Promoting the Use of ICT in the Construction Industry: Assessing the Factors Hindering Usage by Building Contractors in Ghana.

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Information and communication Technology (ICT) nowadays have great impact on the construction industry and the way it works. The technology is viewed as crucial for effective and successful project delivery. Currently, there is a growing awareness among stakeholders of the industry that, in order to surmount the existing information management and communication deficiencies in the construction business, more emphasis should be given to information and communication technology (ICT). Though, several construction organisations today might perceive that greater use of ICT would enhance their performance and may well employ the technology to improve some specific processes of their endeavor, ICT usage in most construction firms have often been described as relatively limited and ineffective compared to other sectors in most economies. This situation could probably be true for the Ghanaian construction industry. With the need for adequate information concerning the Ghanaian construction industry’s ICT platforms, this research focuses on current levels of ICT practice and identifies the reasons hindering its usage by Building and Civil Engineering Contractors in Ghana. A survey based on structured questionnaire was used to elicit the relevant data from D1K1 and D2K2 contractors. In all, fifty one (51) respondents completed the questionnaire. The data was analyzed using Frequency Analysis, Mean/average Score and One Sample T-test. The findings suggest that, there is a reasonable level of awareness among the contractors about the potential benefits of ICT. However, current ICT usage in most firms was found to be unsophisticated, with more advanced applications of ICT lacking in most of the firms. The study also revealed,9 out of 21 factors identified from the literature as important factors affecting the use of ICT by building contractors. A test of significance finally revealed that: budget constraints for ICT investments, lack of commitment by firm’s management towards ICT, lack of training and technical support for construction professionals in ICT, inadequate ICT content of construction education and the fact that majority of client are not interested in firm’s ICT base were the most critical factors hindering use of ICT by building contractors in Ghana. It plausible to admit from this study that, whilst the posture and interest towards ICT by building contractors in Ghana seems promising, the factors identified from the study could be a major issue that stakeholders and individual organizations’ need to address in order to enhance their ICT capacity and derive its full benefit. The study finally proposed recommendations on the need for firm’s internal policy and financial support for ICT investments, improved training and management support for ICT usage in building construction firms, construction client interest in contractors ICT capacity; probably as a criterion for selection and an improved ICT content in construction education at all levels. It is expected the findings from the study could be relevant in addressing the situation in the construction industry in Ghana.
A Thesis Submitted to the Department Of Building Technology, Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology-Kumasi, In Partial Fulfillment of the Requirements for the Degree of Master of Science in Construction Management,