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Prioritizing Infrastructure Development Despite Financial Challenges

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Construction is an everlasting activity that plays important role in the social and economic development of the city, region, state, country, and the world. In the world of globalization, construction builds the infrastructure that facilitates the goals of globalization by ensuring connectivity. Construction projects face major problems due to the delay in construction which is experienced in almost all projects up to some extent (Wang, 2018). In this research, the author has conducted primary research to collect data through the survey of people involved in the construction such as consultants, clients, contractors, architectures, etc. to understand the causes and impact of delay in the construction projects. One of the factors identified as the major causes of delay in the construction projects is poor management at the site. Financial difficulties due to client, lack of resources, inflation, less experience of contractors, etc. Some of the external factors are also highlighted in the research such as bureaucracy and political factors, depletion of natural resources, local community intervention, etc. the clients are focused to save the budget and often select the lowest bid which can increase the cost in long run due to iteration and reworks. Few recommendations are provided for the clients, consultants, and contractors to reduce the chances and frequencies of delay in the construction projects. 

Chapter 1: Introduction

Research Background

Construction plays important role in boosting the economy of any country, from the onset of a construction project, it creates a major employment opportunity for laborers, engineers, etc. After the competition of the construction project, stakeholders such as the builders, customers, etc. can utilize the creation for their distinct uses such as offices, homes, institutes, etc. In construction, delay can be understood as the overrun time beyond the expected duration of the stipulated time agreed by the stakeholders (Kazaz, 2018). There can be multiple reasons for the delay in construction projects such as changes in project scope to enhances the quality of the project which might change the time and cost of the project. Project complexity can be another reason for the delay in construction projects as long chains of negotiations might be required along with multiple designing approval and denials. When the professional utilizes traditional strategies and processes, the coordination and information sharing is inappropriate and delayed which eventually delays the entire construction project. Inadequate planning by the professionals can also impact the time of the project as the coordination between the teams is impacted by poor planning which results in overrunning of time of the project. there can be several other reasons such as improper project scheduling, variation in design, engineering estimates error, some of the factors are understood during the project and it is difficult to forecast these changes such as governmental policies, client rejection, etc. these factors will be discussed in the research along with the significance of the impact on the construction project. construction delays are a recurring problem in construction projects (Wang, 2018). The delay in construction projects can lead to litigation, cost overrun, disagreements, arbitration, infeasibility, etc. 

Problem Statement

There are several studies conducted to analyze the causes and effects of construction delays but recent studies are very minimum. There are numerous changes in the field of construction in terms of processes, technology, and demand of the customers. Hence, the researcher has targeted to study the causes and impact of construction delay to address the major issues in the recent time's project of construction as it has been seen that construction delays are a recurring problem in any construction project. The construction projects are very complicated and hence, every aspect of the issue is not identified in each study. Hence, it will be focused on by the researcher to cover all the major reasons and impacts of the construction delays. The delay in construction can lead to various impacts such as cost overrun, decreased feasibility of the project, stakeholder’s disagreements, etc. the research would try to identify the root causes of the problem that can be useful to prevent delays in major cases. 

Significance of the Research

As mentioned above, there are very few recent studies conducted on the topic and many companies face the issue of time overrun in the construction project. With the help of the findings and conclusion of this research, the industry would be benefitted as this research would highlight the causes and effects of delays in the construction along with the recommendations based on the findings which would be useful in providing solutions to the project delays.

Research Questions 

  • What are the main causes of delays in construction projects from Clients, consultants, and contractors’ sides?
  • What is the importance of identifying delay causes by Clients, consultants, and contractors’ viewpoints?
  • What are the impacts of delays in construction projects?

Limitation of the study

The data will be collected through an online survey based on the questionnaire, since, online data is collected, the observation cannot be accurate enough as target people are selected randomly based on the algorithms to segment the people based on their occupation. However, the in-person detail would have been more accurate but due to the Covid-19 situation, in-person surveys or observations are not conducted. 

Organization of the study

The research work is divided into systematic segments into five chapters, the first chapter provides an introduction of the research including the background of the research topic, research aims and objectives, research question, and research limitations. The second chapter is a systematic literature review that provides insights about the previous studies conducted on the topics related to the current topic as well as helps to understand the research gap present. The next chapter explains the research methods undertaken to conduct different activities of the research. The fourth chapter highlights the findings of the research followed by the conclusion and recommendations segment which summarizes the findings of the research and recommendations are provided based on the findings. 

