Saudi Arabian Construction Industry Delay and Poor Quality
Over the years, different civilisations have relied on the construction industry to support human activities (Ralph 2000). Presently, the global construction industry is experiencing a surge in construction projects because of increased human activities like trade and industrialisation. Like other economic sectors, the construction industry is characterised by multiple challenges (Ralph 2000). In this dissertation, the author focuses on delays and poor quality of work within the industry as some of these challenges. The study focuses on the construction industry in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (herein referred to as KSA) to illustrate the effects of delays and poor work quality. Ralph (2000) is of the view that a construction industry is an important component of economic growth. Therefore, the study highlights the KSAs construction policy in relation to the economy. Thereafter, this paper makes an analysis of the said challenges to determine their effects on the kingdoms construction policies.
In this chapter, the author lays the foundation for a discourse, which seeks to illustrate the negative impacts of delays and poor work quality in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. This paper further provides a background of the study by providing details of the infrastructure policy in the KSA. Thereafter, the aims and objectives are itemised alongside the scope. In this section, this paper also outlines the limitations of the study. Delimitations to the same are further provided.
Background of Study
The construction industry is playing a significant role in the development of the Saudi economy. Still, the industry has a big room to develop. Since the Saudi government is expanding its operations with respect to the countrys development, the growth and development of the industry is bringing in revenues and higher profits in the kingdom. Since the country is developing its construction sector and the economy has a large scope of good construction projects. The development of the construction industry has widened the scope of the projects and by maintaining the overall profits for the country. The Saudi projects are expanding the construction projects as well as the overall revenues that shall take part in the development of the country. The construction and development of the several projects in Saudi shall expand the overall revenues as well as the cost of production in Saudi. The country expands the developmental projects and maintains the performance of the country. The overall construction in Saudi will grow the affiliated industries and improve income in Saudi Arabia.
However, since the last decade, many projects have failed to meet their completion dates. This has happened because of many factors. These factors are responsible for the development of the industry. Moreover, they can expand the procedures and the policies of the country. Furthermore, they can further develop affiliated industries like hospitality and hotels. The overall management of the company goals affiliate with the performance and the management of resources in Saudi Arabia.
The management of labour in Saudi Arabia must understand working issues and task management programs. This way, they would improve the overall profitability and shares of their companies. The company must enforce their values and other cultural aspects that improve them.
As aforementioned, the construction industry is a vital part of the economic growth of a particular society (Wenham 2012). The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, by virtue of its vast oil deposits, is an economic powerhouse in the Middle East. Consequently, the kingdoms economy has experienced a boom over the past decades, and enhanced the growth of the construction industry. Notwithstanding the huge financial resources, there are emergent problems that threaten to bring down the industry. This research will discuss these issues in later sections of this study.
Carnell (2005) illustrates that the growth of the construction industry in the kingdom has affect almost all facets of the sector. According to Ralph (2000), the industry is characterised by five different types of constructions. They include the erection of commercial buildings, industrial units, institutional setups, residential units, and heavy civil construction (Ralph 2000). The industry covers all of the aforementioned areas. Prevalent problems like delays and poor work quality have the potential of bringing the entire industry to a halt, as we shall discuss later in this study.
According to Calculated Industries and Kokernak (2006), there are several problems prevalent in the construction industry in general. Lo, Fung and Tung (2006) points out that scarcity of skilled labour and resources are the most common challenges in the industry. In addition, there are certain cases where contractors do not take into account the set standards in the industry when performing their duties. Consequently, the quality of their work is poor. At the same time, projects end up delaying because of the aforementioned challenges. A case in point is the various trends of construction in Saudi Arabia, where the government insists that infrastructure growth is at the core of their decision-making (Carnell 2005). In addition, the Saudi government is keen on solving the housing problem, hence initiating major projects, like the Jeddah project (Carnell 2005). The demand for major infrastructure projects has resulted in high demand for cement; thereby forcing the government to pump SAR3 billion towards setting up cement plants.
