors' top motives for high productivity relate to self-seeking behavior to maximize profit. Prior to this study, productivity improvement is considered the responsibility of contractors. This study shows that two other stakeholders also hold the key to productivity improvement – government and designers. Government controls the supply of foreign labor, has the capacity to offer incentives and has the muscle to enact regulations to improve productivity. Consultants' upstream designs must be buildable.

Details

Built Environment Project and Asset Management, vol. ahead-of-print no. ahead-of-print
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2044-124X

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Article
Publication date: 26 August 2021

Nini Xia, Jiale Guo and Yi-Hsin Lin

Previous studies have proposed that correctly managing stakeholders with certain attributes can benefit project management; however, robust theoretical elaborations and…

Abstract

Purpose

Previous studies have proposed that correctly managing stakeholders with certain attributes can benefit project management; however, robust theoretical elaborations and empirical investigations of this topic have been lacking. The purpose of this study is to empirically test the effects of two stakeholder attributes – contractor-perceived contractor salience and contractor project position – on the criticality of five typical contractor-related risks: risk of (1) injuries and accidents, (2) quality defects, (3) work delays, (4) cost overruns and (5) breaches of contract.

Design/methodology/approach

Questionnaire data were collected from 118 Chinese contractor managers. Regression models were run in Mplus 7.11 to test the hypotheses.

Findings

The data show that higher contractor-perceived contractor salience and a more supportive contractor project position were both related to lower criticality of contractor-related risks, including risk of (1) injuries and accidents, (2) quality defects, (3) work delays, (4) cost overruns and (5) breaches of contract. Contractor salience also mediated the negative relationship between a supportive contractor project position and the criticality of contractor-related risks.

Research limitations/implications

The authors’ research design is cross-sectional and thus cannot establish causation in the relationships among the studied variables. The single item measure of contractor project position was used for the first time in the present study; thus, its reliability and validity still await more empirical examinations.

Originality/value

The findings advance the understanding of the value of stakeholder management in projects by specifying that prioritizing stakeholders' claims and securing their support for the project reduce the criticality of stakeholder-related risks. By providing empirical evidence from the construction context, the findings also add to knowledge on the instrumental power of stakeholder management in enhancing project risk management performance.

Details

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

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