Chapter 2: Literature Review

Bekr (2018) researched the construction industry of Jordan to identify the causes and impact of delays in construction projects. The author used primary research to collect the data using questionnaires. The survey included 200 participants who were working, or related to the construction industry and the customers of the construction industry. It was concluded in the research that most of the construction projects face 10-30% delay from the estimated time, about 20% of the projects experience 30-60% delay, and 10% of projects experience more than 60% delay. There are very few proportions of projects about 5% that are completed on time as per the results of the survey conducted. There are several reasons identified as the causes of delay in the construction projects such as client-related factors, consultant-related, contactor-related, and external factors. External factors include reasons like changes in political parties or political policies, public work around the construction site, impact and intervention of local community, cost incurred due to inflation. Contractor-related factors include technical issues, lack of resources, productivity level becomes low, rework and iteration of work, inefficient management and supervision, and cash flow issues. The factors that arise due to consultants include issues like conflicts due to mistakes in the documents, human resource problems, changes in designs, etc. The client-related causes for delay include a change in design, giving the project to the lowest bid to save costs, lack of cooperation among the contractors, payments issues, and delays by the client. These delays hurt the project such as project duration is increased, the project cost is also increased due to inflation and other changes in the project, disputes arise among different parties as one department accuses other for the delay, some project also faces arbitration, abandonment, and litigation. 

In the research conducted by Alade (2016), the authors have surveyed clients, contractors, and consultants to identify the causes of delays in the construction projects as well as the impact of these delays on the project. It has been mentioned by the authors that construction is an everlasting activity and is directly related to the growth and economy of a country. Hence, any delay in the project affects the country’s growth in the long run. The authors have segmented the causes of delay into three groups; excusable but non-compensable delays, compensable delays, and inexcusable delays. Inexcusable delays are caused mainly due to the contractor or sub-contractors. The compensable delays are caused by the owner or the clients and the excusable but non-compensable delays are caused that cannot be identified that who is responsible for the delay and in most of the cases such delays are caused due to external causes as discussed by the authors of the research. The clients and consultants have similar responses towards the causes of delay as they mentioned that common causes of delay are poor site management, client financial difficulties, contractor experience, lack of resources, and improper time estimation. The views of contractors slightly differ as contractors consider client’s financial issues as the most important factor, followed by poor site management, and the rest of the factors are ranked similar to the client and consultants. The impact of the delay in the construction project is also highlighted in the research which are time and cost overrun, disputes, litigation, arbitration, and abandonment of the project. Few recommendations are also provided by the authors for the clients, contractors, and consultants to efficiently reduce the chances and frequencies of delay in the construction projects. 

According to Adam et al (2015), the construction industry is now characterized by an industry where cost and time always exceed the expectations set at the initial stages of the projects and it has become a common problem in most construction projects due to which large costs are incurred to the client as well as the technical people involved in the project such as contractors, architects, etc. The incidents of time overrun in the construction projects are often considered as a threat to the sustainability of the projects. There are numerous reasons, both internal and external that contributes to the delay in construction projects such as technical, political, psychological, and economic. The study has emphasized the impact of contractors and clients and their impact on delay in construction which leads to cost and time overrun. The study helps to understand the relationship between clients’ and contractors’ actions that impact the construction projects. 

The research conducted by Zidane and Andersen (2018), has investigated the reason that contributes to the construction delays universally. The authors have conducted a literature review about the delays in construction projects of different regions and countries. The research methodology of the work includes a systematic literature review along with a semi-quantitative survey questionnaire. Numerous factors were identified by the researchers such as inefficient planning and scheduling of the activities, inefficient or very slow decision-making process either by the client or the project manager. Administrative factors and bureaucracy among the project organizations also contribute to the delay in the project. There can be a lack of resources such as human resources, equipment, or machinery. Lack of communication and coordination among different teams involved in the construction project, frequent design changes by the client, slow quality checks, lack of community, and client issues such as payment delays are the reasons that are responsible for the time overrun of the construction projects. This study has been useful for project managers and other people in the industry to reduce the frequency of delays in construction projects. 

According to Owolabi et. al (2014), construction projects face a major problem of delay which can instigate loss for the client as well as contractor such as cost overrun, reduced productivity, disputes among the parties, litigation, etc. The research focuses to identify the factors that cause a delay in the construction and the effect of delay on the construction project. The authors used a questionnaire for the survey designed using the Likert scale to measure the impact of different potential factors. Some of the factors that contribute to the delay in construction projects are lack of communication, frequent changes in design and project scope, lack of funds, insolvency of contractors, etc. Some of the projects are also completely removed due to the cost overrun as a result of the delay. 

The delay is a common problem in construction projects due to which clients and contractors incur a lot of financial loss. To address this concern, Larsen et. al (2016) have investigated the factors that lead to time and cost overrun in construction projects. The factors were identified and ranked based on Friedman’s test to validate the relative importance of the factors. In the conclusion most important factor highlighted in the study includes the lack of timely and proper funding by the clients which delays the process of buying resources and paying the laborers. The second factor is the errors in consultant material for the cost or quality concern. These factors delay the construction projects which leads to imbalance and changes in the project schedule, quality control, budget, etc. 

According to Khan and Gul (2017), there has been a lot of investments in the construction industry to develop the infrastructure in many developing countries like Pakistan, India, Bangladesh, etc. the construction project managers face a major challenge of the project being delayed due to numerous internal and external factors which results into the poor quality of the project and in some cases, it may lead to project cancellation as well which causes huge financial loss. The research intended to identify the critical risk factor that can lead to such circumstances of failure or abandonment of the project which eventually leads to the cancellation of the project. a total of 29 risks were identified in the research and categorized into five factors based on the result of the quantitative questionnaire survey. The categories of risks include technical risks, financial risks, design risks, external risks, and labor-related risks. The relative importance index was used by the researchers to rank the risks identified in the research. It was concluded that design-related risks are most significant followed by external ranked as 2nd. The 3rd risks were technical and labor-related, and the fourth position was given to financial risks. 