The aforementioned trends show the significance of the construction industry to the kingdoms infrastructure agenda. When the construction industry becomes a vital aspect of a countrys blue print for growth, it is important to address its prevalent challenges (Bansal 2012). Consequently, delays and poor quality standards mentioned in this paper need to urgent solutions. The same is intervention is only possible once sufficient studies explain their causes. When there are delays in completing a given project, there is a corresponding increase in the overall cost of the project. The ripple effects of such a situation translate to negative impacts on a countrys economy (Abedi, Fathi & Mohammad 2011). Delays in the construction industry occur because of various factors. In his study, Falqi (2004) argues that understanding the causes of the delays requires us to grade them according to various types. The same process makes it easier to determine the exact cause of delay in completing a given project.
According to Falqi (2004), the first category is the excusable and non-excusable delay. Such kinds of delays determine the liability of the contractor in a given project. The other category is the independent and concurrent delay. Falqi (2004) illustrates that such delays are subject to the source of their occurrence. The other category of delay is the critical and noncritical type. Time causes impediments of such a nature are (Falqi 2004). Each of the categories mentioned have their respective causes. This study will outline the same in other sections of this dissertation.
Another vital component of the construction industry is the quality of the projects. The increasing competitiveness in the industry compels contractors to develop structures that meet construction standards in the industry (Delgado-Hernandez & Aspinwall 2008, p. 1014). In the event that a contractor is unable to meet these standards, their projects risk condemnation. This is true because structures of poor workmanship pose a safety hazard to potential occupants.
Aims and objectives of the study
The aim of this study is to investigate the causes of project delays and poor project quality in the Saudi construction industry
To Investigate the progress of construction in Saudi Arabia
To understand the basic grounds of construction in Saudi Arabia
To evaluate the causes of delays in the construction and development projects in Saudi
To explain why the Saudi construction industry is poorly managed
To find out the drawbacks of the construction industry in Saudi Arabia
To establish the reasons for delays in Saudi construction projects
To propose strategies for improving construction projects in Saudi Arabia
The research questions
What is the progress of construction in Saudi Arabia?
What are the grounds of construction in Saudi?
What are the causes of delays in the construction and development projects in Saudi?
Is the Saudi construction industry poorly managed?
What are the drawbacks of the construction industry in Saudi Arabia?
How could we improve the quality of construction projects in Saudi Arabia?
Statement of the Research
Gravetter and Forzano (2011) posit that any research undertaking must have a clearly defined thesis statement. From the title of the study, it is apparent that the construction industry in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia is facing several challenges. Delays in the completion of projects and poor work quality are the major challenges. The only way to determine the actual causes of the two problems is by making a case of the negative effects highlighted. Thus, the thesis statement for this study is Delays and poor work quality in the construction industry are hurting the gains outlined under the Kingdom of Saudi Arabias National Development Plan.
The study will affirm the hypothesis that highlights the dangers posed by increasing delays and poor work quality. The same will result in determination of the root causes of the two problems (Long & Maisel 2010).By determining the challenges prevalent in the industry, the study intends to illustrate that indeed, delays poor work quality are a threat to the growth of the industry as a whole. The same analysis acts as an avenue for widening the scope of determining the causes of delays in the industry. By categorising the delays, it becomes simple to itemise the actual causes of delays in the industry. Once the same issues are illustrated, it is possible to outline the instances of poor work quality due to the inability to meet the outlined standards. By understanding the negative effects that result from delays and poor work quality in the construction industry, it is easy to support the thesis statement outlined in this study.
The literature shows that the government is improving its profitability and maximising its income to increase public revenues. The literature will reflect on the research problem and probe into the research questions. In addition, the literature focused on the various attributes of the study and included development programs in the study plans. In addition, the study considered all construction attributes. The literature investigated the various attributes of the research problem and explored how they related with the research design. The sources of information included available research sources, such as journals, articles, case studies.
Scope, Limitations, and Delimitations
It is difficult to cover all aspects of a research problem in one study. According to Bryan (2012, p. 41), a researcher is expected to outline the boundaries that will restrict the data collection and interpretation processes. Thus, this study restricts itself to project delays and poor work quality as the challenges facing the construction industry. The focus is on Saudi Arabia. The participants, in this study, are familiar with the KSA construction sector and are actively engaged in the industry. Notwithstanding the availability of other experts, the study sourced its respondents from different groups of employees in the construction industry. In addition, the study focused on the aforementioned problems owing to the threat they pose to the kingdoms development plans. The findings of this study will help to determine the root causes of project delays and poor quality project outcomes in a bid to improve the industrys standing in the region.
