Quality management practices of building construction firms in Ghana

Thumbnail Image
Journal Title
Journal ISSN
Volume Title
The construction industry has been heavily criticized in recent times for its performance and productivity in relation to other industries. With the turn of time, it appears that the construction industry is going through an intense period of introspection, which is worsened by increased technological and social change. These changes are altering the tempo of the environment within which construction operates. Besides, such changes significantly affect the way business is conducted. Many of the management practices used to support construction organizations are being challenged. The industry’s clients are moving forward and demanding improved quality service, faster project delivery and innovations in technology. It is no accident that the construction industry has turned to the manufacturing sector as a point of reference and source of innovation. Quality Management has increasingly been adopted by construction companies as an initiative to solve quality problems and to meet the needs of the final customer. This research therefore aims at evaluating the Quality Management Practices of Ghanaian Contractors with emphases on D1 K1 contractors registered with the Ghana Cocoa Board and to achieve this aim, three specific objectives were set for the study and they are; to determine whether Ghanaian contractors are committed to Quality Management Planning in the delivery of construction projects; to determine the challenges encountered by contractors while implementing quality assurance during the execution of projects and proposing measures for effective quality assurance practice. The study was situated in the positivist paradigm which enabled the researcher to make an objective analysis. This stance facilitated the researcher to use the quantitative research strategy and also questionnaire survey as the main data collection instrument for soliciting information from construction firms registered with the Ghana Cocoa Board. It was found out that while most respondents were familiar with quality management practices; its application was relatively low. Several authors also pointed out that most of the hindrances to the application of quality management practices is the lack of information in the area. Further to this, it came to light that the potential barriers to the attainment of project quality among construction firm are: lack of effective Supervision, lack of effective Communication, lack of Management’s Commitment to Quality Assurance, lack of Proper Equipment available for use and lack of a Quality Assurance Team to lead the process. More importantly, in curbing the above mentioned potential barriers the study revealed the following as measures for effective quality management practices, namely: Management Commitment, Communication between Managers and Employees, Employee Involvement, Detailed and Logical Work Program, Regular Inspection and Audit of Quality Report, Training and Education of Team Members and Review/Analysis. Substantial evidence again in literature suggests that construction problems relating to Ghana are similar to the situations in many African and some Asian countries. The research therefore recommended that construction companies should create a flexible and conducive organizational atmosphere which encourages the development of quality management practices in all aspect of their work. Further, construction firms should be encouraged to apply quality management techniques during the execution of project and engage/include personnel in charge of Quality as part of an integrated team in the Project Management and Delivery process. In addition, training programs and refresher courses in Quality Management should be instituted among construction firms to broaden the knowledge of their employees in this regard and also enhance timely delivery of projects.
A thesis submitted to the Department of Building Technology in partial fulfilment of the requirement of the Master of Science in Construction Management, 2014