The research conducted by Yaseen (2020) is focused to understand the factors responsible for the construction delays and develop a hybrid model based on artificial intelligence to deal with the problem of delay risks in construction projects. The authors have used Random Forest with Genetic Algorithm to measure the RF-GA score and compare it with the existing models that help in predicting the risk of delay in the construction. A random forest classifier was used as an algorithm to identify the chances of delay in the project. The model is trained on the previous data of construction projects. The model provided an accuracy of 91.67% which is useful in most of the project prediction and mitigate the risk of failure of projects in the construction due to delay. 

According to Doloi et. al (2012), as the volume of construction projects has shown a dramatic shift, this leads to increased chances of delay in the projects. The industry specialists need to understand the reasons for the delay and its impact in a systematic manner. To address this concern, the authors have investigated the factors that contribute to the delay in construction projects. The researchers first identified the attributes related to the delay based on the result of the questionnaire and survey. Regression model and factor analysis were used by the authors to categorize the factors based on their importance in finding the impact of factors on project delay. Some of the factors that contribute to the delay in the project are poor coordination at a construction site, lack of commitment, inefficient planning, communication barriers, and substandard contracts which leads to rework and iterations. This research helps identify the causes of delay based on the previous projects’ data. 

The research conducted by Rezaee et. al (2019), focuses on the identification of the root factors that causes a delay in construction projects. The relationship between these factors has been analyzed to eradicate or minimize the impact of delay on the performance of construction projects. The authors state that identification of delay factors at the early stage of the project is useful in reducing the impact of these factors on the project performance. Fuzzy Cognitive Map (FCM) is used in the initial phases of work to understand the relationship between the identified factors of delay. The hybrid learning algorithm is used to analyze the importance of the impact of each factor on the project as compared to one another to rank the factors based on their impacts. The most important factor analyzed in the research is the supervision technical weaknesses to manage the technical and executive problems. The incorrect estimation of the equipment requirement, time required for the project, and workload leads to delay in the project in the long run. Non-use of engineering contracts has very less or no impact on the delay of construction projects. 

According to Sambasivan and Soon (2007), the problem of delay in the construction industry is a global phenomenon. The study is focused to find an empirical relationship between the factors and effects of delay in the construction sites. The study evaluated 26 factors responsible for the delay and shortlisted the 10 most important factors of delay. The questionnaire survey was used as a method of data collection and both qualitative and quantitative methods are used for the analysis. The factors identified are, improper planning at the contractor’s end, lack of management by the contractor at the construction site, lack of experience of contractor, payment and finance issue at the client’s end, subtractors issues, lack or shortage of resources, human resource supply, failure of lack of availability of the equipment, lack of coordination and communication among the teams involved in the construction and mistakes that lead to the iteration of work in the construction site. The six most important impacts of these delay factors are, time overrun, cost overrun, disputes and challenges between the parties, arbitration of the project, litigation, and complete abandonment of the project which causes huge financial loss to the parties. 

Venkatesh et. al (2012) have discussed the critical factors that cause a delay in the construction project and ranked the identified factors based on their impact on the project. A questionnaire was prepared and targeted the engineers, managers, and clients to rank the critical factors that cause a delay in the construction project. The factors ranked in the order are labors shortage, other material shortages, changes in the design or material specification during the construction, delivery speed low at the supplier’s end, lack of skilled laborers which causes iteration of work, availability, and maintenance of equipment, and poor quality of material provided by the suppliers or the clients to save the money. The identified risks were segmented into three major groups namely, material-related risks in delay, equipment-related risks, and manpower-related risks. Out of the three groups, material-related risks contribute to the delay in the majority of the projects followed by equipment and lastly by the human resource-related delays in the construction project. manpower related delay includes situations like conflicts among the manpower, injuries at the construction site, communication barriers, absenteeism, migration of the labors, shortage of manpower, and lack of skilled labors. Equipment-related risks in delay include lack of availability of the resources, hiring complications, idle time of the equipment, disruption of machinery, transportation time, etc. The material required related risks in the delay is a shortage of the optimum quality goods, transportation time, quality of material, damaged material due to storage for a longer duration, etc. 

According to Aziz and Abdel-Hakkam (2016), delay in the civil engineering project is a global concern as it has social as well as the economic impact on the region, cities, and countries. The study is focused to analyze the factors that cause a delay in construction projects. The authors have created a questionnaire and conducted personal interviews to understand the impact and importance of each factor of delay by the interviews of industry professionals. The study considered the case study of delays in road construction projects in Egypt. It has been identified that most of the factors are related to the availability of resources and management and supervision by the contractor. Failure in these two leads to delay in other processes as well which eventually leads to the delay in the construction project. the delay in these projects can lead to arbitration, litigation, and in some extreme cases, abandonment of the project which comes along with the financial losses to the client as well as workers. The return investment on time and return investment on money are both affected in the case of a delay in the construction project. 

