You are on page 1of 60

CHAPTER 1

1.1 BACKGROUND OF THE STUDY

The topic is to show the effectiveness of communication during construction

and how it helps the construction industry to enhance production and

completion of projects within the stipulated period. Communication is

defined below to make it easier to know about its meaning, purpose and

effects.

Communication is a means by which operatives and other members of the

building team are linked (considering construction) in order to achieve the

central goal.

In construction, communication could also be achieved through letters,

drawings, symbols, signs, posters and word through which members of an

organization sends and receives information and also sends information to

the public at large.

Communication in the large sense of it is used to express facts, ideas,

opinion and emotions between two or more people and through

communication exchange of thought, information is also a good tool for

human relation.

1
Considering the above definition of communication, it is observed that

everybody in an organization is responsible for communication irrespective

of the role of the person being the originator or the receiver of the

information.

In all aspects of human professions, communication is seen as a vital central

organ especially through the use of language. Humans have transferred

culture, record history and document occurrences to a good deal with the use

of language from one generation to another. The organ called

communication has helped man to build societies and other social groups

which has contributed immensely to the growth of man’s life 3 enjoyable.

Through effective communication, the workers especially in construction

firms find it easy and highly productive to work together. Instruction and

order are given and they are carried out as expected once they are well

understood and acted upon rightly.

The working day of every personnel is filled with communication in

different ways and forms through orders, directives, information,

conversation, requests and rumors.

2
1.2 STATEMENT OF THE PROBLEM

Effective communication has not been given enough attention in

construction firms thereby creating many loop holes in information

dissemination. As a result of this poor attitude in the industry, it is found

necessary to create solution to such problems through this research as to

improve productivity in construction firms.

1.3 PURPOSE OF THE STUDY

AIM

The aim of this research is basically to identify the problem caused by

ineffective communication in the construction industry.

OBJECTIVES

The objectives of the research are:

• To identify the major factors that causes ineffective communication

in the construction industry.

• To identify the problem caused by these factors.

3
1.4 SIGNIFICANCE OF THE STUDY

From the information that will be gathered, the importance of effective

communication on execution and delivery process will be made known to all

involved at the supervisory level of construction work. This research work

will also show how ineffective communication negatively affect productivity

based on the facts gathered. This research work will also be useful to the

management of construction companies and their professional status.

1.5 RESEARCH QUESTIONS

The following questions will be answered so as to improve on duration and

productivity.

1. Can poor leadership cause ineffective communication?

2. Can lack of experience about construction work hinder

communication on site?

3. Will good administration enhance effective communication?

4. What role will incentives play in disseminating order and

information?

5. Will the introduction of seminars, workshops, postal and handbills

improve communication on site?

4
1.6 SCOPE AND LIMITATIONS

The study is actually intended to examine the effectiveness of

communication as an aid to construction project delivery in Nigeria but with

a special attention given to a few construction sites within the Lagos

metropolis because it houses the most large and medium construction firms

in Nigeria.

5
CHAPTER 2

2.0 LITERATTURE REVIEW

2.1 INTRODUCTION

Communication can be analyzed as a two way process as information is not

only sent but also received, understood and implemented (Adeleke, 2004)

When we have the line of communication we mean the channel through

which information is transmitted within a construction site or organization

from one person to the other.

Machinery need to be in place for further communication to take place,

either downward communication (from superior to sub-ordinate), horizontal

(between colleagues of the same level) or upward communication (from sub-

ordinate to superior).

Careful attention must be paid to these means and machinery of

communication because internal communication is vital for high

productivity, as an aid to construction project delivery in the construction

site and it is a more difficult process now than it was decades ago. The

principal reason for this is that there has been changes in the attitude of

workers to their employers and in the present site environment and in the

site environment there has been a move away from old concepts of

unquestionable obedience, proper provision must be made for upward

6
communication to avoid misconceptions of information otherwise a superior

personnel like Architect, Project manager, Engineer or supervisor may

generate a bad feeling and may also end up making decisions in a vacuum

and such decision may not be accepted by the junior staffs and personnel

like the labourers and gang men.

The basic questions which readily comes to the mind of the workers are of

two major categories as stated below:

1. What, where, when, why, and how does my employer expects me to

perform.

2. What, where, when, why, and how does my employer benefit from

my work.

2.2 COMMUNICATION IN THE CONSTRUCTION INDUSTRY

Communication is said to be effective within the working group in the

industry only when the transmitted ideas achieve their desired action or

reaction, as the operation involved in the construction industry is a team

effort, embracing the client, quantity surveyor, architect, consulting

engineer, specialists and the contractor’s organization with the main

objective of getting things done through human beings.

The operational procedures and other management activities associated with

the design, construction and subsequent performance of a building rely a

7
great deal on how information is being transmitted between the various

participants of the building team and for this reason, method of

communication should not only clarify issues but must also attempt to bring

harmony to the entire work process and also foster co-operation between the

parties to ensure maximum contribution from members.

