A generic framework for consultancy services pricing in Ghana: the case of quantity surveying practice

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The pricing of goods and services dates back to the pre historic era. It has metamorphosed into various forms over the decades manifesting in barter system and the use of substances like cowries to represent it. Among the marketing mix of people, place, promotion and price, pricing is the least researched. Similarly, in our modern world, much attention has not been paid to the pricing of services provided by consultants as compared to manufactured goods. Equally worst are the services provided by professionals and specialists notably quantity surveyors. The aim of the study was to develop a generic framework for pricing quantity surveying consultancy services. Methodologically, the study was positioned in the positivist tradition. Thus the quantitative approach was adopted in the conduct of this study. The data collection instrument was survey questionnaire which was administered to 79 respondents providing a response rate of 72 per cent. Twelve key hypotheses were postulated via theoretical framework based on pricing theories and concepts. The study adopted the chi square test and factor analysis for data analysis. The discussion and interpretation of results were supported by systematic synthesis leading to the development of the generic framework for pricing which demonstrated the foundational issues of client -consultant relationship; and demand and supply. Other findings demonstrated by the generic framework include the pricing spine; pricing management; pricing catalyst and pricing strategies. The study also found pricing relationship between pricing strategies and profitability; pricing objectivity; pricing strategy; time taken to render service to clients and business management including cost; and production of timely reports to be significantly related to business management, service cost management, technical and financial capabilities. The findings also have the prospect of much applicability in the pricing of iv services provided by other consultants operating in the built environment to achieve sustainable prices for the services they render to clients. Numerous future studies were advanced to address the limitation of this study. Some of the future research agenda advanced include: an in-depth exploration of pricing objectives with much emphasis on their influence on price levels; a study to determine the willingness to pay (WTP) by clients for consultancy services; an empirical study to ascertain the relationship between economic development and demand for consultancy services inter alia.
Thesis submitted to the Department of Building Technology of the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the award of a Master of Philosophy (MPhil) degree in Building Technology, 2014