Time overrun is a common and frequent phenomenon in construction projects especially in developing countries. The study conducted by Sweis (2013), is focused to investigate and rank the factors of delay based on the severity index of the factors. Both primary and secondary data are collected to analyze the results. The researchers have used principal component and factor analysis methods to investigate the severity of the factors of delay in construction projects. out of numerous factors, 10 most important factors based on the severity index were ranked and these factors are, too many and too frequent change orders from the client, poor scheduling and planning by the contractor, miscellaneous mistakes done in the drawings, and understanding the specifications of the project by the teams involved in the project, lack of proper experience and qualification of engineers, consultants, and staff at the construction site, slow decision making by the client, lack of technical knowledge, payment delay to the contractor by the client which further delays the payment of other parties such as suppliers, human resource, etc. which delays the project. extreme weather conditions, unskilled labor, and delays in the claim settlements. The difference between delay in the private and public construction project was also analyzed in the work and it has been highlighted in the conclusion that public sector projects are more prone to time and cost overrun as compared to the private sector which is primarily due to the proper usage of human resource and material in the private sector whereas it lacks in the public sector projects. 

According to Hwang and Leong (2013), green construction is promoted to achieve environmental sustainability. However, there are very few studies that focus to study the factors that cause a delay in green construction as it is a major concern of delay in green construction in many countries. This study conducted by Hwang and Leong (2013), compares the difference in factors that causes a delay in the construction in traditional and green construction projects. A total of 220 traditional construction projects and 96 green construction projects were studied by the authors in the research. The result of the work highlighted that about 16% of the project following traditional methods were delayed and about 33% of the construction projects which followed green construction methods were delayed. The factors responsible for the delay in green construction projects are low-speed decision-making by the client, low-speed decision-making by the teams to select the sustainable materials, coordination and communication barriers among the teams, the experience level of contractors, and financial issues faced by contractors or suppliers. Whereas, in the case of traditional construction projects, the most important factor identified in the research is the poor management and supervision by the contractor at the construction site, lack of skilled labor, and delay in supply of the materials by the suppliers.

According to Yang et. al (2014), schedule delays are a common problem in construction projects globally. Most of the studies have covered the factors, their rankings, and the impact caused by the delay in the project. However, none of the studies discussed the impact of delay on the lost productivity of the project. Hence, the study conducted by Yang et. al (2014) has targeted the productivity loss due to the delay in the construction project. It has been discussed in the study that most of the delay starts due to the poor decision making and scheduling at the construction sites which results in inti disputes among the teams, clients, and other stakeholders of the project which reduces the productivity to the major extent as due to the increased disputes, slow payments, etc. reduce the efficiency of teams involved in the project to conduct the processes and hence productivity is reduced. 

Chapter 3: Research Methodology

The research includes several stages to conduct all the required activities in the research work. Saunders's research onion model explains the stages of research as the layers of an onion. The specificity of activities in each layer increases as a researcher moves from the outer layer towards the inner layers. And similar to the unwrapping of an onion, the researcher must define the outer stages before defining the inner ones to provide an efficient and systematic understanding of the topic of research (Iovino and Tsitsianis, 2020). The stages as explained by the Saunders research onion model are: 

  • Research Philosophy. 

  • Research approach. 

  • Research Strategy. 

  • Research Choice. 

  • Research Time Horizon. 

3.1. Research Philosophy

This is the first layer of the Saunders research onion model which explains the nature of knowledge investigated in the research. Research philosophy summarizes the goals and objectives of the research. Three main philosophies can be adopted by the researchers in the research process, ontology, epistemology, and axiology. In ontology, the difference between perceived and actual knowledge is investigated which is why it is addressed as the study of reality. Within ontology, philosophical positions adopted by the researchers can be objectivism, constructivism, and pragmatism. Objectivism is adopted in the study when the goal of the research is to understand the social phenomenon and the different meanings attached to it. Constructivism believes that people construct social phenomena and pragmatism investigates the reality based on scientific methods. 

Epistemology is the research philosophy used when scientific research is conducted to find the information or prove a point without doubts based on the findings of the scientific research and rigorous testing of the results. The philosophical positions within epistemology include positivism, critical realism, and interpretivism. In the positivism philosophical positions, research questions are prepared and answered to find information about the topic, critical realism includes new methods to investigate the results, and interpretivism is used when the goal of the research is to interpret the views of the people. Axiology philosophy is used in studies that are entirely based on people’s opinions and values (Mayer, 2015). 

In this research, Epistemology philosophy will be used to understand the causes and effects of delay in construction projects. Research questions are highlighted which would be answered through scientific research hence, the positivism approach is used in the study. 

3.2. Research Approach

The researcher can adopt either a deductive or inductive approach in the research based on the goals and objectives of the research. In the deductive approach, a hypothesis is created based on the existing theories, and research is conducted to investigate the hypothesis. This approach is used to provide specific results from the generalized theory unlike the inductive approach, where results are generalized after the specific research. In the inductive approach, a theory is formulated based on the results of scientific research. 

