Procurement systems and project success in the Ghanaian Construction Industry

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The traditional procurement system has been in existence since the emergence of the building, architectural and quantity surveying professions. Since it’s emergence, it has worked satisfactorily. However, in recent years, large and complex projects have proved difficult to manage. Generally, the construction industry is dynamic in nature due to the technological advancement and budgets and development processes which in constant change. The study of procurement systems and project success is aimed at improving the effectiveness of projects procurement. However, the concept of project success remains ambiguously defined in the mind of construction professionals. Moreover, very little research has been conducted to determine the relationship of procurement and project success or failure in Ghana. Literature is also silent on the impact of management oriented procurement systems on project success. These observed trends have necessitated many clients to resort to the popular traditional procurement system which has been condemned by researchers as inefficient. In order to avert this situation, a study which investigates best practised procurement system that leads to a project success is vital. This research fills this gap as adoption of it’s findings can improve project success in the Ghanaian construction industry. The aim of this research was to investigate the effect of a procurement system on the success of construction projects. In order to achieve the aim, four objectives were set which include: identification of the extent to which procurement systems are being practised, factors that contribute to project success and importance to these factors to clients, consultants and contractors and the linkage between selection of procurement systems and the success of a project. This research took the form of literature review and survey using questionnaire approach and formal interviews. A deductive research methodological approach was adopted for the study. Information for the study was gathered firstly through the use of books, journals and professional magazines and secondly, through questionnaires that were sent to consultants, contractors and clients. Responses to the questionnaire were collected, collated and analyzed. From the literature review and the analysis of the survey results, six major findings were made as follows. Firstly, the traditional procurement system is still the best known and applied system in the Ghanaian construction industry despite its numerous limitations. Secondly, the major problem with the traditional procurement system was the absence of input from contractors. Thirdly, the main reason cited by most respondents for not using the alternative procurement systems was lack of knowledge. Fourthly, a building procurement system has an influence on project’s success and lastly the integrated procurement systems in Ghana have not been widely used and understood and hence its use may not be successful. Based on these results, it was recommended that there should be a formal education on the availability of alternative procurement systems for use by stakeholders in the Ghanaian construction industry. Also, seminars should be organized where experts from countries such as Asia, United Kingdom, the United States of America would share their experiences with their Ghanaian counterparts.
A thesis report submitted to the Department of Building Technology in partial fulfilment of the requirements of Master of Science in Construction Management
Procurement Systems, Success Factors, Project Success, Construction Firms, Alternative procurement Systems