CHAPTER I INTRODUCTION 1.1 Introduction Construction and development involve numerous parties, various processes, different phases and stages of work and a great deal of input from both the public and private sectors, with the major aim being to bring the project to a successful conclusion. The level of success in carrying out construction and development activities will depend heavily on the quality of the managerial, financial, technical and organizational performance of the respective parties, while taking into consideration the associated risk management, the business environment, and economic and political stability. A lot of studies pertaining to factors that influence project performance have been carrying out since long time ago. A well-performed construction project may define with the achievement of project objectives. The project objective cannot be deviated from the triple objectives of quality, cost and time. A research done by Stephen M. Rowlinson (1988) specified that client, project procedures, human aspects and environment may affect project performance. These factors may be contributed from different parties who involved in construction project, and each of them will play their individual roles in succeeding 2 a project. The team of construction project normally forms by client; design professionals which consist of architect, civil and structural engineer, building services engineer; construction professionals which formed by main contractors and sub-contractors; supplier; surveyor and etc. Construction projects are born from ideas. For an idea to be realized, it must be translated into graphic form, which in turn must be transformed into a finished product. The idea is defined by the owner or client, developed by the designer and produced by the constructor, who then turns it over to the owner. This circle defines the construction project cycle by Gould (2002). Thus the relationship among the project team players is very obvious and vital to assure good performance and objective can be achieved at the end of a project. Friend (1974) highlighted client is where a construction project is born. Obviously, how the client organizes and manages a project will directly give impact upon the project performance. It has been acknowledged that client’s attributes in particular and their general approach towards project management can have significant effects upon the achievement of project objectives from the points of view of all the parties involved in the project. 1.2 Problems of Statement The rapid development of the construction industry in recent years has boosted our nation economic and creates wealth to people who have involved in the industry. Thus the contribution of the industry is very important, and to achieve a successful project performance are the responsibility of all parties who have taken part in construction. Many people from different parties and organization will involve in a project development. They are come from construction client who initiate a project development, project consultant who provide professional services of designing, 3 surveying, testing and consultation, construction professional who will build and materialize the project, and etc. A good relationship and interaction among all parties in the construction industry is crucial, in order to achieve successful project performance in any construction development. When a project performance is not achieved the expectation, the project consultant, contractor and other team players will be blamed by client that they are incapable to carry out their tasks and non-performing well. However the client in most of the time, neglected to absorb any responsibility, as they are claiming those professionals are employed to give consultation and manage the project. The British Property Federation's 1997 survey showed major UK clients are dissatisfied with contractors' performance in keeping to the quoted price and to time, resolving defects, and delivering a final product to the required quality. They are dissatisfied with project consultants' performance in coordinating teams, in design and innovation, in providing a speedy and reliable service and in providing value for money. The unequal divided of the risk and accountability always discourages the construction professional to perform well in construction project. This consequently will jeopardize the project performance. Some current clients are not fully aware of their control of important issue that may cause great effect to the final project performance; else they are intentionally being ignorant to it. The current industry players found that, construction client would like to minimize the construction cost, and alter the original design while the project is in progress. However some of the Chinese clients believe in Feng Shui and need the change. These changes made will cause disruption and increase the chance of construction problems occur in future, that affect the project performance. From the interview with few consulting engineers, some clients they are dealing with are inexperience in construction field. Thus the decision made by them will seriously affect the project performance. Client is found more demanding as compared before. This is due to the getting more competitors come into the market and offer more options to them. To satisfy the client objective in minimizing the cost, consultants are required to come out with more optimum design and contractors are asking for more economical 4 proposal to save more cost. Some ignorant client will just choose the cheapest offer without accessing other important criteria. These will become the root cause of unsuccessful project performance when someone incompetent is being chosen. 