Although there is no clear cut division of communication system within the

industry, the general of communication are classified as follows:

1. Communication between client and the consultants

2. Communication between the consultants

3. Communication between the consultants and the contractor.

4. Communication on site.

2.2.1 MEANS OF COMMUNICATION

Adeleke, (2004), explains the various means by which information can be

transmitted in the construction industry for the successful execution of any

project as the success of such project relies largely on the establishment of a

clearly defined framework or communication. He further states that

information can be transmitted formally or informally, in some cases

construction contracts may state the form which communication must take

e.g. a written order for variation. The usual means of communication as

stated by Adeleke (2004), are as follows

8
1. The print media

• Newspapers

• Bulletins

• Handbills

• Magazines

2. Drawn and visual materials

• Drawings

• Programmes and charts

• Photographs

3. Verbal

• Face to face

4. Written materials

• Specification

• Schedules

• Bill of quantities

• Tender document

• Certificate of payment

• Reports

9
• Letters

5. Notice board

6. Models and samples

7. Computers

2.2.1.1 THE PRINT MEDIA

Olu (2007) describes print as Newspaper and magazines that help in the

transmission of information in the industry by advertising materials,

vacancies for labour requirements and more relevantly, invitation to tender.

Information about the proposed project is conveyed to various contractors

especially when the project is being contracted under open tendering basis.

This is the first means in which the details of pre qualification to tender are

conveyed to the contractors in public.

2.2.1.2 DRAWN MATERIALS

Drawing of many types provide the main means of communication between

all the members of the building team. They are instrumental in the

communication of the designer’s intention concerning the structure that he

has convened and designed. Adeleke (2004) explains that Drawings required

for the project can be sub divided into two viz:

1. Design Drawings: These communicate the form of a building in

terms of colour, shape and texture.

10
2. Production Drawings: These communicate the technical,

physical and economic aspect of the building which are

associated with its construction, subsequent use and maintenance.

Both categories will portray dimensions materials and other information

necessary for the estimation of the cost of the project.

The information conveyed on both drawings (design and production) are

generally supplemented by reports, schedules, samples, models and

discussion. Design drawings are of two types:

1. Preliminary Investigation and drawing

2. Design solution drawing

Both of these drawings are produced at the design stage of the project.

2.2.1.3 PROGRAMME OFWORK

The programme of work and construction of a building project is a common

reference for predicting and qualifying communication performance. It

involves the co-ordination of many complex human and material resources

to ensure economy and efficiency. The more detailed the programme

communicate information, the less likely with unforeseen circumstances

upset either the intentions of a project thereby reducing the chances of

frustration and delay. The main areas requiring detailed programme in

construction project are:

11
1. Design programme: this can take the form of a bar chart and it is

referred to as pre-contrend programme. They are prepared by the

design team in order to establish how long it would take from the

beginning of the design to the start of the project on site. Precisely, the

programme will provide information to the client particularly when

complicated negotiations are required for the release of funds for the

project.

2. Tendering programme: the principal designer on behalf of the client

can ask all those tendering for the project to submit on outline or

tender programme.

This can also be a bar chart indicating the appropriate period of time

required for each major construction activities and the total period

indicated for the major construction activities and the total period

indicated for the proposed project, this provides a major means of

assessment of the organizational ability of a builder or contractor.

2.2.1.4. WRITTEN MATERIALS

There are many forms of written materials and they are designed to convey

information within the construction industry. Some of them are listed by

Ayeni (1986) and are listed below;

1. Schedule

12
2. Tender documents

3. Standard form of contract

4. Reports and letters

5. Certificate of payment

6. Maintenance manual.

2.2.1.5. SCHEDULES:

Much of the information to be given by specification can be provided in the

form of schedule. It is a good practice to convey information for item such

as window or re-inforcement by means of schedule.

They provide a means of conveying the architect’s wishes to the persons

concerned, particularly to the quantity surveyor and later to the builder in a

form which has the advantages of simplified checking of errors of omission

or duplication.

2.2.1.6. TENDER DOCUMENTS:

Production drawings, specifications and bills of quantity together form the

initial contract document which is submitted to the construction for pricing.

The pricing for the project can be negotiated tender, competitive tender

,design, and build, cost reimbursement scheme target contract or when

tender document are fully ready, the price of the project can be determined

by the any of the following techniques;

13
i. By schedule of rates

ii. By bills

iii. Two stages tendering procedure

iv. Serial tendering.

2.2.1.7 REPORTS

These are mainly informative statements usually written to the supervisor. It

should be written in such a way that the receiver should understand the

meaning of the report.

A report should be small, precise and without vague words or distortion. In

any project there is need for all particulars to be reported to the person (s)

concerned and this could be done in any of the 2 forms below.

i. Tender report: the quantity surveyor will report to the architect

and the client the situation of the tender returned by the tenderers.

After critical examination , some of the things the report will

contain;

a. The names of the tenderers.

b. The tenderers’ sum in ascending order

c. The completion period

d. Remarks of the quantity surveyor

14
ii. Routine technical report: this may be given on specific subjects

for instance on the laboratory testing of concrete, soil e.t.c or a

earth work or bituminous construction. At times, this report is

accompanied with graph and statistical analysis.

