Anda di halaman 1dari 18

See

discussions, stats, and author profiles for this publication at: https://www.researchgate.net/publication/263141740

Analysis of factors critical to construction


project success in Malaysia

Article in Engineering Construction & Architectural Management August 2012


DOI: 10.1108/09699981211259612

CITATIONS READS

30 229

2 authors, including:

Nur Emma Mustaffa


Universiti Teknologi Malaysia
12 PUBLICATIONS 50 CITATIONS

SEE PROFILE

All content following this page was uploaded by Nur Emma Mustaffa on 29 June 2016.

The user has requested enhancement of the downloaded file.


Engineering, Construction and Architectural Management
Analysis of factors critical to construction project success in Malaysia
Yee Cheong Yong Nur Emma Mustaffa
Article information:
To cite this document:
Yee Cheong Yong Nur Emma Mustaffa, (2012),"Analysis of factors critical to construction project success in
Malaysia", Engineering, Construction and Architectural Management, Vol. 19 Iss 5 pp. 543 - 556
Permanent link to this document:
http://dx.doi.org/10.1108/09699981211259612
Downloaded by UNIVERSITI TEKNOLOGI MALAYSIA At 22:15 28 June 2016 (PT)

Downloaded on: 28 June 2016, At: 22:15 (PT)


References: this document contains references to 46 other documents.
To copy this document: permissions@emeraldinsight.com
The fulltext of this document has been downloaded 4003 times since 2012*
Users who downloaded this article also downloaded:
(2007),"The significant factors causing delay of building construction projects in Malaysia",
Engineering, Construction and Architectural Management, Vol. 14 Iss 2 pp. 192-206 http://
dx.doi.org/10.1108/09699980710731308
(2010),"An investigation of the status of the Malaysian construction industry", Benchmarking: An
International Journal, Vol. 17 Iss 2 pp. 294-308 http://dx.doi.org/10.1108/14635771011036357
(2004),"A study on project success factors in large construction projects in Vietnam",
Engineering, Construction and Architectural Management, Vol. 11 Iss 6 pp. 404-413 http://
dx.doi.org/10.1108/09699980410570166

Access to this document was granted through an Emerald subscription provided by emerald-srm:581774 []
For Authors
If you would like to write for this, or any other Emerald publication, then please use our Emerald for
Authors service information about how to choose which publication to write for and submission guidelines
are available for all. Please visit www.emeraldinsight.com/authors for more information.
About Emerald www.emeraldinsight.com
Emerald is a global publisher linking research and practice to the benefit of society. The company
manages a portfolio of more than 290 journals and over 2,350 books and book series volumes, as well as
providing an extensive range of online products and additional customer resources and services.
Emerald is both COUNTER 4 and TRANSFER compliant. The organization is a partner of the Committee
on Publication Ethics (COPE) and also works with Portico and the LOCKSS initiative for digital archive
preservation.

*Related content and download information correct at time of download.


The current issue and full text archive of this journal is available at
www.emeraldinsight.com/0969-9988.htm

Factors critical
Analysis of factors critical to project
to construction project success
success in Malaysia
Yee Cheong Yong and Nur Emma Mustaffa 543
Department of Quantity Surveying, Universiti Teknologi Malaysia,
Johor Bahru, Malaysia
Downloaded by UNIVERSITI TEKNOLOGI MALAYSIA At 22:15 28 June 2016 (PT)

Abstract
Purpose The purpose of this paper is to study the principal factors that are critical to the success of
a construction project in Malaysia, and determine their relative importance as perceived by different
respondents. The findings of this study will provide the researcher with up-to-date information in
formulating appropriate strategies to address the challenges brought about by human-related issues.
The paper will only discuss the first part of the ongoing research based on the pilot survey.
Design/methodology/approach Following a thorough literature search, a total of 37 factors were
consolidated and grouped into seven major categories. These factors were assembled into a
questionnaire survey and distributed to clients, consultants and contractors. The respondents
represent a wide range of professions, including those who are involved in design, construction,
engineering, project management and quantity surveying. An analysis of the responses identified 15
factors to be accepted as critical to the success of construction projects.
Findings The results suggest a strong consistency in perception between respondents in recognising
the significance of human-related factors such as competence, commitment, communication and
cooperation towards the success of a construction project. These factors being the core element in
relationship-based procurement reinforced the need and viability of such procurement methods to the
Malaysian construction industry.
Practical implications The findings can be used to facilitate the analysis of performance of
various procurement systems, as well as identifying critical elements crucial to the development of a
relationship-based procurement in Malaysia.
Originality/value This paper captures the perception of construction participants regarding
the critical success factors of construction projects in Malaysia and fulfils an identified need to study
the critical elements vital to the development of a new procurement approach in Malaysia.
Keywords Malaysia, Construction industry, Critical success factors, Project management,
Procurement, Malaysian construction industry
Paper type Research paper

1. Introduction
The construction industry is regarded as one of the main contributors towards a
countrys economy (Ngai et al., 2002), often accounting for 7-10 per cent of the gross
domestic product (GDP) value (Winch, 1995; Voordijk et al., 2000). In addition to that,
construction projects usually played an important role in the safety, health and
environmental aspects of the society (Bayliss et al., 2004).
In Malaysia, the construction industry contributes significantly to the economic
growth of the country. Over the last 20 years, the industry has consistently contributed
Engineering, Construction and
Architectural Management
This paper is part of a larger research project towards the development of an effective Vol. 19 No. 5, 2012
relationship-based procurement model in Malaysia. The authors would like to thank Universiti pp. 543-556
r Emerald Group Publishing Limited
Teknologi Malaysia (UTM) for the funding provided under the Zamalah scholarship scheme, 0969-9988
without which it would be impossible for the authors to finish the study. DOI 10.1108/09699981211259612
ECAM approximately 3-5 per cent to the national GDP (CIDB Malaysia, 2009). Given this,
19,5 under the Tenth Malaysia Plan (2011-2015), the Ministry of Works plans to inject an
estimated RM 138 billion (approximately US$46 billion) to enhance the growth of the
construction sector (CIDB Malaysia, 2010). The contributions are more than just pure
economic; the products of construction play an important role towards the creation of
quality lifestyle among the local population. In short, all of us are directly or indirectly
544 affected by construction processes and its end products.
The study of project success and critical success factors (CSFs) is often considered
as one of the vital ways to improve the effectiveness of project delivery (Chan, 2004) .
One of the reasons of the difficulties in managing a construction project, especially
in the government sector is due to the failure in determining the CSFs across project
Downloaded by UNIVERSITI TEKNOLOGI MALAYSIA At 22:15 28 June 2016 (PT)