In this research, the inductive approach will be used as results will be generalized based on the result of investigation about the causes and effects of delay in the construction projects.

3.3. Research Strategy

The roadmap used by the researcher to conduct the research is explained by the research strategy. The researcher can opt for several possible approaches such as experimental research where the expected and actual results are compared, survey-based research is an economical method for conducting the research which also helps to collect quality data. The survey can be qualitative or quantitative based on the goals and objectives of the research. When the researcher is researching to understand the topic on a certain region, a case study approach can be used for the systematic analysis, systematic literature review is also used to consolidate the results of numerous studies on the related topic. 

In this research, the survey method will be used as the data is collected through the questionnaire being circulated through an online survey on different social media platforms targeting the professionals in the construction industry. 

3.4. Research Choice

This layer explains the choice of researcher among the use of qualitative or quantitative data in the research. The quantitative data is used to quantify the impact of factors in the research and qualitative data is used when the categorical attributes are related to the topic area to be studied. When either of the qualitative or quantitative methods is used in the entire research, it is called the mono method, when both the data type is used throughout the research, it is called the mixed-method and when both the type of data is used by restricted to different segments of the study, it is called the multi-method (Sinha et. al, 2018). In this research, both qualitative and quantitative data are used to analyze the factors and their impact on the delay in the construction project. Hence, the mixed method is used in the current research. 

3.5. Time Horizon

The time required to complete all the activities of the research defines the time horizon for the research work. when the time is already established and segmented to all the activities, it is called the cross-sectional time horizon. When the result of the research is dependent on different periods, then the time is elongated over a period to collect and analyze data in the different time frames. In this research cross-sectional time horizon is used and segmented in the activities as described in the Gantt chart below. 

Gantt Chart 

3.6. Data collection

Data is one of the most important components of research, the data sources must be authentic and reliable as well as align with the goals and objectives of the research. The data can be collected from primary or secondary sources. Primary data sources are data collected from interviews, surveys, and observations. Secondary data sources are the already existing data such as books, literature, journals, government, and non-government records, etc. In this research, primary data is collected by surveying to answer the questionnaire that targets to identify the major factors that are responsible for the delay in the project and the impact of these factors. 

3.7. Data analysis

The data is analyzed using qualitative or quantitative methods to understand the numerical and categorical attributes of the research topic. Qualitative research is conducted when the researcher is focused to answer the “why” and “how” questions and quantitative research is conducted to analyze the numerical attributes (Melnikovas, 2018). In this research, both qualitative and quantitative approach is used to analyze the causes and effects of delay in the construction projects. 

3.8. Data Validity and reliability

The quality of research work is determined by the validity and reliability of the research. The validity of the research defines the consistency of the work and reliability is related to the sources of data, methods used for the analysis, and the conclusions drawn from the research (Guest et. al, 2012). The current research follows scientific methods for the analysis of the data collected from authentic sources which explain the reliability and validity of the research. 

3.9. Ethical Considerations

To ensure the reliability of the research, the researcher needs to consider ethical rules and regulations. In this research, primary data is collected and no participants were forced to participate or answer the questions under any compulsions. The identity of the people was not collected and saved for any future uses. All the secondary data used in the research are referenced based on Harvard referencing (Connelly, 2014). The language used in the research is completely formal and based on the rules. Every communication is transparent and available for reference. All the ethical considerations were understood and implied in the study. 

Chapter 4: Research Findings

The data was collected through the questionnaire by sending surveys to the construction projects and clients of the construction industry to understand the different factors that impact the delay in construction projects. A total of 200 participants answered the questionnaire through different channels such as social media; Facebook, LinkedIn, and Email. The questionnaire consisted of 17 questions targeting different factors that can lead to delay in construction projects. 

The participants in the survey included some contractors, clients, consultants, and supporting departments such as suppliers, planners, etc. The data analysis is illustrated below using the graphs and graphs are explained in this section. 

This question was asked to understand what are the common effects of delay on the project delivery. It can be from the graph that most of the projects face project duration overrun, cost overrun, and abandonment in the cases of delay in the project. In some cases, disputes may also arise between the parties which can hamper the quality of the project in the long run. Litigation in extreme cases can incur a huge financial loss to both the parties and in some cases about 15% of the projects face arbitration due to the delay in the construction project. 

This question explains who is responsible for the delay in most of the cases on construction sites. From the collected data, it can be seen that contractors are responsible in the majority of the cases for causing delays in the project followed by the client, external factors, and the consultants. The contractor’s related delay may be caused due to poor management and supervision, the client-related delay may be caused due to frequent changes in design, or slow payments to the parties which can slow down the pace of other activities as well (Bekr, 2018). The external factors like political factors, weather conditions are also responsible for the delay in coastal places and other regions as well. 

This question tries to find the group responsible for cost overrun in the project. It can be seen from the graph that contractors are voted more for the cost overrun conditions, followed by external factors, consultants, and least due to the client. The contractors may cause the issue of cost overrun due to improper estimations and planning, external factors such as government policies can be changed which can incur additional costs, weather conditions if extreme, can lead to the requirement of adjustments which would require additional resources which eventually increases the budget of the project (Abdelhadi et. al, 2019). 

