Construction project performance: The role of client knowledge and procurement systems

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Purpose: This study aims to investigate whether clients’ knowledge about construction procurement systems influence project performance objectives and the role of procurement systems on project performance objectives in South Africa. Design/methodology/approach: Using a two-round survey, 90 usable questionnaires from construction professionals in South Africa plus 3 expert clients were collected. The data were analysed using descriptive statistics – means, percentages and the analytical hierarchy process to determine the rank of client project performance criteria, while inferential statistics – Pearson product-moment correlation was used in establishing the relationship between the level of clients’ knowledge and project performance. Findings: It was found that the common procurement systems used are traditional, followed by management-oriented and integrated procurement systems. In addition, it emerged that client’s knowledge of procurement systems shows a positive relationship with the achievement of project performance objectives. Based on these findings, it is concluded that some procurement systems being selected by clients in South Africa are inappropriately selected. This is despite the emergence of more efficient procurement systems. If procurement systems are selected based on the knowledge of the client, it will give better chances of a successful project outcome. Practical implications: The research suggests the need for clients to seek ways to improve their understanding or increase their knowledge of procurement systems in construction. Policymakers’ responsibilities in driving policies that will place responsibilities on clients to seek a reasonable way to improve their knowledge where possible is implied in the study. Originality/value: It contributes to improving project performance by examining whether the level of knowledge possessed by a client influences project performance.
Creative Commons Attribution Non-commercial International Licence 4.0 (CC BY-NC 4.0)
Journal of Engineering, Design and Technology, 2021