BACKGROUND OF THE STUDY
It is a
known fact that the Nigerian construction industry continues to occupy an
important position in the nation’s economy even though it contributes less than
the manufacturing or other service industries, (Aibinu and Jagboro, 2002). The
contribution of the construction industry to national economic growth
necessitates improved efficiency in the industry by means of cost effectiveness
and timeliness, and would certainly contribute to cost savings for the country
as a whole. It is also common knowledge that the implementation of the
construction project in the industry is usually accompanied with time delay and
cost increase as well as owner dissatisfaction (Hafez, 2001).
In general most (if not all), construction projects
experience time delays and cost overruns during their implementation phase
(Koushki and Kartam,2004). Numerous researchers, both in the developed and
developing nations have also examined and identified the causes of time and
cost overrun in the construction industry. Mansfield, Ugwu and Doran (1994),
for example performed a comprehensive analysis of most important factors
responsible for project delays and cost overrun in Nigerian construction
projects. This analysis indicated poor contract management, financing and
payment of completed works, change in site conditions, shortages of materials,
design changes, subcontractors and nominated suppliers, other factors were
price fluctuation inaccurate estimates, delays and additional works as factors
responsible for project delays and cost overrun.
comprehensive classification of causes of construction delays has also been
determined by Henesy (1993). The classification system included materials,
labour, equipment and financial constraints, as the main contributory variable
to causes of construction time overrun. The list of major factors causing
construction delay in Thailand by Ogunlana and Proumkunting (1996) included the
inadequacy of resources supplies, client and consultant shortcomings and
incompetence. Koushki and Kartan (2004) studied the impact of construction
materials on project time and cost in Kuwait and identified the project related
variable affecting the on time delivery of materials as material selection,
time, type of materials and their availability in the local market.
impacts are inevitable on construction projects, primarily because of the
uniqueness of each project and the limited resources of time and money that can
be spent on planning, executing and delivering the project.
factors are inherent in all of project construction’s undertakings.
Construction projects have long been recognized as particularly cost, time and
risk-laden. Some of the time and cost factors associated with the construction
process are fairly predictable or identifiable; others may be totally
unforeseen. The constructed project may not perform as anticipated because the
owner may have unrealistic expectations regarding the delivery time of
construction forcing contractors into unrealistic gambles, corner-cutting or
commitments that may not be realistic (Frimpong 2003).
success can be defined as meeting goals and objectives as prescribed in the
project plan. A successful project means that the project has accomplished its
technical performance, maintained its schedule, and remained within budgetary
costs. Project management tools and techniques play an important role in the
effective management of a project. Therefore, a good project management lies in
the management tools and techniques used to manage the project. Project
management involves managing the resources—workers, machines, money, materials
and methods used. Some projects are effectively and efficiently managed while
others are mismanaged, incurring much delay and cost overruns and negatively
affecting the economy (Frimpong 2003).
construction projects’ delivery time is critical in today’s market-driven
1.2 PROBLEM STATEMENT
Construction can be considered as a dynamic
industry which is constantly facing uncertainties. These uncertainties and the
many stakeholders in these kinds of projects, make the management of costs
difficult which consequently causes cost overruns. Therefore, cost overruns are
considered one of the most critical issues during the execution of construction
et al., 2004; Doloi,
As mentioned by Van Der Westhuizen and Fitzgerald
(2005), the presence of cost overruns can be a reason for project delays or
possible project failures. However this idea has been refuted by many authors
who considered that project success depends on many other factors that should
be assessed to conclude the success or failure of a project (Chan, et al., 2004). Moreover, there have been many
studies that suggest that the success of a project depends on the presence of
certain critical factors which can also change depending on the objective to be
met (Iyer and Jha, 2005). In other words, some authors ascertained that there
are some critical success factors that help to improve cost performance and
prevent cost overruns.
1.3 OBJECTIVES OF THE
main aim of the study is to examine various cost control techniques used in
construction projects and the impact they have on project delivery. Specific
objectives of the study are:
To identify cost control technique
frequently used by contractors in construction projects.
