Construction site management practices and their influence on the performance of local contractors in Ghana

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November, 2016
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The performance of large construction firms in any developing economy is key to the growth and survival of its construction industry. It is thus imperative that everything should be done to improve and enhance the performance of such firms. It is unfortunate to observe, however, that most of the “big” construction contracts in a developing country like Ghana are awarded to foreign contractors. Some researchers have attributed this to the notion that these foreign contractors are better organized and employ more efficient site management practices as compared to the local firms. Something ought to be done to reverse the situation and this study is a modest attempt to do that. The research study began by first identifying site management practices employed by local construction firms in Ghana. This was then followed by determining the relative influences of identified site management practices from literature on the performance of local construction companies. A quantitative research approach coupled with the use of questionnaire as main data collection instruments was employed. Cross tabulation and relative importance index analysis tools were employed for this study. With a response rate of 84%, results of the findings showed that practices such as documentation of site instructions, provision of safety signs at vantage points to educate and inform workers and visitors on site, timely delivery of materials, progress reporting and other site management practice had very high influence on the performance of construction companies in Ghana. It was suggested that contractors insist that consultants reduce their verbal instructions into written ones to avoid their claims being contested as well as enforcing health and safety rules governing construction projects they undertake in order to avoid site accidents. It is expected that lessons drawn from this study will help equip the large established local firms with efficient and effective ways of managing site activities so as to be able to contend with their foreign equals and perform better on construction projects they undertake.
A thesis submitted to the Department of Building Technology, College of Art and Built Environment in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the degree of Master of Science.