Limitations of the study
The study focused on the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia as opposed to the wider Middle East region. The primary source of data collection was a written questionnaire. Some of the respondents could have given false information. The hypothesis of the study does not include political instability as a potential problem to the construction industry in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. The study was selective about the participants who could participate in the study. Construction industry workers outlined the main respondent group. Other professionals, like economists, would have increased the credibility of the study. The study relied on certain secondary materials published before the year 2005.
The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia is a leading member in the Arab League of Nations. Coupled with its economic might, the country is a suitable pick for this case study. Encompassing the entire Middle East would have complicated the study. Since the research participants benefitted from the results of the study, it was in their best interest to be truthful while answering the questionnaires. The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia currently enjoys political stability. There are no riots to indicate instability. When seeking volunteers to participate in the study, many participants came from the construction industry. Two respondents who were from other professions had little knowledge of construction matters. Thus, including them would have reduced the quality of results. We selected the secondary materials in this study based on their relevance. Thus, we excluded materials published earlier than 2005 from the study owing their irrelevance, in terms of present delays and quality of work.
The fourth chapter outlines the results of the data collected. The fifth chapter is a discussion of the results obtained about the actual causes of the delays and poor quality in the Saudi construction industry. According to Bryman (2012), the statement of the research is justified once the results obtained respond to the hypothesis. The same analogy explains this chapter in the discussion section. The sixth chapter contains recommendations to avert future delays and poor work quality in the construction industry. The seventh chapter discusses the study by reviewing the importance of the construction industry in the kingdom of Saudi Arabia. The last chapter summarizes the findings and recommends areas of future research.
This chapter shows that the construction industry in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia is under threat due to delays and poor work quality. The background raises the need to determine the causes of the aforementioned problems. The statement of the research is clear, laying the ground for further discussions on the effects of the said delays and work quality. In this chapter, the objectives are clear. The scope, limitations and delimitations are also well structured. The next chapter discusses previous studies that point out to the causes of delays and poor work quality in Saudi Arabia, alongside the general status of the construction industry.
Saudi construction projects capture big market shares. Saudi Arabia generates a lot of revenue thorough its tourism and construction sectors. The kingdom is also the hub of Muslims, as it is the wish of every Muslim to visit their holy places in the kingdom. (Schellen 2014) The government is always concerned about the tourist industry and various construction projects in the kingdom. However, public projects have several restrictions. Still, various factors limit the construction industry in Saudi. Many of these factors are public factors. This chapter discusses various problems in the sector, such as restrictive factors, and the overall managerial issues in the industry. The Saudi construction industry shall influence the construction projects and maximise the revenues through the successful entrepreneur projects carried by the government and the private sector.
Economic Survey of Saudi FY 2013 for the construction industry of Saudi
The economic survey of Saudi FY 2013 showed that the tourism industry had created almost 10 million jobs in the last decade (Oxfordbusinessgroup.com 2014). The government is planning projects of almost $ 75.6 billion in Saudi Arabia, which are creating new jobs, maintaining tourist attractions, and improving the share of public involvement in such projects. The government projects should end in the next three years and generate revenues that should increase the GDP from 8.4 percent to almost 13 percent.
Economic Survey of Saudi FY 2013 for the construction industry of Saudi.
Figure 1: Economic Survey of Saudi FY 2013 for the construction industry of Saudi. Source: (AI-Khalil, 1995).
The Construction Industry in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia
The literature review section intends to build on the background of the study outlined in the previous chapter. Consequently, this chapter outlines a brief overview of the kingdom. Furthermore, this paper elaborates on previous studies that focus the construction industry in the country. Thereafter, it highlights some common problems, like delays and poor work quality. In addition, it explains some of the causes for these negative project outcomes. The details highlighted in this section are essential in developing the thesis statement for this study.