1.3 The Important of Study The importance of clients to the construction industry cannot be overemphasized. With the ever-increasing competition in the construction business environment, a good relationship among the project team player toward construction client has become crucial. The attributes possessed by construction client will affect them in their working performance. It is because client, as one of the major player, who will give deep impact in alter of any decision made by the project consultant and any work done by the contractor. In recent years, client expectation increasingly higher toward the services that project consultant provide, and the quality of work done by contractor. This higher demand may be caused by more exposures of client in the industry. Besides, new technology invention and approach toward better quality of living environment also contribute to higher client demand. Nahapiet (1983) has identified client’s experience of the construction industry as affecting project performance. According to the Wood report (1975) highlighted that a strong client was seen as a prerequisite for a successful project. Wilson (1974) pointed out that a quarter of clients has either not clearly established their building requirements when the building team was engaged or had set no budget or timetable. These report and research have reinforced the writer opinion that the client must pay more attention to the important issue of client control of the project. The construction client position in a project will be on top of everyone in the project team. The simple reason is client as a project initiator and the person who 5 primarily set the project objective that wanted to be achieved. Besides, they play the role as a paymaster who will responsible to finance the entirely project. Thus client satisfaction toward a project will become one of the main factors to judge the successfulness of a project performance. Inexperience client justification of work done may always turn many disputes and conflicts among the team player, especially with contractors. According to Egan report (1998), the direction and impetus from construction client is needed to achieve the performance improvements. Construction client leadership will be able to change the sky of construction industry in future. The author believes that it is necessary to carry out a study on client’s attributes, which may affect the project performance through the survey of opinion from other project team player such as project consultant, contractor, supplier and etc. The construction client may utilize it as a guide to strengthen their organization in competitiveness, and optimizing project performance. 1.4 Aims and Objectives This study aims to provide information to the construction client, in order to enhance their awareness of the important attributes, which may have consequential influence to the project performance. They may use the result of the survey to know how well they possess the necessary attributes by other local industry players. Hence to improve and strengthen their organization, in order to increase the competitiveness in today business market and achieve successful project performance for every construction development carried out by them. This study formulates the importance of construction client's attributes which will affect the project performance through out the entirely course of construction life-cycle. Particular attention for this study required:- 6 a) To identify factors affecting the construction project performance. b) To study on client organization and their role throughout the course of construction process. c) To identify various construction client's attributes and sub-attributes that may affect the construction project performance, according to construction industry players. d) To establish relative importance of the main and sub attribute of client organization, which may influence the project performance. e) To evaluate the current construction client in possessing the necessary important attributes. 1.5 Scope of Study a) The construction client for the study refers more on private client with moderate to big size corporation instead of public client or individual user, and have involved in substantial size of construction development (overall gross development cost > RM1 million per project) applying traditional procuring method and internal project management team. b) The data collection will be focused on construction team players such as project consultant (Architect, Engineer, Quantity Surveyor and etc), main contractor and specialist contractor in the local construction industry who are directly dealing with local construction client. c) All selected construction teams are actively involved in construction and have several contracts currently in progress (> 3 current project). 7 d) Type of projects involved including building project in commercial, residential and industrial; infrastructure works such as road and drainage, earthwork and etc in local construction industry. 1.6 Methodology of Study A comprehensive literature review had been carried out through variety information sources, which included library reference books, journal (e.g. Construction management and economics), articles & researches papers and reports from Internet. These reviews help the writer having more understanding in: a) Factors that will affect the project performance in local construction industry. b) Clients’ roles and responsibility throughout the course of construction period. c) Main attributes and sub-attributes of client that can influence the project team members perform during the project life cycle and hence affect the final construction project performance. The second part of premier data source will be obtained from the respondents of questionnaire which the sample of project team members will be selected, to give their ideas and opinions on the topic discussed. To identify the main attributes and sub-attributes that obtained from previous researchers are exactly what needed in our local construction industry, a pilot study will be carried out to pretest all the attributes and reaffirm some new attributes that are suited to our environment from selected qualified local industry players. The pilot