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AN APPRAISAL OF PERFORMANCE MEASUREMENT PRACTICE OF CONSTRUCTION FIRMS IN A NIGERIA.

 Format: MS-WORD   Chapters: 1-5

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 Nov 09, 2022 |  05:51 pm |  19


AN APPRAISAL OF PERFORMANCE MEASUREMENT PRACTICE OF CONSTRUCTION FIRMS IN A NIGERIA.



1.1 BACKGROUND TO THE STUDY

 

The construction industry is a fundamental economic sector that permeates most of the other sectors as it transforms various resources into physical,  economic and social infrastructure necessary for socio-economic development (Ministry of Works, 2003).  In Nigeria, the industry occupies an important position in the economy and has great potentials of becoming one of the biggest construction markets on the planet yet, it contributes  less  than  other  industries  (Aibinu  and  Jagboro,  2002;  Construction Overview, 2011). The Nigerian Construction Industry (NCI) is growing fast and has outgrown most sectors of the economy yet, its contribution of only 3.2% to the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) is very low (Dantata, 2008; Construction Overview, 2011).


The performance of the construction industry has considerable impact on the economy (Bon-Gang and Fan, 2010). The industry, globally, has been under tremendous pressure to improve its performance and several calls have been made in this regard (Kulatunga et al., 2005).In Nigeria, the NCI is faced with problems such as construction delays, time and cost overruns, abandonment of projects at various stages of completion, lack of skilled local labour, power shortage, unavailability of materials, corruption, unethical practices and lack of capacity to deliver (Aibinu and Jagboro, 2002; Dantata, 2008; Kolo and Ibrahim, 2010; Ayodele et al., 2011; Oyewobi et al., 2011). 


The industry suffers the problems of inefficient policies and practices, weak institutions and adverse business environment, alongside complex social and cultural practices (Aniekwu and Audu, 2010). The performance of the industry has been a concern to its stakeholders who have called for improvement in its performance (Okuwoga, 1998; Aibinu and Jagboro, 2002; Kolo and Ibrahim, 2010).


One of the key areas identified for the improvement of the  construction industry‟s performance is the area of performance measurement (PM) (Latham, 1994; Egan, 1998; Bassioni   et   al.,  2004).  According   to  Mbugua  et al (1999),  Baldwin  et al (2001),Wegelius-Lehtonen  (2001)  and  Martinez  (2005),  Performance  measurement (PM) is  vital  for  continuous  and progressive  improvement  in  most  businesses  and organisations. PM is defined as „the quantification of efficiency and effectiveness of past actions  by means  of  data  acquiring,  collection, sorting,  analysing,  interpreting and disseminating (Neely et al., 1998).


The  call  for  improvement  in  the  construction  industry  and  interest  in  PM  led  to its adoption by several countries. The UK construction industry adopted PM in its agenda leading to the implementation of PM by several construction firms (Lattifi et al., 2001; Bassioni et al., 2004).In Nigeria, the Public Procurement Act of 2007 was formulated to improve the performance of the NCI.


Performance measurement has evolved through the years (Wilcox and Bourne, 2003). PMin its early phase involved the use of financial measures  such  as  profit,  return  on  investment  and  productivity  (also  known  as traditional measures) and was heavily criticised for been misleading, difficult, confusing and also hindering continuous improvement (Ghalayini and Noble, 1996). 


Over the last few decades, there was a paradigm shift since it was apparent that the use of financial measures alone was not enough to manage modern organisations (Wilcox and Bourne 2003; Khan and Shan, 2011). Several frameworks containing non-traditional measures were developed to counter the limitations of the traditional measures. They include European Foundation  for  Quality  Management  (EFQM),  Balance  Scorecard  and Performance Prism.

 

Construction firms within the construction industry benefit a lot from PMpractice when they evaluate their current performance andthen identify strategies to maintain good performance  in  the  future.  PMalso  helps  organisations  achieve  their  goals  and objectives, be more competitive and successful (Backinsell, 2001; Bassioni et al., 2004). 


Although construction firms derive several benefits from measuring their performance, PM  has not  been widely implemented  and  information  on the performance of the construction industry is scarce (Costa et al., 2004). Another setback forPM practice is that  most  construction  firms  still  depend  on  traditional  measures  that  focuses  on profitability, efficiency  and  return  on  capital  which  has  been  criticised  severally (Kagioglou, 2001; Bassioni et al., 2004).

 


 

1.2 STATEMENT OF THE PROBLEM

The construction  industry has  embraced  PM  due to  its contribution in the  area of improvement/sustainability  of   business   and   continuous  improvement (Wegelius- Lehtonen,  2001;  Lattifi  et  al.,  2009). A  significant  number  of  construction  firms especially in the UK are implementing PM and are using the existing PM frameworks (Bassioni et al., 2004).  


The interests in these frameworks are based on the limitations of traditional approach (financial measures) to performance measurement. However, Costa et al (2004), Yu et al (2007) and Bon-Gang and Fan (2010) reported that performance measurement is not widely practiced in the construction industry and most construction firms still rely on financial measures.


What exists in the NCI is the traditional approach to PM which relies on financial indices typically shown in financial reports of construction companies (See some of these reports in Appendix A). This approach has been condemned severally (Kaplan and Norton, 1992; Ghalayini and Noble, 1996; Amaratunga et al., 2001; Denton, 2005;




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