Causes of delay in the construction industry according the reported ranks.
Figure 2: Causes of delay in the construction industry according the reported ranks. Source: (Al-Arifi, -Helbary, & Khalil 2013).
As previously illustrated, the growth of the construction industry in Saudi Arabia has affected almost all the sectors of the economy (Carnell 2005). This paper has also established that the construction industry is characterised by five different types of construction projects. They include the construction of commercial buildings, industrial units, institutional setups, residential units and civil constructions (Ralph 2000). Within the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, construction projects span the entire breadth of the countrys landscape. Prevalent problems like delays and poor work quality have the potential of bringing the entire industry to a halt, as we shall see later.
Contract management in the construction projects in Saudi
The Reconstruction and Project Agency of Saudi Arabia has shown, in its report, that the projects in Makah aim to increase its capacity from 48000 pilgrims to 130000 pilgrims per hour (SyndiGate.info 2013; Al-Rashid 2005) However, the delays in the projects resulted in the loss of almost $12 billion by FY 2013. This could not be accounted as loss, but the revenues were less, compared to the preceding years performance.
Table 1: Responsibility and Type of Delay Management and Administrative.
Management and Administrative Responsibility Type of Delay
Labour Dispute and Strike Contractor Excusable Non-Compensable
Inadequate Planning Contractor Non-Excusable
Inadequate Scheduling Contractor Non-Excusable
Contract Modifications Owner Excusable Compensable
Underestimation of Productivity Contractor Non-Excusable
Staffing Problems Contractor Non-Excusable
Lack of coordination On-site
Scheduling Mismanagement Contractor Non-Excusable
Transportation Delays Contractor Excusable Non-Compensable
Suspensions Shared Excusable Non-Compensable
Inadequate Review Shared Non-Excusable
Lack of High-Technology Shared Non-Excusable
Poor Managerial Skills Contractor Non-Excusable
Incomplete projects and project delays occurred because of negligence on the side of the contractors (AI-Khalil, 1995). Besides the constructions in the mosque, other construction projects in Makah included 11 major malls affiliated to the mosque, 158 gardens and municipal utilities, 68 flood-related projects and 43 urban projects (Torchia 2014). The other major obstacles in this regard were the lack of proper information, lack of enough details, vague objectives and poor financing.
In the Saudi Construction Projects
Many scholars claim that governments cannot complete their projects on the time. In this regard, Gazette (2014) says Saudi projects need more planning and effective leadership. Since gulf countries are undertaking different construction and development projects, they maintain their managerial policies that make it easy for them to carry out the projects (GALAL 2014). Besides managerial issues, these management aspects create more jobs and decrease unemployment in the region. This way, the Arabian countries can maximise the overall potential of the construction industry. Therefore, the companies need to consider labour and management issues of planning, controlling, commanding, leadership and the other perspectives that involve the process of construction. Moreover, the country should maximise its revenues with the effective policies, action plans and the theories for including in the Saudi construction projects.
The following diagram explains the various challenges in the industry
type of contracts.
Figure 3: type of contracts. Source: (Gazette, 2014).
The prevalent problems in the industry are an indicator that the same challenges need urgent attention. In this section, we outline an overview of the construction industry in the Kingdom of Saudi Arab. Thereafter, we present the various challenges in the industry in the outline. In addition, this chapter looks at quality standards in the industry and the causes of poor work quality. In addition, this chapter discusses the several causes of delays. It relies on previous studies on the subject. In the previous chapter, it is evident that the construction industry is a fundamental human activity in any developing society.
Government Concerns in the Construction Projects in Saudi Arabia
Several construction projects were going on in Makah in 2011 and 2012. These projects aimed to improve efficiency in various processes, like flood management, and increase the use of various infrastructure landmarks, such as bridges and the community park. The government aims to satisfy the public and create more jobs in Saudi Arabia. The construction should support the tourists (NEW, 2013). The reports showed that the contractors delayed almost 400 projects. The mayor of Makah, Osama Al-Be, said that contractors had various excuses for the delays. They claimed they had several sub-contracts, which delayed. They also said several other materials were precious and needed more time to transport. These matters are still under investigation.