The disputes caused between different parties such as laborers, contractors, suppliers, etc. can impact the project negatively and it is a major factor that causes a delay in the project. From the graph, it can be seen that contractors are responsible for many cases of construction sites disputes which may be due to poor planning, scheduling, budgeting, etc. client is ranked second and responsible in 30% of the cases which may be due to the failure or slow payment of the parties, frequent decision changes, etc. 

Arbitration is the substitute for disputes solving with common agreement instead of approaching the court for decisions. It can be seen that contractors are mostly responsible for the arbitration as contractors act as a common link between other parties hence, it is easier for the contractors to negotiate with the parties. The client is also responsible in some of the cases as the payment-related issues are mostly settled by the client. Some external groups like communities may intervene in rare cases to compromise and reach a solution in case of disputes. 

In extreme scenarios, the project may be abandoned by the parties when the disputes, delay, or cost issues have escalated to extreme levels. In most cases when the client finalizes the abandon the project, the project is more likely to be abandoned as compared to the other groups as clients provide financial support to the business, and without the finance, most of the projects would be abandoned. 

When the disputes increase to an extreme situation, the litigation might be the result where the judicial process is followed to take the decisions related to the construction project. Litigation is mostly caused by the client in case of huge financial loss to the financial loss occurred. In some cases, the consultant may also be responsible for the situation but the contribution of the contractor and external factors in the litigation is low as compared to the client. 

In this question, an analysis and comparison of the external factors were done to understand the importance of external factors in the construction project’s delay. It can be seen from the above graph that, bureaucracy and political factors are a most important factor that causes a delay in the construction, the inflation is also responsible for the delay as due to the changes in budget, decision making can be slower, the local communities intervene in many cases to resist the construction at their region or the regions nearby due to multiple reasons which can slow down the progress of the construction project (Bekr, 2018). 

In this question, a comparison of internal factors was done, it can be inferred from the graph that, poor management and supervision lead to delay according to the 50% of the participants, the client changes in the decision, designs, etc. and cash flow problems can be ranked second for the delay in the construction, and changes in the project scope is a rare situation but it can also cause a delay in the construction projects. 

Some additional factors were considered in this question to understand the impact of these factors in causing a delay in construction projects. It can be seen that in most cases, rework and iteration of work causes a delay in the construction project, followed by client failure in payments, errors in the documents, and low productivity. 

Some additional external factors were considered in this question to find the impact of these factors in the delay caused in construction projects. It can be inferred from the above graph that, lack of collaboration from the external teams such as suppliers can cause a delay in about 40% of the construction projects, rest of the factors, technical issues, changes in governmental policies, and unavailability of resources contributes to the delay in the same proportion and hence, can be ranked second among these factors. 

In this question, it was targeted to understand which group is responsible for maintaining the efficiency of the construction among the regularly changing standards, scope, and other requirements of the projects. From the graph, it can be seen that contractors are responsible for maintaining the efficiency of the project followed by the client and then the contractors. 

The factors were segmented into four groups based on the person or group of factors that are responsible for the delay. These groups were factors related to the client, consultant, external circumstances, and the contractors (Abdelhadi et. al, 2019). It can be seen that factors related to the contractors such as poor management, scheduling, budgeting, etc. are most responsible for the construction project delays followed by other groups. 

This question quantifies the chances of delay of the construction projects. It can be inferred from the graph above that, less than very few construction projects are completed on time with delay less than 10%, most of the projects are delayed by 10 to 30%, in some cases, 30-60% delay is also experienced and in some extreme cases, the projects can also experience a delay of more than 60% which leads to extreme decisions like arbitration, abandonment, or litigation. 

In this question, the response was collected only from the client to understand the client’s view on the reason for the delay in construction. According to the client, most of the delay occurs due to the poor management and supervision, followed by inefficient contractors, insufficient sub-contractors, and payment delays. 

In this question, consultant views were collected to understand the view of the consultant regarding the factors that cause delays in the construction projects. The views of consultant and client are very similar such as the ranking can be the same, poor management followed by incorrect estimations, inefficient contractor, issues with sub-contractors, and payment delays. 

The contractor's view is slightly different than the client and consultant regarding the factors that result in delays in the construction projects. According to the contractors, payment delays are mostly responsible for the delay caused in the construction projects (Taher and Pandey, 2013). The second important factor according to the contractors are incorrect time estimations, and poor management, followed by inefficient contractors and issues with sub-contractors. 


As discussed above, the aim of the is to understand and analyze the causes and effects of delays in construction projects. The literature review helped to find the literature gap present regarding the topic of the research. The studies have considered the causes and delays of the construction projects separately and there are very few studies that provide a consolidated conclusion of both the topics together. Therefore, this study is focused to analyze the factors that cause a delay in the construction projects and their impact on the construction project productivity and other measures of success of the project. 

