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Article
Publication date: 7 August 2017

Jasper Mbachu, Temitope Egbelakin, Eziaku Onyeizu Rasheed and Wajiha Mohsin Shahzad

This study aims to answer the ‘what’ and ‘how’ questions about the key role players’ influence on the overall productivity outcomes in the lifecycle of residential…

Abstract

Purpose

This study aims to answer the ‘what’ and ‘how’ questions about the key role players’ influence on the overall productivity outcomes in the lifecycle of residential buildings procured through the traditional route.

Design/methodology/approach

A mix of exploratory and descriptive research methods was used to obtain feedback from 179 role-players involved in various phases of the residential building lifecycle (RBLC) in New Zealand. Empirical data were analysed using content analysis, multi-attribute method and Friedman’s two-way analysis of variance.

Findings

Results showed that designers, building owners, main contractors and project managers were the greatest influencers of the productivity outcomes in the RBLC. The priority drivers of these key role-players’ influences on the RBLC productivity outcomes comprised poor brief interpretation, inclination to lowest tender, inadequate prior risk analysis and miscommunication of owner’s requirements and preferences to service providers, respectively. By taking proactive steps to redress their productivity inhibiting acts/omissions as identified in this study, the various role-players could contribute to significant improvement of productivity outcomes in the building lifecycle.

Research limitations/implications

It was not possible to interview all participants that made up the representative random samples from each role-player group due largely to workload related excuses. As a result, the findings and the conclusions may not be generalised beyond the study scope. However, the study achieved its purpose, as the main intent was to provide hypothetical constructs that could guide further confirmatory/experimental studies for residential buildings as well as for other building types.

Practical implications

A succinct and easy-to-follow model was developed as implementation pathway for operationalising the key findings of the study in the industry. The model highlights the Owner-Architect-Contractor Influence Triangle (OACIT) as the 20 per cent of the solutions that could deliver 80 per cent of the productivity improvement in the RBLC.

Originality/value

This study re-examines productivity issues not only from a life-cycle perspective but also from the perspectives of the majority of the key role-players. In addition, the OACIT concept offers a novel productivity improvement tool; it stresses that productivity in the traditionally procured building lifecycle could be optimised if the architect could focus greater attention on brief articulation and the issuance and review of design and specification information. Also, the owner should adopt productivity-enhancing procurement and contract strategies and emphasise more on value-addition and less on lowest tender price.

Details

Journal of Engineering, Design and Technology, vol. 15 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1726-0531

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Article
Publication date: 28 February 2019

Saeed Haji Karimian, Jasper Mbachu, Temitope Egbelakin and Wajiha Shahzad

The purpose of this paper is to investigate the key productivity constraints faced by New Zealand (NZ) road pavement maintenance and rehabilitation contractors (RPMRCs…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to investigate the key productivity constraints faced by New Zealand (NZ) road pavement maintenance and rehabilitation contractors (RPMRCs) and the associated mitigation measures.

Design/methodology/approach

Interview-based exploratory research strategy was used to survey senior managers and directors of medium- to large-sized road contracting firms in NZ. Empirical data were analyzed using the multi-attribute analytical technique.

Findings

Results revealed 70 productivity constraints faced by the RPMRCs in NZ; in diminishing order of influence, these constraints were aggregated into eight broad categories as follows: finance, workforce, technology/process, statutory/regulatory compliance, project characteristics, project management/project team characteristics, unforeseen circumstances and other/external factors. The most important constraints in each of the eight broad categories were presented.

Research limitations/implications

The key limitation of the research is that it was based on feedback from a limited number of participants which were less than the minimum required to represent the views of the potential participants in the sampling frame for the study. As a result, the findings may not be reliably generalized beyond the scope of the data used. Further research on the subject is recommended to ensure that the representation of the views of the individuals and companies that comprised the sampling frame is achieved. The current findings could be formulated as propositions or hypotheses to be tested in future confirmatory research.

Practical implications

At the industry level, the findings could provide the basis for the skill development programs of the NZ RPMRCs. The application of the research findings by the RPMRCs and consultants could result in significant improvement in the productivity of the NZ roading sector and the sector’s enhanced contribution to the economy.

Originality/value

Currently, there is little research on the priority constraints to productivity and performance in the NZ roading sector. The findings contribute to knowledge by revealing critical factors constraining productivity performance of the NZ RMRCs and the associated improvement measures. New and more enriching viewpoints were provided on how contractors could leverage their limited resources to address the identified key constraints.

Details

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

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 12 October 2018

Tong Liu, Anuradha Mathrani and Jasper Mbachu

Mobile apps offer construction workers a quick, affordable and user-friendly platform for meeting their information, communication and computing needs, with nearly 13,000…

Abstract

Purpose

Mobile apps offer construction workers a quick, affordable and user-friendly platform for meeting their information, communication and computing needs, with nearly 13,000 construction apps currently available in the market. This study aims to report construction managers’ perspectives on the uptake of mobile apps in the New Zealand construction industry.

