Contractors’ Assessment of Professional Services Quality: The Case of Quantity Surveying Firms in Ghana

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The subject of service quality has become a topical issue in many jurisdictions and industries largely due to its benefit of enhancing a firms’ competitive advantage. In Ghana’s construction industry, the professional quantity surveying service sector in particular, recent studies on perceived service quality in quantity surveying firms have often focused on the perspective other stakeholders in the industry. However, little emphasis is placed on contractors who are the direct beneficiaries of these services. This stems from the fact that contractors need the services of these professional firms on cost advice and other contract management related issues to ensure the physical realization of construction projects in this country. The development of guidelines for improving quality of services provided by professional quantity surveying firms based on contractors’ service quality assessment was the main outcome of this study. This study adapted the use of the most widely utilized service quality measurement tool, SERVQUAL to assess contractors’ expectations and perceptions of professional quantity surveying firm’s service quality in the country. A mixed method research approach and a cross-sectional research design were adopted and the research found that, among the five differing dimensions of SERVQUAL framework; Reliability, Responsiveness, Assurance, Empathy and Tangibility, two dimensions (Responsiveness and Empathy) did not meet contractors’ expectations in the Ghanaian construction industry. Based on the results, the study designed a guideline model for improving service quality in professional quantity surveying firms which featured two phases: the critical improvement phase and continuing improvement phase. This model formulated by the research was validated by Quantity Surveying experts who generally agreed with the overall construct of the model, content and logic. Keywords: Service Quality, SERVQUAL, Professional Quantity Surveying Firms, Contractors. iii ACKNOWLEDGEMENT My greatest acknowledgement goes to the Almighty God for giving me the Grace, strength and good health to carry out this research. My sincere thanks go to my supervisor Dr.Gabriel Nani for his immense guidance, constructive criticisms, suggestions, and encouragement throughout the research process. He was always there for me when I needed him. Special thanks also go to Mr. Ayirebi Dansoh and to the entire lecturers of the Department of Building Technology, KNUST for their immense assistance and constructive criticisms throughout the research process. I also extend my appreciation to staff and management of North West Consortium Limited, Wa. Especially the Director Mr. Sylvester F. Dery is remembered for his understanding and support. Lastly, my profound gratitude goes to my entire family members, especially my wife Justina and son Leslie for their love, encouragement, understanding and time for this study.
A thesis submitted to the Department of Building Technology, Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology in partial fulfillment of the requirement for the Degree of Master of Philosophy in Construction Management.