phases (Takim et al., 2004). Numerous studies have been conducted over the years
to investigate factors that are really critical towards project success (Chan and
Kumaraswamy, 1996; Cooke-Davies, 2002; Nicolini, 2002; Erling et al., 2006; Toor
and Ogunlana, 2009), thus highlighting the importance of CSFs study towards
construction project success.
Although the topic under review has been previously explored extensively out of
the country but most of these studies were context specific, their implementation and
implication are usually limited to countries, and the operating environment where these
studies were conducted (Toor and Ogunlana, 2009). There is a lack of effort to
contextualise the findings into local context where the structure, culture and maturity
of the concerned organisations are different. While several studies have been
conducted within the similar research boundary in the country, specific variable with
growing importance in the literature, namely the human-related factors such as trust,
commitment and relationship between stakeholders in the project, has not received
much attention.
This is in spite of the empirical work done by Takim et al. (2004) suggesting that
project success can be divided into two main dimensions namely the efficiency and
effectiveness measure. Although emphasis has been given on the integration of process
improvement programmes and conflict resolution process in the project management,
but potential of human-related factors are not explored in detail. On the other hand,
Lim and Mohamed (1999) suggested that project success can be classified into
two categories, which are the macro- and micro-viewpoint. Both viewpoints consider
the usual criteria of time, cost and quality but remain silent on human-related factors
as well.
With rapid changes happening in the construction industry, both findings have
become obsolete and unable to reflect the current development in the industry
especially with the growing needs for a relationship-based approach in procurement in
substitution to the traditional method (CIDB Malaysia, 2009). The general perception
on the Malaysian construction industry as a whole is underachieving. It has low
profitability and does not invest enough in training, research and development. Limited
trust, little cooperation, poor communication and an adversarial relationship are
among the key problem areas experienced in the Malaysian construction industry.
Nevertheless, most of these findings are based on anecdotal evidence and hearsay
without any concrete empirical support from established research methodology.
Therefore, re-exploring the factors essential to the success of the construction project
will help in gaining a better insight towards the industry, especially on the human-related
issue. It also provides a strong foundation for further route of the current research on the
development of an effective relationship-based procurement model in Malaysia.
2. Research purpose Factors critical
This study will attempt to fill in the gap by re-examining the CSFs of a Malaysian to project
construction project. The findings will provide the researcher an up to-date understanding
towards the current conditions of the local construction industry. Perceptions of different success
construction participants on the CSFs of construction projects in Malaysia will be
examined. The findings of this study will provide the researcher up-to-date information
in formulating appropriate strategies to address the challenges brought about by 545
human-related issue.

3. Literature review
3.1 CSF
Downloaded by UNIVERSITI TEKNOLOGI MALAYSIA At 22:15 28 June 2016 (PT)

Rockart (1982) defines CSF as those relatively small numbers of truly important
matters where a particular industry should focus her attention in order to achieve
success. They represent factors which are critical to the success of the industry
concerned in Rockarts studies. Rockart (1982) elaborated that the key to success is
to focus the most limited resources (usually time) on the things which really make
the difference between success and failure. Sanvido et al. (1992), Tiong (1992) and
Cooke-Davies (2002) also defined CSFs as those factors which are necessary for the
project participants to achieve their goals in a project.
Rockart (1982) further emphasised that CSFs relates to the specific characteristics or
conditions of an industry. It will certainly differ from country to country depending on
their respective operating environment, policies and legal constraint. In addition to
that, CSFs often will change as the industrys environment changes, as the companys
position within an industry change, or as particular problem or opportunity arises for
that industry. Hence, it is essential to understand what CSFs are not. They are not a
standard set of measurement or key indicators, which can be applied to all industry. On
the contrary, CSFs are the particular areas of major importance to a particular industry,
at a particular point in time. They demand specific and diverse situational measures,
many of which must be evaluated through soft, subjective information (Rockart and
Bullen, 1981).

3.2 Defining CSFS for construction projects


Project success is an abstract concept and determining whether a project is successful
is subjective and extremely complex (Parfitt and Sanvido, 1993; Chan, 2002), therefore,
two distinctions must be established at this stage before further discussion can be
carried on. De Wit (1988), Atkinson (1999), Lim and Mohamed (1999), Cooke-Davies
(2002) and Takim et al. (2004) have all differentiate project success (measured against
the overall objectives of the project) against project management success (measured
against the widespread and traditional measures of time, cost and quality).
On the other hand, there are also distinctions between success criteria (the measure
by which success or failure of a project will be judged) and success factor (those inputs
to the management system that lead directly or indirectly to the success of the project)
(de Wit, 1988; Cooke-Davies, 2002). Success factor can be further classified under two
main categories, one being hard, and objectives, tangible and measurable while the
other soft, subjective, intangible and less measurable (Erling and Svein Arne, 2000;
Chan, 2004; Erling et al., 2006). As for the former, the criteria of time, cost and quality
were widely recognised, but others such as health and safety, environmental
sustainability, technical performance are factors with growing importance. As for the
later, attainment of goals such as satisfaction, effective communication, relationship
ECAM between project participants and absence of conflicts are considered a sign of project
19,5 success.
Understanding these distinctions will enable the researcher to have a clearer direction
on the subject matter and to avoid possible confusion. As part of the wider aspect of an
ongoing doctoral research and its finding will be used to develop a new procurement
system in Malaysia, the paper will seek to give its attention to the CSF of project
546 management in Malaysia. A number of variables influencing the success of project
management were identified following a thorough review of literature. A careful study of
previous literatures suggests that CSFs can be grouped under different categories
depending on the evaluation dimension that the researchers are looking at.
Downloaded by UNIVERSITI TEKNOLOGI MALAYSIA At 22:15 28 June 2016 (PT)

4. Research methodology
A questionnaire was developed to assess the CSF for the construction project in
Malaysia. Following a thorough literature search, a total of 37 factors critical to the
success of building construction projects were consolidated. These factors were then
assembled into a questionnaire that was distributed among three target groups who
were connected with the building construction industry. The respondents were
required to identify, from the list of factors, which they agreed to be critical to the
success of a construction project in Malaysia.