study will be in combination of semi structure questionnaire together with short interview with the qualified construction players from different parties such as consulting engineer, architect, 8 contractor and specialist contractor. In the following stage of data collection, a structure questionnaire will be created subsequently modified of all the main attributes and sub-attributes that gained from the pilot study. One hundred samples of local construction player will be randomly selected, to give their ideas and opinions on the topic discussed. They will be asked for descriptive information about their firms such as type of organization, experiences in construction and number of current project on going, to make sure that qualified respondents are being selected. Then, specific questions about the importance level of all listed attributes and sub-attributes will be asked. Respondents will be required to evaluate the current construction client that possesses the necessary attributes. In distributing the questionnaire among one hundred respondents selected randomly from local construction players, the questionnaire will be posted by mail or by hand distribution and interview session to some qualified respondents to be carried out. To maximize the number of respondent, an informal method involved using personal networks and previously established relationship with senior members of the consulting firms and construction companies will be used. All data collected from the questionnaire hereof will be analyzed. A quantitative approach to determine the relative ranking of the attributes listed, which will be based on formulae of relative importance index. All sub-attributes will then be listed follow to the relationship with main attributes. Relative important index = ∑µ ----------- AXN Where, µ is weighting given to each factor by respondents; A is the highest weight (based on Likert scale used i.e. 7); N is the total number of respondent. 9 After established the ranking of each client attributes, writer will then discuss each attribute based on the knowledge gain from early part of literature review, answer given from respondents and self-experience in the field. Finally, a conclusion will be drawn to give an overall idea from project team member towards the client impact on their performance. There are total 4 stages of process to complete the study. In Figure 1.1 shows the whole process of the study and the methodology adopted in each process. 10 PROCESS OF STUDY METHOD OF STUDY STAGE 1 INITIAL STUDY Literature Review Identify problem of statement Interview with Importance of study consultants and Objectives contractors Research scope Factors affecting project Literature review performance. Construction client organization. Literature review Identify construction client main Pilot study with semi attributes and sub attributes structure questionnaire Interview STAGE 2 DATA COLLECTION Gain relative important index of Questionnaire attributes. Interview Client attributes evaluation. STAGE 3 DATA ANALYSIS To rank the main attributes according to relative important index Statistic method To evaluate client possession of Likert scaling necessary attribute STAGE 4 CONCLUSIONS Summary of findings Questionnaire Explanation of findings Interview Recommendation Self – experience Literature review Figure 1.1 Research Methodology 11 1.7 Organization of Dissertation Chapter One of the dissertation has given introductory of the study background. It included the problem of statement and importance of study for justification purposes. Aims and objectives of study create the target of study to be achieved. Scope of study drawn the limitation of this study and methodology highlight the entirely path of study process to obtain the necessary information and knowledge acquired. Chapter Two review the construction project performance, which will highlight the common factors affecting a construction project performance and advance project performance measuring method adopted in construction industry. Chapter Three in study focused on client in construction industry. It included the construction client background study, their important roles and responsibility, client input throughout the construction stages and their important attributes which will have significant effect on project performance. Chapter Four elaborate on methodology used to obtain data for analysis purpose. All data collected through pilot study and questionnaire survey will be computed and presented in table or chart form. Chapter Five in study focused on discussion of findings based on the data obtained through literature review and industry survey in earlier chapter. All the discussion of findings has been listed according to each objective set earlier. A final conclusion has been draw and some recommendation has been listed in order to achieve the aims of this study. 12 1.8 Summary In this chapter, discussion on the problem of statement and important of study has been focused to justify the need of this study. The aims and objectives have been set to give direction of study. This study is focused on the construction client in local industry and their attributes which will affect the project team players to carry out construction tasks during the construction period, and hence contribute a significant effect to the overall project performance. It is important to know well of the client because they are the main key person in a construction project who has significant role in determining the project objectives, project financing, and justification of a project performance. Through out the literature study and market players’ survey, the information gained will contribute to practicing construction client to enhance their awareness of important attributes and the project team players’ opinions and expectation toward themselves. The organization of this dissertation has highlighted the importance content for each of the chapter.
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