To examine problems encountered by
contractors in managing construction project cost.
To determine the impact of costcontrol techniques on the duration of
In-order to guide the study and
achieve the above stated research objectives; the following research questions
What cost control techniques are
frequently used by contractors in construction projects?
What are the problems faced by
contractors in controlling cost in the construction project process?
What impact does cost controlling techniques have on the duration of
Cost control problems do not lead to project delivery failures.
Hi: Cost control
problems lead to project delivery failures.
2. Ho: Cost
Control techniques affect to construction delivery timing and cost
Hi: Cost Control
techniques do not affect to construction
timing and cost
1.6 SIGNIFICANCE OF THE STUDY
study will be of importance to building professionals and the general public
because it would not only clarify but also create awareness of the extent to which inadequacies in cost control techniques
can adversely affect project performance. The study will also help
contractors, clients, consultants and all parties involved in construction
projects about ways of improving their current method of cost management and
The study will also be of
great benefit for other student researchers’ who may want to venture into the
same subject matter. Having gotten results-both empirically and theoretically,
the study will serve as a foundation for future research studies.
1.7 SCOPE OF THE STUDY
The study will cover some selected
quantity surveyors from Owerri. All findings and recommendations from the study
may not reflect the true view of the traditional roles and changing roles of
quantity surveyors as the researcher could not cover a wider area due to
financial and time constraints.
DEFINITION OF TERMS
In the fields of architecture
and civil engineering,
construction is a process that
consists of the building
or assembling of infrastructure.
Far from being a single activity, large scale construction is a feat of human multitasking.
Normally, the job is managed by a project manager,
and supervised by a construction manager,
or project architect.
2. Deliverable: Deliverable
is a term used in project management
to describe a tangible or intangible object produced as a result of the project
that is intended to be delivered to a customer
(either internal or external). A deliverable could be a report, a document, a
server upgrade or any other building block of an overall project.
management: this is the discipline of
planning, organizing, motivating, and controlling resources to achieve specific
goals. A project
is a temporary endeavour with a defined beginning and end (usually
time-constrained, and often constrained by funding or deliverables), undertaken
to meet unique goals and objectives, typically to bring about beneficial change
or added value.
is a dimension in which events can be ordered from the past
through the present
into the future,
and also the measure of durations of events and the intervals between them.
A cost is the value of money
that has been used up to produce something, and hence is not available for use
anymore. In business,
the cost may be one of acquisition, in which case the amount of money expended
to acquire it is counted as cost.
overrun: occurs when
the final cost of the project exceeds the original contract value at the time
7. Good cost performance project: Project in which the cost overrun of the
project does not exceed 10 percent of the initial budget.
8. Poor cost performance project: Project in which the cost overrun of the project
exceeds 10 percent of the initial budget.
Aibinu A.A and
Jagboro G.O (2002): “The Effects of
Delays on Projects Delivery in
Nigeria Construction Industry”. International
Journal of Project Management, 20, 593-599.
Chan, A.P.C., Scott, D. and
Chan, A.P.L. (2004). Factors affecting
success of a construction project.
Journal of Construction Engineering and Management 130pp.
Y. (2003). Project management in developing countries:
of delay and cost overruns in construction of groundwater projects. Unpublished
Masters Research Project, University of Technology, Sydney, Australia.
Hafez, N (2001):
“Residential Projects Obstacles and problems in
MS Project”, Department of Civil Engineering, Kuwait University.
Henesy, M. (1993): “Tools of Total Quality Management”. Journal
Engineering and Management ASCE. Pg 9(4), 329-339
Iyer, K.C. and Jha, K.N. (2005). Factors affecting cost performance:
from Indian construction projects.
International Journal of Project Management 23(4), pp. 283-
Koushki, P.A and
Kartan, N. (2004): “Impact of
Materials on Project Time and
Cost in Kuwait, 11 (2), 123-132.
Ugwu et al (1994): “Concurrent Delays in Construction Projects”.
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