4.1 Questionnaire design


The questionnaire was divided into different parts, namely:
Part 1: General section concerning the respondents background.
Part 2: CSF of construction projects in Malaysia.
Part 3: Comparisons of different procurement procedures adopted in Malaysia.
Part 4: Further comments by the respondent.
Personal information of the respondents included working experience in construction
industry, job status as well as designation in the company. Most of the questions were of
closed-ended type and were designed to elicit qualitative information.

4.2 Population and sampling size


The data collection exercise were held in Malaysia from September 2010 until the end of
October 2010. An eight-page structured questionnaire was distributed to the three target
groups (private developers, consultants and contractors) representing a wide range of
profession which includes those who are dealing with design, construction, engineering,
project management, quantity surveying and clients of a construction project.
As shown in Table I, a total of 45 questionnaires were sent to different target groups
in the Malaysian construction industry. A total of 14 questionnaires were returned
within one month of being sent out, making the total response rate 31.1 per cent. This

Number of questionnaires
Type of organisation Sent Returned Percentage returned %

Government
Table I. Private clients 8 3 37.5
Response rate (in Consultants 30 7 23.3
percentage) by type of Contractors 7 4 57.1
organisation Total 45 14 31.1
response rate was finally achieved after several efforts were made in terms of follow-up Factors critical
e-mails and letters. to project
Despite the limitation of the sampling size, the firms surveyed represent a large
proportion of the construction industry outputs and populations. The survey was send success
to a total of 45 prominent firms in the construction industry which comprises of eight
private developers, 30 consultants and seven contractors. These firms were selected
randomly based on the lists of best performing companies from respective institution. 547
It is in line with the opinion of Coviello and Jones (2004) that, if high-quality survey
data are obtainable from a smaller sample drawn using well-developed selection
criteria, meaningful findings can still result.
Based on the responses received, three (37.5 per cent) respondents were from private
Downloaded by UNIVERSITI TEKNOLOGI MALAYSIA At 22:15 28 June 2016 (PT)

clients, followed by seven (23.3 per cent) from consultant organisations and four (57.1
per cent) from contractor companies. The response rate of 31.1 per cent is not
uncommon and acceptable. It is in accordance with the opinions of Akintoye (2000)
who reported that the normal response rate in construction research for postal
questionnaire is around 20-30 per cent. On the other hand, Dulaimi et al. (2003) reported
a 5.91 per cent respond rate for their research survey due to the lack of participation
from the construction industry.
Figure 1 show the distribution profile of the working experience in construction
industry across different group of respondents. The respondents who participated in
this survey have been engaged in the construction industry for many years, ranging
from less than two years to more than 15 years. The majority of them were in top
management positions in their respective firms (mainly directors and partners). Based
on the rate of responses received and the degree of consistency in responses from a
wide range of experienced professional, it is considered that the responses were
adequate for the pilot survey and background studies.

4.3 Characteristics of the project scheme


The project schemes undertaken by companies were characterised to provide
background information on the nature of their businesses. Each company had
undertaken more than one type of project. Figure 2 shows the type of projects that the
respondents organisations have been involved in. The chart indicated that housing
projects (100 per cent) and commercial projects (92.8 per cent) are among the most
common project types. In terms of project complexity, 21.4 per cent of the respondents
were involved in high complexity project while 71.4 per cent were involved in project
with moderate complexity. On the other hand, all the respondents organisation was
involved in project exceeding ten million ringgit.

4.5
4 Clients Consultants Contractors
4
3.5
3
3 Figure 1.
2.5 Distribution profile of
2 2
2 working experience across
1.5 different groups of
1 1 1
1 respondent in the
0.5 construction industry
0 (N 14)
< 2 years 2 - 6 years 6 - 15 years > 15 years
ECAM 4.4 Ranking success factors
19,5 The respondents identified factors that they perceived as being likely to contribute to
the success of the construction project by responding on a scale from 1 (strongly
disagree) to 5 (strongly agree). The five-point Likert rating scale was 1 strongly
disagree, 2 disagree, 3 neither agree nor disagree, 4 agree and 5 strongly
agree. The mean score (MS) for each factor was calculated using the following formula
548 (Chan and Kumaraswamy, 1996; Lew et al., 2003):
P
f s
MS 1pMSp5
N
Downloaded by UNIVERSITI TEKNOLOGI MALAYSIA At 22:15 28 June 2016 (PT)

where f is the frequency of responses to each rating, s is the score given to each factor
by the respondents and ranges from 1 to 5 and N is the total number of responses
concerning that factor.
It is important to note that the ranking exercise is based on perceived importance.
According to Chan and Kumaraswamy (1996), the experience effects of the
respondents on the perception of CSF cannot be overlooked. This variable should be
considered during data analysis as it maybe the root cause of differing collective
perceptions among the survey respondents. In the present study, the author compared
the number of years of working experience and characteristics of the projects that the
survey respondents have been involved in.