It has been found by the analysis of the data that more than 50% of the construction projects experience delay of about 10-30%, more than 18% experience a delay of 30-60%, and 10% of the projects even experience more than 60% in the time overrun. There are very few projects less than 5% that experience no delay in the project and 12% of the projects experience delay which is less than 10% (Venkatesh et. al, 2012). This explains the problem associated with the delay in the construction project as delay can lead to various circumstances that would be discussed here. 

The factors of delay can be segmented into four basic types which are the delay factors due to client, delay factors due to consultant, delay factor due to contractors, and delay factors due to external reasons. The client-related delay factors may include factors like changing designs, material quality, etc., sometimes, the client awards the projects to the lowest bid where the contractors or human force may not be experienced and efficient which can increase the complication in the project due to poor management and hence, delay can be caused (Othman and Ismail, 2014). The project scope can be changed by the client which can delay the process. Delay in payments by the client also slow down the other processes, and sometimes when the client doesn’t submit the contractors’ submittals this can also lead to delay in the construction project. consultant-related delay can be caused due to mistakes and conflicts present in the document of contracts, when the drawings are inefficient, lack of staff at the consultant end, etc. The delay caused due to the factors related to contractors includes improper supervision and management by the contractor, cash flow issues, iteration of work, productivity level become low, technical issues faced by the team, unskilled labor force, inadequate resources, or the shortage of resources. The external factors are unpredictable in most cases and impact the project to a major extent. The external factors include changes in the government policies or regulations, another work process near the construction sites, local community intervention, and cost overrun due to inflation. 

In the research, the views of clients, contractors, and consultants were collected and analyzed separately to compare the views of these three groups. According to the client, poor site management and supervision is the primary reason that causes a delay in the construction project which may be due to the inadequate experience of the contractor, or problems with the subcontractors (Amoatey et. al, 2015). The delay may also arise due to inaccurate time estimations, delays in payments to different suppliers, lack of skilled labor, shortage of laborers, equipment-related issues such as inadequate or inefficient resources, frequent breakdown of the machinery, or poor quality of construction material. The views of consultant and client are somewhat similar as per the few rankings such as consultants also believe that poor site management by the contractors is the primary reason for the delay in the construction projects. Inaccurate time estimation is ranked fourth as per the ranking of factors based on consultant’s view, client financial difficulties are ranked 6th followed by resources related issues such as shortage of equipment, frequent breakdown, improper of unexplained client interface, client changing the scope or design rapidly and frequently, lack of experience of the contractors, etc. 

According to the views of contractors, the primary factor that causes a delay in the construction projects is the client financial difficulties which impact the payment schedule due to which the resources may be delivered late to the construction site by the suppliers and hence, the process of construction is delayed (Shebob et. al, 2012). The second rank has been given to the poor management and supervision followed by subcontractors’ issues, inadequate supply of human resources and other equipment, late delivery of the resources, inaccuracy in time, and cost estimation at the initial stages of the project. some of the other factors highlighted by the contractors are decreased labor productivity, poor construction material which causes rework and iteration of work, and escalation of price of the material which delays the decision process by the client due to the increased budget. Out of all the types of factors, factors related to contractors are responsible in many cases for the delay followed by the client, external factors, and then the consultant-related factors. 

These factors impact the project negatively in many ways such as project time overrun, cost overrun, increase in disputes among different parties involved in the project and within the teams as well which reduces the productivity of the work and quality of the work is also diminished. In some extreme cases, litigation and total abandonment of the project may also be caused. Whereas, in some cases, parties agree to a common situation based on the discussions and settle the case without the intervention of the judiciary. Therefore, it can be inferred from the findings that, supervision and management are very important for the success of the project on time followed by the adequate and timely supply of the payment by the client and further from the contractor to the suppliers, to reduce the rework, the client must select contractors with experience and team of skilled labor. To increase the collaboration between the teams and reduce the chances of rework, the contractors and client can also use BIM modeling to understand the design and centralize the information so that everyone is updated about the design changes or any updates by any team (Chong et. al, 2016). 

Chapter 5: Conclusion and Recommendations

5.1. Concluding Remarks

As discussed in the first chapter of the report, the research aims to identify the causes and effects of the delays in construction projects to help the industry to eradicate the problem arising due to the time overrun in the projects. Apart from this, the research also aims to suggest methods that can reduce the frequency of delays in construction projects, and identify the impact of project delay on the stakeholders of construction projects. This chapter talks about how the findings of the research have successfully answered the research questions

1. What are the main causes of delays in construction projects from Clients, consultants, and contractors’ sides?

It can be observed from the research that there are many external and internal factors responsible for delays in construction projects. Consultants have to be aware of external factors like bureaucracy and political factors. There are delays due to inflation and changes in the budget. In many situations, it has also been observed that local communities intervene to resist the construction at their region or any nearby region. These factors lead to a slow decision-making process for consultants. 

There can be several client-side factors responsible for the delays too. Construction designs are often prone to changes made by clients. Clients also use the lowest bid that leads to a significant drop in performance. It has also been observed that clients change the extent of the project altogether. A major reason for the delay is also that clients sometimes fail to progress their payments on time, which in turn, leads to a lack of cooperation between the client and the contractor. This also leads to delays in the approval of contractor submittals (Adam et. al, 2015). 

