Corporate sustainability of quantity surveying firms in Ghana

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Ghana is faced with a deteriorating employment issues with employment performance declining averagely 3.7 yearly. The trade liberalisation programme with the rapid cedi depreciation has led to the collapse of many efficient local enterprises and firms and subsequently loss of jobs, internal and external attrition, and slow growth of the economy. Also, it has rendered the private sector sluggish to sustain. Quantity Surveying Firms (QSFs) operations is key to all the infrastructural development, which is considered to be an economic booster worldwide. The ability to sustain the QSFs is partly to sustaining the construction industry which potentially generate jobs and income for all forms of skilled and un-killed labour and further the growth of Gross Domestic Products of nations. QSFs are confronted with many challenges that pose threat to its survival and sustenance. These include lack of innovation of skills, fear of extinction from other construction professionals, low human capital retention and development of talents for future generation. The past decades have seen a rise in diversification of services into non-traditional areas in pursuant to sustain due to the instability and complexity of demands in the construction industry. Firms and organisations are making effort to implementing something sustainable, due to continuous and systematic changes sustainability has given the world currently. Studies on sustainability of firms in the construction industry in developing countries and Ghana in particularly have been generally scanty. As a consequence, there exists no policy direction for the sustainable development and growth of the QSFs. Thus, this study sought to develop a criteria for assessing the sustainability of QSFs to enhance their survivability. The study adopted a mixed research approach where preliminary interview was conducted on 10 QSFs purposively sampled and subsequently developing questionnaires which was administered to 46 Ghanaian QSFs. 25 Senior Quantity Surveyors (QSs) answered with a response rate of 55%. Nvivo 8 Software was used to analyse the interview whereas the Factor Analysis, Relative Importance Index and Descriptive Statistics were adopted to analyse the quantitative data. The discussions and interpretation of results were supported by systematic synthesis leading to the development of a sustainability criteria to sustain the operations QSFs in the midst of espoused challenges of firms in Ghana with possible sectors to diversify into. In order to guide upcoming QSPs, the study identified the most demanded QS services by clients as: Preparation of Bills of Quantities, Valuation and Final Account, Interim Payment Certificate, Preparation of Contract Document and Estimation, Project Management, Cost Planning etc. There was attrition of both QSPs and graduate professionals at a rate of 1 to 3 professional per firm in a year to the former. Voluntary and involuntary factors led to the attrition of QSPs. Furthermore, factors identified to promote sustainability of QSFs was espoused to include education and upgrading of staff, good economic conditions and policies, firms logistics, diversification of services, safety, security and technological edge etc to enhance their survival. Finally, the study established a clear definition for corporate sustainability.
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 Building Technology.
Corporate Sustainability, Attrition, Quantity Surveying Firms, Quantity Surveying, Professionals, Ghana