5. Result and analysis


Tables II-VIII present the result of the analysis of the factors that are critical to the
construction project in Malaysia. A total of 37 factors from the seven categories were
ranked according to the ranking of their mean values. The first category, project-
related factors, included the four factors presented in Table II. The second category,
project stakeholders factors (client), included the five factors presented in Table III.
The third category, project stakeholders factors (team leader), included the five factors
presented in Table IV. The fourth category, project stakeholders factors (consultant),
included the five factors presented in Table V The fifth category, project stakeholders

Others Others 1 7.1%


Transport 2 14.3%
Transport
Education 4 28.5%
Education Refurbishment 5 35.7%
Industrial 6 42.9%
Refurbishment Commercial 13 92.8%
Figure 2. Industrial Housing 14 100%
Type of projects that the Commercial *People may select more than one
respondents Housing answer, so percentages may add up to
organisations have been more than 100%
0 2 4 6 8 10 12 14 16
involved in (N 14)
Number of respondent organisation involved in

Factor Mean SD Ranking


Table II.
Ranking of project-related Effective allocation of man power 4.364 0.481 1
factors contributing Urgency in meeting project deadline 3.909 0.514 2
to the success of the Complexity of project 3.545 1.076 3
construction project Size and value of project 3.182 1.029 4
factors (contractor), included the nine factors presented in Table VI. The sixth category, Factors critical
project procurement factors, included the three factors presented in Table VII. Last but to project
not least, the seventh category, external factors, included the six factors presented in
Table VIII. success
Table II above indicated the results of the analysis from the questionnaire answers
with regards to project-related factors. Four factors were identified in this category.
Effective allocation of man power and urgency in meeting project deadline are among 549
the top two factors, having a MS of 4.364 and 3.909, respectively. While complexity of
project scored a MS of 3.545, size and value of project have a lower MS of 3.182,
suggesting that it has less significant influence on the success of a construction project.
According to Walker (1995) and Kumaraswamy and Chan (1999), project scope can
Downloaded by UNIVERSITI TEKNOLOGI MALAYSIA At 22:15 28 June 2016 (PT)

be seen as a useful predictor and motivation for the successful implementation of


a construction project. According to them, the attributes used to measure this
factor include type of project, complexity of project, nature of the project, size and value
of project.
Table III indicates five client-related factors that contribute to the success of the
construction project. The results of the analysis show that financial capability and
delay of progress payment to consultant and contractors are among the two most
important factors, having a MS of 4.818 and 4.273, respectively. It is essential that
a client needs to ensure strong financial capabilities to maintain the cash flow of the
project. Financial problem such as delayed payments and financial difficulties are seen

Factor Mean SD Ranking


Table III.
Financial capability 4.818 0.386 1 Ranking of project
Delay of progress payment to consultant and contractors 4.273 0.862 2 stakeholders factors
Excessive demand and variation during construction 4.182 0.716 3 (client) contributing to the
Ability to brief the project objectives clearly 4.091 0.668 4 success of the construction
Top management support 4.000 0.936 5 project

Factor Mean SD Ranking


Table IV.
Competence 4.545 0.656 1 Ranking of project
Commitment 4.455 0.656 2 stakeholders factors
Early and continuous involvement in the project development 4.182 0.575 3 (project team leader)
Relationship with other project stakeholders 4.000 0.603 4 contributing to the success
Adaptability to changes in the project plan 4.000 0.853 5 of the construction project

Factor Mean SD Ranking


Table V.
Competence 4.727 0.445 1 Ranking of project
Cooperation in solving problems 4.636 0.481 2 stakeholders factors
Commitment 4.545 0.498 3 (project consultant)
Communication among project stakeholders 4.455 0.656 4 contributing to the success
Feedback between project stakeholders 4.182 0.575 5 of the construction project
ECAM to be a major factor that causes delay in the construction project in Malaysia which in
19,5 turn jeopardising the overall success of the construction project (Alaghbari et al., 2007).
Excessive demand and variation during construction is the third important factor
contributing to the success of a construction project, having a MS of 4.182. Excessive
demand and variation will affect the construction time performance. Walker (1995)
argued that client and clients representative have a significant influence on the
550 construction time performance. On the other hand, ability to brief the project
objectives clearly and top management support are ranked fourth and fifth with
mean values of 4.091 and 4.000, respectively.
Table IV indicates five team leader-related factors that contribute to the success of
the construction project. The results of the analysis show that competency and
Downloaded by UNIVERSITI TEKNOLOGI MALAYSIA At 22:15 28 June 2016 (PT)

commitment are among the two most important factors having a MS of 4.545 and
4.455, respectively. In the context of the Malaysian construction industry, the project
team leader is usually the architect in-charge or client appointed project manager. Both
played a vital role as their work start from inception stage until completion of a project.
Their commitment and competence are critical factors affecting project planning,
scheduling and communication (Belassi and Tukel, 1996). In addition to that, early and

Factor Mean SD Ranking

Control of subcontractors works 4.818 0.386 1


Adequacy of design details and specifications 4.545 0.498 2
Skilful workers 4.545 0.656 3
Involvement to monitor the project progress 4.455 0.656 4
Table VI. Project budget monitoring 4.273 0.617 5
Ranking of project Emphasis on high-quality workmanship instead of low and quick
stakeholders factors construction 4.273 0.617 5
(project contractor) Working relationship with other stakeholders 4.273 0.617 5
contributing to the success Implementing an effective safety program such as SHASSIC 4.091 0.668 6
of the construction project Implementing an effective quality assurance program such as QLASSIC 4.000 0.739 7

Factor Mean SD Ranking


Table VII.
Ranking of project Shared authority and responsibility between the clients,
procurement factors consultants and contractors 4.364 0.643 1
contributing to the success Transparency in the procurement process 4.091 0.514 2
of the construction project Competitive procurement and tendering method 4.091 0.668 3