Design/methodology/approach

Exploratory research methods were used in two stages. First stage involved interviews with 14 construction managers who were registered with the New Zealand Registered Master Builders Association, followed by an online questionnaire in the second stage. The link of online questionnaire was sent to all members of participating professional organisations by their administrators. In total, 228 responses were received, of which 60 per cent participants completed the entire questionnaire.

Findings

Results show an overall positive attitude towards the use of apps. Perceptions of top management personnel differed slightly from those of middle managers; the former expressed interest in apps usage at strategic level such as improving long-term client relationship management and satisfaction; while the latter were more interested in the apps use at operational and tactical levels such as task- or project-level productivity improvement.

Research limitations/implications

Though bias has been minimised by giving equal opportunity to each member of trade and professional organisations to participate in this survey, of the 228 responses received, only 60 per cent participants completed the entire questionnaire. This is below the minimum requirement for a holistic representation of views. As a result, the findings might not be generalised beyond the study’s scope.

Originality/value

The study provides new insights on the uptake of smartphone apps in New Zealand’s construction sector from the perspective of construction managers who make strategic decisions. The findings have implications for policy formulation and implementation in regards to the use of mobile apps for productivity improvement in the sector. Mobile apps developers could also gain understanding on functional needs and preferences of the construction workforce, which will help in development of more relevant apps.

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Article
Publication date: 25 April 2013

Myzatul Aishah Kamarazaly, Jasper Mbachu and Robyn Phipps

The purpose of this paper is to: identify the current and future challenges faced by university facilities managers; analyse their associated risk levels; and establish…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to: identify the current and future challenges faced by university facilities managers; analyse their associated risk levels; and establish practical ways to address the identified key challenges.

Design/methodology/approach

Personal interviews were conducted with 25 members of the Australasian university facilities managers (UFMs). The constructs generated at the pilot interviews were used to design a structured but open‐ended questionnaire with which the Tertiary Education Facilities Managers Association (TEFMA) members were surveyed. The multi‐attribute method was used in the data analysis.

Findings

Results showed that the critical challenges currently facing the UFMs comprised issues relating to the following (in diminishing order of significance): inadequate funding, emergency management and business continuity planning, statutory compliance, sustainability and environmental stewardship, keeping up with rapid changes in technology, operational efficiency, identifying and meeting stakeholder needs, maintenance and manpower. Preparing for and responding to disaster/emergency was perceived as the most critical challenge of the future, perhaps, due to the recent natural disasters. Overall, poor funding was identified as the root of all other issues faced by the UFMs, hence suggested strategies for addressing the key challenges harped on financial improvement measures. Other key measures included optimized asset utilization, supporting business case for capital investment with demonstrable returns on investment, improving FM's strategic relevance through linking FM and corporate strategies, and investment in efficient technologies such as the building automation and management systems.

Originality/value

The findings have contributed to filling an important knowledge gap by not only identifying the current and future challenges facing the UFMs, but also prioritising them based on their relative influences on the achievement of the strategic goals of the FM department. This way, the limited resources at the disposal of the UFMs could be disbursed more cost‐effectively in addressing the critical challenges in line with their identified risk levels. This would be of practical benefit to the facilities and property managers in formulating appropriate responses to the identified critical constraints with a view to achieving more satisfactory outcomes in their operations.

Details

Journal of Facilities Management, vol. 11 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1472-5967

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 21 August 2020

Jack Spellacy, David John Edwards, Chris J. Roberts, Susan Hayhow and Mark Shelbourn

This paper aims to investigate the value management workshop process and specifically identifies the roles and responsibilities of the quantity surveyor within this…

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to investigate the value management workshop process and specifically identifies the roles and responsibilities of the quantity surveyor within this. Information accrued is then used to develop a novel template value management workshop that provides a platform for educating future quantity surveying and other construction professionals.

Design/methodology/approach

This research adopts a mixed philosophical epistemological design that uses interpretivism with elements of postpositivism. Specifically, a cross-sectional study of extant literature informs the development of a structured questionnaire that is posed to focus group participants (consisting of experienced industrial practitioners) to secure qualitative feedback and validate the template.

Findings

Research findings reveal that the roles and responsibilities of the quantity surveyor in the value management workshop process have hitherto received scant academic attention. Additionally, literature has revealed that available information on workshop content is limited, leading to ineffective studies. There has also been a miscommunication among construction practitioners in relation to the quantity surveyor’s role in the workshop process. Following extensive research, a novel template has been created which identifies the content of each workshop session alongside the roles and responsibilities of the quantity surveyor (and other construction professionals) which can be used for educational purposes.

Originality/value

The literature revealed that scant academic and professional governing body(ies) attention has been paid to the education and training of future generations of quantity surveyors involved in value management. Specifically, there is limited applied case study evidence to investigate this phenomenon and, hence, the workshop curricular presents advance knowledge in this respect and provides a practical template solution.

Details

Journal of Engineering, Design and Technology , vol. 19 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1726-0531

Keywords

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