A socio-technical perspective of the project management practice on construction projects in Ghana.

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Project management is a practice that has gone through a varied number of changes over the years owing to the advancement of technology and technological services. The field of project management practice in Ghana has its own peculiar challenges and advantages. Most of these practices adopted into the system were developed by Western countries with different social and political settings than those that exist in most African countries as these countries are seen as collectivist and are attached to their cultural values. Most extant literature also, focuses on either the social aspect or the technical aspect of project management forgetting the need for a holistic approach towards understanding the practice. Researchers point to the fact that it is imperative that an understanding of the practices needs to be looked at from the perspective of both the social and technical aspects of project management. Adopting a sociotechnical transition approach and guided by social practice theory, the study used a qualitative exploratory design and assessed a sample of 13 project managers, some of whom were engaged through snowballing, who are well experienced and are knowledgeable in the field. Thematic analysis helped in coding the information and generating themes which brought out certain social and political influences on the practice. The major themes that came up during the entire collection of data include the drivers for employment, population dynamics and employment, area differences and stakeholder engagement. Drivers for employment included experience, capacity, competence, whereas other project managers explained that they leaned more towards employing family members. Some of the project managers explained that, looking at the population dynamics, they try to accommodate more youth in junior roles and internships. Architecture, engineering as well as the construction industries could use these outcomes to better the project management practice in order to achieve overalliv success in the industry. Efficacious implementation will lead to a holistic change in the approach towards practice and eventually lead to increased performance.
A thesis submitted to the Department of Construction Technology and Management, Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, Kumasi in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the Degree of Master of Science in Project Management.
Sociotechnical analysis, Project management, Construction Organisations