Factor Mean SD Ranking

Industry-related issues (availability of resources) 4.545 0.498 1


Table VIII. Nature (weather conditions) 4.364 0.643 2
Ranking of project Economic (stable economic conditions and sound economic policy) 4.182 0.716 3
external factors Construction technology 4.000 0.603 4
contributing to the success Political 3.818 0.575 5
of the construction project Social (public acceptance towards the project) 3.545 0.716 6
continuous involvement in the project development is considered the third important Factors critical
factor contributing to the success of the construction project, having a MS of 4.182. to project
On the other hand, the construction project requires team spirit. The project team
leaders ability to manage the relationship with other stakeholders is important as well. success
This factor ranked fourth, having a MS of 4.000. According to Al-Qudsi (1995), team
effort by all project stakeholders towards a construction contract is an essential
element for the successful completion of a project. Adaptability to changes in the 551
project plan was ranked fifth, with mean value of 4.000.
Table V presents the results of the analysis of consultant-related factors that
contribute to the success of a project. The result suggests that the first component that
seemed to capture the respondents general attention was the consultants competency
Downloaded by UNIVERSITI TEKNOLOGI MALAYSIA At 22:15 28 June 2016 (PT)

level, having a MS of 4.727. Firms with many years of experience are considered more
likely to have the ability to manage and monitor the project more successfully. Agarwal
(1994) emphasised that greater experience, understanding, competence and confidence
in managing project inputs will result in a more detailed and accurate perception of
risk thus increasing the chances of project success.
Cooperation in solving problems, commitment as well as communication among
the project stakeholders are ranked second, third and fourth, having a MS of 4.636,
4.545 and 4.455, respectively. The respondents acknowledged that lack of cooperation
and commitment towards a project and ineffective communication are among the
significant shortcomings in a construction project.
Such weaknesses are usually due to the adversarial nature of the relationship between
different project stakeholders (Latham, 1994; Egan, 1998; Chan et al., 2003; Harmon, 2003;
Eriksson, 2006). Without a proper mechanism to mitigate these shortcomings, when
conflicts turn into dispute, it could affect the project success and damage the relationship
between the parties along the contractual chain. Last but not least, the factor feedback
between project stakeholders was ranked fifth, with mean value of 4.182.
Table VI presents the results of analysis of the contractor-related factors that
contribute to the success of the construction project. Based on the mean value criterion,
the control of subcontractor works seemed to capture the respondents general
attention. It is the most important factor having a MS of 4.818. Commonly, in
large projects, there are many subcontractors who work under the main contractor.
A competent subcontractor can ensure the project to be completed on time as planned;
however, if the subcontractor is inexperience or incapable, the success of the
construction project can be put at risk. According to Sambasivan and Soon (2007), high
degree of subcontracting often leads to high risk of time overruns and causes
inefficiencies to the local construction industry.
Adequacy of design details and specification, skilful workers, involvement to
monitor the project progress and project budget monitoring are ranked second, third,
fourth and fifth, having a MS of 4.545, 4.545, 4.455 and 4.273, respectively. The
respondents acknowledged that contractors experience and competency are crucial to
the success of a construction project. Odeh and Battaineh (2002) opined that inadequate
contractor experience could be linked to the flaw in the tender awarding process where
most projects were usually awarded to the lowest bidder.
The lowest bidder may not possess the required competency to undertake the
projects. A contractor with inadequate experience is unable to plan and manage the
projects properly and this can lead to disastrous consequences. The importance of
contractors experience was further enhanced by the sixth factor which is emphasis on
high-quality workmanship instead of low and quick construction, with a MS of 4.273.
ECAM Working relationship with other stakeholder, implementing an effective safety
19,5 programme such as Safety and Health Assessment System in Construction and effective
quality assurance programme such as Quality Assessment System in Construction are
ranked seventh, eighth and ninth, respectively, having a MS of 4.273, 4.091 and 4.000.
The procurement method as well as the tendering procedure played an important
role in ensuring that the project meets its primary objectives of time, cost and quality. It
552 is a key improvement area (Latham, 1994; Egan, 1998) and a key factor contributing to
project success (Love et al., 1998).
The result tabulated in Table VII indicated that shared authority and responsibility
between the clients, consultant and contractors is the most important factor under the
project procurement category with a MS of 4.364. This is further supported by
Downloaded by UNIVERSITI TEKNOLOGI MALAYSIA At 22:15 28 June 2016 (PT)

transparency in the procurement process and competitive procurement and


tendering method which ranked second and third, respectively. The results suggest
that the industry players are looking for an alternative procurement procedure in
substitution to the traditional procurement procedure which soon becoming obsolete
and inappropriate (Naoum, 2003).
In traditional procurement procedure, the division of work often leads to detached
business relationships, as the construction process is managed by work being sub-
divided into specific packages. The works are then allocated to different participants to
be completed individually (Barlow et al., 1997; Masterman, 2002). Therefore, it offers
little motivation for cooperation to emerge; they are the potential root cause of the
adversarial nature that characterised client-contractor relationships (Axelrod, 1984;
Cheung et al., 2003).
Therefore, the respondents are looking for an approach that can bring about a
fundamental change in the traditional procurement procedure from detached relationships
to a mutual working environment to such a greater degree of responsibility and authority
sharing through mutual objectives, risk sharing, incentives and teamwork mechanism.
The results of the data analysis of the external factors that contribute to the success
of the construction project are presented in Table VIII. Based on the result tabulated,
the most important external factor is industry-related issue which ranked first,
having a MS of 4.545. As construction is a project-based activity, the timely availability
of resources (building materials) is of paramount importance. It will affect the
construction time performance if certain resources are not available on time.
The factor ranked second in Table VIII is nature, having a MS of 4.364. Weather
conditions and site environment can influence the speed of the project completion.
Economic situation of the country also affects the success of the construction project,
which is ranked third and having a MS of 4.182. A stable economic condition, inflation
rate as well as economic policy friendly to investors will increase the likelihood of the
project success. Construction technology, political and social factors are ranked third,
fourth and fifth, respectively.
A total of 15 top CSFs consolidated from the 37 factors were being examined.
The cut-off point was determined using the mean value of 4.3 and above. The mean
value of 4.3 was chosen to facilitate the short listing of 15 most CSFs. The standard
deviations of the responses also imply that the CSFs are agreed by most of the
respondent.
It is clear from Table IX that project stakeholders factors dominated most of
the CSFs. Out of the 15 factors, ten of them were project stakeholders factors
that revolve around the subject of competence, commitment, communication and
cooperation.
Factor Mean SD Ranking Category
Factors critical
to project
Financial capability 4.818 0.386 1 Client success
Control of subcontractors works 4.818 0.386 2 Contractor
Competence 4.727 0.445 3 Consultant
Cooperation in solving problems 4.636 0.481 4 Consultant
Competence 4.545 0.656 5 Team leader 553
Commitment 4.545 0.498 6 Consultant
Skilful workers 4.545 0.656 7 Contractor
Adequacy of design details and specifications 4.545 0.498 8 Contractors
Industry-related issues (availability of resources) 4.545 0.498 9 External
Commitment 4.455 0.656 10 Contractor
Downloaded by UNIVERSITI TEKNOLOGI MALAYSIA At 22:15 28 June 2016 (PT)