Consultants also contribute to some factors that can cause delays in construction projects. The most important consultant-related delay is errors in design and contract documents. Consultants can also make changes to the original design, or the drawings may not be efficient enough. It has also been observed that the consultant’s staff is usually not on site. 

There are several factors related to contractors as well. Contractors are often found to lack expertise in management and supervision wherever delays occur. Many times, contractors suffer from cash flow problems. Contractors are prone to making mistakes that lead to the rework of certain sites. They can also face problems of low productivity and technical difficulties faced during construction. Sometimes, contractors follow incorrect construction methods, and they may also face delays due to sub-contractor works (Wang et. al, 2018). 

2. What is the importance of identifying delays caused by Clients, consultants, and contractors’ viewpoints?

All three parties, clients, the contractor, and the consultant play important roles in executing the construction project. Several factors are identified that delays the process of construction related to client, consultant, as well as contractor. The disputes arise when one party starts blaming the other for the delay cost whereas the actual situation can be different and the delay might be caused by a sum of actions due to all the groups involved in the construction project (Bekr, 2018). Therefore, it is essential to understand the viewpoint of the client, contractor, and consultant to determine the actual reasons for the delay as the factors may be interrelated with one another as the extreme delay cannot be caused by a single group and extreme delay in the projects are a summation of delays from different teams involved in the project. 

Therefore, the analysis of factors distinctly would help to analyze the actual reasons which can be communicated with the industry people and helpful in reduction of the frequency of such factors in the project. For example, according to consultant and client, poor management and supervision by the contractor is the primary cause for the delay in the construction but according to the contractor, delay in payments lead to slow acquiring of the resources and human resources which delay the process. Hence, the two groups don’t have similar views which can cause disputes. Hence, identifying the causes of delay caused by the client, consultant, and contractor will help the groups to understand the views of one another and solve the existing issues which would eventually be beneficial in providing better services and products in the construction project. The understanding of factors that causes delay related to the client, consultant, and the contractor would be useful in planning the conflict management by the project manager as well. The impact of understanding the delay can be positive in the overall project as the delay can be reduced with strategic planning, disputes can be reduced, the budget usage can be enhanced with decreased cases of arbitration, litigation, or abandonment of the project which are all responsible for causing financial loss to the different groups (Wang et. al, 2018). 

3. What are the impacts of delays in construction projects?

There are various negative impacts of delays in construction projects. The first and the most important effect of delay is the overrun of project duration. It is estimated that whenever construction delays occur, more than 95% of times there is an overrun in the project duration. The longer the project runs, the more cost it incurs. Therefore, the second most impactful effect is the increase in project cost. An increase in project cost comes with other hidden effects too. Clients are more prone to delay their payments because of increased costs. This delay can further delay the construction work, creating a vicious cycle of delays (Adam et. al, 2015). 

More often than not, construction delays also occur due to poor management leading to rework of certain sites. Rework is a very time and money-consuming process which churns out a lot of resources that would otherwise be used to further the project. This increase in project duration and cost leads to a gap in coordination between the different parties like contractors, clients, and consultants. This can also result in serious disputes between the parties. 

Sometimes, these disputes lead to arbitration, which is probably the best way to handle the disputes and does not lead to unnecessary delays. If the process of arbitration fails, it may even lead to litigation. At this point, the trust between the parties usually breaks, and if there is no suitable resolution of the litigation, it may result in serious lawsuits too. In extreme cases, the whole project can get abandoned leading to huge financial losses for every party involved. Therefore, the research study outlines that there can be serious impacts of delays in construction because one factor of delay can trigger a domino effect of other factors which when compounded, can result in total abandonment of the project too. 

5.2. Recommendations 

Based on the complete analysis of the research and the data collected, it was noticed that several triggering factors lead to delays in construction which can be avoided either at the client, contractor, or consultant side. Therefore, here are some recommendations for different parties involved in the construction project to optimize their workflow and avoid delays. 

  • It has been observed that most of the delays are caused by inefficient management at the contractor's side. Clients usually go for the lowest bid available without researching the background and performance of the contractor. Therefore, contractors should look at other factors too while choosing a contractor as it may lead to much-increased costs at a later point. 

  • Consultants should increase their involvement in the construction project as they are the link between the contractors and clients (Bekr, 2018). Many of the disputes can be resolved without any arbitration or litigation if consultants enhance their involvement. 

  • Many of the project design-related inefficiencies can be taken care of by using BIM (Building Information Modelling) processes. A BIM provides a shared knowledge resource that can significantly reduce the gap in understanding of various parties. This, in turn, leads to much fewer disputes. 

  • Contractors are responsible for most of the delays that occur in construction projects. They need to make sure that their labor workforce is skilled and properly managed. Contractors must ensure that proper technical standards are in force during the construction process (Alade et. al, 2016). 

  • Clients need to make sure that they do proper research before submitting the extent and design of the project. Many of the delays are caused by changes in design made by clients. They should also make sure to advance payments on time.


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