|dc.description.abstract||Like any set of professionals, the facilities managers (FMgrs) in universities face several
challenges that constrain performance of their crucial roles. These range from internal
managerial issues to external constraints which can be structured as PESTELI (i.e.
political, economic, socio-cultural, technological, environmental, legal and institutional)
constraints. The literature is replete with inexhaustible list of the challenges. However,
a major gap in the literature is the lack of clear indications of the risk levels attached to
these challenges or extent of their impact on the performance of the FMgrs. This study
therefore aimed to contribute to filling this knowledge gap by exploring in depth the
challenges and their relative levels of influences on the performance of university FMgrs.
The specific objectives of the study were four-fold: (i) to identify the current internal and
external challenges faced by universities facilities managers; (ii) to analyse the risk
levels of the identified challenges based on their relative levels of impact on the
achievement of the university strategic FM goals and their occurrence frequencies; (iii)
to establish some innovative measures for addressing the key challenges; and (iv) to
determine the key challenges facing tomorrow’s university facilities managers.
Using the descriptive survey method, the study focused on the facilities managers in the
Australasian universities. These comprised eight universities in New Zealand and forty
universities in Australia. Views of facilities managers in these universities were obtained
during three stages of data gathering: qualitative data gathering at the pilot interview
stage, quantitative data gathering at the questionnaire survey stage, and some case
studies at the model test survey stage. Descriptive statistics, multi-attribute analysis,
rank correlation tests and statistical tests of significance were employed in the analysis
of the research data and the tests of research hypotheses.
Results showed that the critical challenges facing the university facilities managers
(UFMs) comprised issues relating to the following: finance-related current internal
challenge, economic-related current external challenges and sustainability-related
future challenges. Overall, poor funding was identified as the root of all other issues
faced by the UFMs, hence majority of the suggested strategies for addressing the key
challenges related largely to financial improvement measures. Other key measures
included optimizing asset utilization, supporting business case for capital investment
with demonstrable returns on investment, improving FM’s strategic relevance through
linking FM and corporate strategies, and investment in efficient technologies such as the
building automation and management systems.
The findings have contributed to filling an important knowledge gap by not only
identifying the current and future challenges facing the UFMs, but also prioritising them
based on their relative influences on the achievement of the strategic goals of the FM
departments. This way, the limited resources at the disposal of the UFMs could be
disbursed more cost-effectively in addressing the critical challenges in line with their
identified risk levels. This would be of practical benefit to the facilities and property
managers in formulating appropriate responses to the identified critical constraints with
a view to achieving more satisfactory outcomes in their operations.
Keywords: Australasia, challenges, facilities managers, risk analysis, strategic facilities
management, university facilities.||en_US