Communication among project stakeholders 4.455 0.656 11 Consultant


Involvement to monitor the project progress 4.455 0.656 12 Contractor Table IX.
Effective allocation of man power 4.364 0.481 13 Project Overall ranking of top 15
Shared authority and responsibility between the clients, critical factors
consultants and contractors 4.364 0.643 14 Procurement contributing to the success
Nature (weather conditions) 4.364 0.643 15 External of the construction project

Conclusions
The primary objective of this questionnaire survey was to study the CSF of a
construction project in Malaysia, and to determine their relative importance as
perceived by the clients, consultants and contractors. A total of 37 factors, which
were grouped under seven categories, were identified and ranked accordingly. The
secondary objective was to compare the patterns of the different set of rankings, in
order to establish causal relationships among the different perceptions of construction
participants. The analysis of the information collected from the survey was carried out
using the MS method. This paper indicates a general agreement of the factors critical
to project success in some of the perceptions of the three main parties in the
construction industry. The survey results provide a strong foundation for future
research exercises aimed towards the development of a relationship-based
procurement in Malaysia.
The results of this survey give the following findings. Financial capability of the clients
is the major factor critical to the success of a construction project. All three groups of
participants in the industry opined that apart from financial capability, project
stakeholders factors such as competence, cooperation in solving problems, commitment
and communication are significant factors ensuring the success of a construction project.
External factors such as availability of resources and weather conditions also played
a crucial role in contributing to the success of a construction project.
Based on the findings and discussions of the study, it is recommended that more
emphasis should be given on improving the human-related factors such as competence,
commitment and communication in order to ensure the successful implementation of
a construction project in the future. It is evident that the industry itself recognised the
existence of adversarial relationship and opportunistic behaviour in the industrys
practice, and they are now demanding a change from the current situation.
The traditional procurement is an inefficient process as they promote delayed
payment progress, excessive demand and variation as well as unrealistic traditional
competitive bidding. This is due to the nature of the traditional procurement which
encourages opportunistic behaviour to form as decisions were made based on human
ECAM rationality. Therefore, in order to improve on the project performance, the industry
19,5 needs to look into strategies that alleviate opportunistic behaviours and promote a
better working relationship among project stakeholders. This can be done through the
development of mutual trust within the industry.
A relationship-based approach towards procurement that strive to enhance greater
cooperation, trust, commitment and closer relationships between project participants is
554 argued to be one of the most suitable remedies for many of the industrys problems that
originated from an adversarial relationship. Such an approach brings about a fundamental
change in the traditional procurement procedure from detached relationships to a mutual
working environment.
Further research will be carried out to identify appropriate strategies and elements
Downloaded by UNIVERSITI TEKNOLOGI MALAYSIA At 22:15 28 June 2016 (PT)

to be implemented within the local context and business-operating environment. It is


with hope that a mutual working environment that is driven by trust can be cultivated
in the Malaysian construction industry.

References
Agarwal, S. (1994), Socio-cultural distance and the choice of joint ventures: a contingency
perspective, Journal of International Marketing, Vol. 2 No. 2, pp. 63-80.
Akintoye, A. (2000), Analysis of factors influencing project cost estimating practice,
Construction Management and Economics, Vol. 18 No. 1, pp. 77-89.
Alaghbari, W., Kadir, M.R.A., Salim, A. and Ernawati (2007), The significant factors causing
delay of building construction projects in Malaysia, Engineering, Construction and
Architectural Management, Vol. 14 No. 2, pp. 192-206.
Al-Qudsi, H. (1995), Dont burn that bridge, Journal of Management in Engineering, Vol. 11 No. 6,
pp. 22-5.
Atkinson, R. (1999), Project management: cost, time and quality, two best guesses and a
phenomenon, its time to accept other success criteria, International Journal of Project
Management, Vol. 17 No. 6, pp. 337-42.
Axelrod, R. (1984), The Evolution of Cooperation, Basic Books, New York, NY.
Barlow, J., Cohen, M., Jashapara, A. and Simpson, Y. (1997), Towards Positive Partnering, The
Policy Press, Bristol.
Bayliss, R., Cheung, S.O., Suen, H.C.H. and Wong, S.P. (2004), Effective partnering tools in
construction: a case study on MTRC TKE contract 604 in Hong Kong, International
Journal of Project Management, Vol. 22 No. 3, pp. 253-63.
Belassi, W. and Tukel, O.I. (1996), A new framework for determining critical success/failure
factors in projects, International Journal of Project Management, Vol. 14 No. 3,
pp. 141-51.
Chan, A. (2002), Framework of success criteria for design/build projects, J. Manage. Eng, Vol. 18
No. 3, pp. 120-8.
Chan, A. (2004), Factors affecting the success of a construction project, J. Constr. Eng. Manage,
Vol. 130 No. 1, pp. 153-5.
Chan, A.P.C., Chan, D.W.M. and Ho, K.S.K. (2003), An empirical study of the benefits
of construction partnering in Hong Kong, Construction Management and Economics,
Vol. 21 No. 5, pp. 523-33.
Chan, D.W.M. and Kumaraswamy, M.M. (1996), An evaluation of construction time performance
in the building industry, Building and Environment, Vol. 31 No. 6, pp. 569-78.
Cheung, S.O., Ng, T.S.T., Wong, S.P. and Suen, H.C.H. (2003), Behavioral aspects in construction
partnering, International Journal of Project Management, Vol. 21 No. 5, pp. 333-43.
CIDB Malaysia (2009), Construction Industry Review 1980-2009 (Q1), Construction Industry Factors critical
Development Board (CIDB), Kuala Lumpur.
to project
CIDB Malaysia (2010), The 7th Malaysia Construction Sector Review, Construction Industry
Development Board (CIDB), Kuala Lumpur. success
Cooke-Davies, T. (2002), The real success factors on projects, International Journal of Project
Management, Vol. 20 No. 3, pp. 185-90.
Coviello, N.E. and Jones, M.V. (2004), Methodological issues in international entrepreneurship 555
research, Journal of Business Venturing, Vol. 19 No. 4, pp. 485-508.
de Wit, A. (1988), Measurement of project success, International Journal of Project Management,
Vol. 6 No. 3, pp. 164-70.
Dulaimi, M.F., Ling, F.Y.Y. and Bajracharya, A. (2003), Organizatioanal motivation and
Downloaded by UNIVERSITI TEKNOLOGI MALAYSIA At 22:15 28 June 2016 (PT)

inter-organizational interaction in construction innovation in Singapore, Construction


Management and Economics, Vol. 21 No. 3, pp. 307-18.
Egan, J. (1998), Rethinking Construction, HMSO, London.
Eriksson, P.E. (2006), Procurement and governance management development of a conceptual
procurement model based on different types of control, The International Review of
Management Studies, Vol. 17 No. 1, pp. 30-49.
Erling, S.A., David, B., Svein Arne, J. and Arthur, H.M. (2006), Exploring project success, Baltic
Journal of Management, Vol. 1 No. 2, pp. 127-47.
Erling, S.A. and Svein Arne, J. (2000), Project evaluation scheme: a tool for evaluating project
status and predicting project results, Project Management Journal, Vol. 6 No. 1, pp. 61-9.
Harmon, K. (2003), Conflicts between owner and contractors: proposed intervention process,
J. Manage. Eng, Vol. 19 No. 3, pp. 121-5.
Kumaraswamy, M.M. and Chan, D.W.M. (1999), Factors facilitating faster construction, Journal
of Construction Procurement, Vol. 5 No. 2, pp. 88-98.
Latham, M. (1994), Constructing the Team: Final Report Joint Review of Procurement and
Contractual Arrangements in the UK, HMSO, London.
Lew, Y.L., Hassim, S. and Kadir, M.R. (2003), Factors contributing to cost control problems in
Malaysian IBS construction, Proceedings of the International Conference on
Industrialized Building Systems in Kuala Lumpur, Construction Industry Development
Board, 10-11 September, Kuala Lumpur.
Lim, C.S. and Mohamed, M.Z. (1999), Criteria of project success: an exploratory re-examination,
International Journal of Project Management, Vol. 17 No. 4, pp. 243-8.
Love, P.E.D., Skitmore, M. and Earl, G. (1998), Selecting a suitable procurement method
for a building project, Construction Management and Economics, Vol. 16 No. 2,
pp. 221-33.
Masterman, J.W.E. (2002), An Introduction to Building Procurement Systems, E&FN Spon,
London.
Naoum, S. (2003), An overview into the concept of partnering, International Journal of Project
Management, Vol. 21 No. 1, pp. 71-6.
Ngai, S.C., Drew, D.S., Lo, H.P. and Skitmore, M. (2002), A theoretical framework for determining
the minimum number of bidders in construction bidding competitions, Construction
Management and Economics, Vol. 20 No. 6, pp. 473-82.
Nicolini, D. (2002), In search of project chemistry, Construction Management and Economics,
Vol. 20 No. 2, pp. 167-77.
Odeh, A.M. and Battaineh, H.T. (2002), Causes of construction delay: traditional contracts,
International Journal of Project Management, Vol. 20 No. 1, pp. 67-73.
ECAM Parfitt, M. and Sanvido, V. (1993), Checklist of critical success factors for building projects,
J. Manage. Eng, Vol. 9 No. 3, pp. 243-9.
19,5
Rockart, J.F. (1982), The changing role of the information systems executive: a critical success
factors perspective, Sloan Management Review, Vol. 24 No. 1, pp. 3-13.
Rockart, J.F. and Bullen, C.V. (1981), A primer on critical success factors, Working Paper No. 69,
Center for Information Systems Research, Sloan School of Management, MIT, Cambridge,
556 MA.
Sambasivan, M. and Soon, Y.W. (2007), Causes and effects of delays in Malaysian construction
industry, International Journal of Project Management, Vol. 25 No. 5, pp. 517-26.
Sanvido, V., Grobler, F., Parfitt, K., Guvenis, M. and Coyle, M. (1992), Critical success factors for
construction projects, J. Constr. Eng. Manage, Vol. 118 No. 1, pp. 94-111.
Downloaded by UNIVERSITI TEKNOLOGI MALAYSIA At 22:15 28 June 2016 (PT)

Takim, R., Akintoye, A. and Kelly, J. (2004), Analysis of measures of construction project
success in Malaysia, Proceedings of the 20th Annual ARCOM Conference in Heriot
Watt University, Association of Researchers in Construction Management, Edinburgh,
Vol. 2, 1-3 September, pp. 1123-33.
Tiong, R. (1992), Critical success factors in winning BOT contracts, J. Constr. Eng. Manage,
Vol. 118 No. 2, pp. 217-28.
Toor, S.R. and Ogunlana, S.O. (2009), Construction professionals perception of critical success
factors for large-scale construction projects, Construction Innovation: Information,
Process, Management, Vol. 9 No. 2, pp. 149-67.
Voordijk, H., de Haan, J. and Joosten, G.J. (2000), Changing governance of supply chains in the
building industry: a multiple case study, European Journal of Purchasing & Supply
Management, Vol. 6 Nos 3-4, pp. 217-25.
Walker, D.H.T. (1995), An investigation into construction time performance, Construction
Management and Economics, Vol. 13 No. 3, pp. 263-74.
Winch, G. (1995), Contracting systems in the European construction industry: a sectoral
approach to the dynamics of business systems, in Whitley, R. and Kristensen, P.H. (Eds),
The Changing European Firm: Limits to Convergence, Routledge, London, pp. 241-70.

About the authors


Yee Cheong Yong obtained a Bachelor of Architecture in 2008. Currently he is a PhD candidate in
Construction Management, in the Department of Quantity Surveying, Faculty of Built Environment,
Universiti Teknologi Malaysia. Yee Cheong Yong is the corresponding author and can be contacted
at: ethanyongyc@gmail.com
Nur Emma Mustaffa holds a degree of Bachelor of Laws (LL.B) Hons from
Newcastle-upon-Tyne Polytechnic, UK and Master of Laws (LL.M) in Construction from Strathclyde
University, Glasgow, UK. She did her PhD at Heriot-Watt University, Edinburgh, UK. Currently she is a
Senior Lecturer in the Department of Quantity Surveying, Faculty of Built Environment, Universiti
Teknologi Malaysia.

To purchase reprints of this article please e-mail: reprints@emeraldinsight.com


Or visit our web site for further details: www.emeraldinsight.com/reprints
This article has been cited by:

1. Florence Y.Y. Ling Department of Building, National University of Singapore, Singapore Wei Wey Khoo
Department of Building, National University of Singapore, Singapore . 2016. Improving relationships in
project teams in Malaysia. Built Environment Project and Asset Management 6:3, 284-301. [Abstract] [Full
Text] [PDF]
2. Hui Liu, Miroslaw J. Skibniewski, Mengjun Wang. 2016. Identification and hierarchical structure of
critical success factors for innovation in construction projects: Chinese perspective. Journal of Civil
Engineering and Management 22:3, 401-416. [CrossRef]
3. Nicholas Chileshe School of Natural and Built Environments, University of South Australia, Adelaide,
Australia Raufdeen Rameezdeen School of Natural and Built Environments, University of South
Australia, Adelaide, Australia M. Reza Hosseini School of Architecture and Built Environment, Deakin
Downloaded by UNIVERSITI TEKNOLOGI MALAYSIA At 22:15 28 June 2016 (PT)

University, Geelong, Australia Steffen Lehmann School of Built Environment, Curtin University, Perth,
Australia Chika Udeaja School of the Built Environment, Faculty of Engineering and the Environment,
Northumbria University, Newcastle, UK . 2016. Analysis of reverse logistics implementation practices by
South Australian construction organisations. International Journal of Operations & Production Management
36:3, 332-356. [Abstract] [Full Text] [PDF]
4. Nebojsa Surlan, Zoran Cekic, Zeljko Torbica. 2015. Use of value management workshops and critical
success factors in introducing local experience on the international construction projects. Journal of Civil
Engineering and Management 1-9. [CrossRef]
5. Maoshan Qiang, Qi Wen, Hanchen Jiang, Shangnan Yuan. 2015. Factors governing construction project
delivery selection: A content analysis. International Journal of Project Management 33:8, 1780-1794.
[CrossRef]
6. Adwoa Boadua Yirenkyi-Fianko Ghana Institute of Management and Public Administration (GIPMA),
Accra, Ghana Nicholas Chileshe University of South Australia . 2015. An analysis of risk management in
practice: the case of Ghanas construction industry. Journal of Engineering, Design and Technology 13:2,
240-259. [Abstract] [Full Text] [PDF]
7. Nicholas Chileshe School of Natural and Built Environments, University of South Australia, Adelaide,
Australia Raufdeen Rameezdeen School of Natural & Built Environments, University of South Australia,
Adelaide, Australia M. Reza Hosseini School of Natural and Built Environments, University of South
Australia, Adelaide, Australia Steffen Lehmann School of Built Environment, Curtin University, Perth,
Australia . 2015. Barriers to implementing reverse logistics in South Australian construction organisations.
Supply Chain Management: An International Journal 20:2, 179-204. [Abstract] [Full Text] [PDF]
8. Rateb J. Sweis Department of Business Management, College of Business, The University of Jordan,
Amman, Jordan Rifat O. Shanak Department of MIS, College of Business, The University of Jordan,
Amman, Jordan Amjad Abu El Samen Department of Marketing, College of Business, The University of
Jordan, Amman, Jordan Taghrid Suifan Department of Business Management, College of Business, The
University of Jordan, Amman, Jordan . 2014. Factors affecting quality in the Jordanian housing sector.
International Journal of Housing Markets and Analysis 7:2, 175-188. [Abstract] [Full Text] [PDF]
9. Neringa Gudien, Audrius Banaitis, Valentinas Podvezko, Nerija Banaitien. 2014. Identification and
evaluation of the critical success factors for construction projects in Lithuania: AHP approach. Journal of
Civil Engineering and Management 20:3, 350-359. [CrossRef]
10. Bo Xiong, Martin Skitmore, Bo Xia, Md Asrul Masrom, Kunhui Ye, Adrian Bridge. 2014. Examining
the influence of participant performance factors on contractor satisfaction: A structural equation model.
International Journal of Project Management 32:3, 482-491. [CrossRef]
11. Tonye J. AlagbaImproving Drilling Performance Through Deployment of 12-Project Management
Critical Success Factors: An Empirical Investigation . [CrossRef]
12. Yee Cheong Yong, Nur Emma Mustaffa. 2013. Critical success factors for Malaysian construction projects:
an empirical assessment. Construction Management and Economics 31:9, 959-978. [CrossRef]
Downloaded by UNIVERSITI TEKNOLOGI MALAYSIA At 22:15 28 June 2016 (PT)

View publication stats