The clerk of works sends an eye witness report of what is going on site to

the architect or the client. At times, it will be required of the quantity

surveyor to do this.

2.2.1.8 LETTERS:

This is the most commonly used means of communication of information

between the client and the consultants, between the consultants and the

contractors. As has been mentioned in the report writing, the writer must

make sure that the receiver will understand whatever he is trying to put

across, be concise and friendly. Olu (2007).

The letter should be presented with the conventional layout required for

proper business letters. Since letters could be said to be an ambassador of a

firm, its presentation and grammar should be carefully noted.

2.2.1.9 COMPUTERS

With the advent of e-mails and other internet facilities information could be

sent from long distances within the shortest time and the receiver will get the

exact message at almost the same time. This also enables the use of fax

15
messages in which other messages could be sent to far distinction and will

be received at that instant.

2.2.1.10 PHOTOGRAPHS:

Photographs are used to send pictorial messages in the construction industry

especially where difficulties have occurred. Coloured photographs are

preferred to black and white. The cleaner the details the more information it

would be. Photograph records very useful information if any alterations or

extension are carried out in the future and they also be of considerable value

as evidence in legal action.

2.2.1.11 VERBAL:

These should be given in a manner that reflects efficiency and enthusiasm.

The speech should be clear, calm and yet commanding as explained by Olu

(2007). It is the most effective means of communication in construction site

and it should be given directly to the person(s) concerned otherwise the

message will become distorted with passing on.

By verbal communication, it is easier to know whether the receiver

understanding the message passed since the conversation could be either by;

I face-to-face

II telephone

16
2.2.1.12 MODELS AND SAMPLE:

Models are more significantly used for the benefit of a lay man. Models are

prepared during the process of construction of after it, but it is more essential

during the design stage to assist the client to visualize the completed

building and thereby help him or her to appreciate the design or make

amends if need be. This in effect reduces variation during construction.

Samples and valuables to the architect when preparing drawing an

specifications.

2.2.1.13 NOTICE BOARDS

Notice boards are to be used as a communication channel, it is sited where it

would be seen by a large number of persons and it has to be big and very

attractive to draw the attention of workers.

2.3 PATTERNS OF COMMUNICATION AMONG MEMBERS OF

THE DESIGN AND CONSRUCTION TEAM

2.3.1 CLIENT-CONSULTANT COMMUNICATION

Communication between these parties is a continuous process from the

inception of the project to the final completion.

The client is the initiator and the financier and more so, the project must be

executed to suit his taste. To this effect, professional advisers i.e. architects,

17
quantity surveyors and engineers are to obtain first hand information on

daily development of the project. (Ayeni , 1986).

Under his heading occurs the very big step towards communication in the

construction industry which is the client statement of requirements. The

information will include the size of the building, nature of the building, fund

available, function of the building and time limitation of the project.

The architect or quantity surveyor after carrying out feasibility studies with

other consultants who have been appointed to establish that the project is

feasible, functionally, technically and financially, prepares a general outline

of client requirements and communicate it to the rest of the members of the

design team for collective action. The development of the client’s brief is a

collective effort of all the consultants who in the course of granting approval

for such work, communicates any alterations, and modifications he wants

effected in the project to the consultants. This procedure continues until the

design of the project is completed and the consultants jointly present their

design report to the client to confirm that it is a clear translation of his brief.

The design report must be detailed to conclude all relevant information

required and presented in a manner to be understood by the client.

(Ayeni,1986).

18
As soon as the client approval is obtained on the report , the architect and

engineers start preparing the working drawings, schedules and specification

and at the same time seeking the opinion of the quantity surveyor who sees

to the cost implication of the project to see if the project design is still within

the approved budget.

2.3.2 COMMUNICATION BETWEEN THE CONSULTANTS

This involves effective exchange of ideas and information the professionals

within the design team as to advice the client on smooth running of the

project.

The architect, quantity surveyor, or engineer by the nature of their position

in any construction project is expected to establish links between consultants

and coordinate the activities for successful execution of a project.

Regular meetings to review problems and clarify details especially in a very

complex project forms a means of effective communication which in turns

aid construction project delivery of that team. In order to speed up various

processes involved in the administration of the project, telephone is used to

communicate urgent matters which could be followed up by letters to

consultants involved. Basically, consultants transfer information

through drawings, schedules and specification notes. (Seeley,1995)

19
There is need for architectural, structural and service drawings to be required

by the quantity surveyors. The specifications must be clear, definite and

concise so that when read with the drawings, set out the quality of materials

and the workmanship or standard required in the project to enable the

quantity surveyor prepare his bill of quantities. During the progress of the

work, all architect or engineer’s instruction intending to alter the original

scheme of work are sent up to the quantity surveyor and must be detailed

enough to enable him establish the cost implication of the project and give

professional advice.

2.3.3 COMMUNICATION BETWEEN THE CONSULTANTS

AND THE CONTRACTOR

All emphasis has been laid on consultants planning, carrying out studies into

areas that might affect the success of the proposed project and exchanging

information between the planning team and the client. Under this heading,

the communication network has been extended to a very important member

of the construction industry, the contractor who translates all the effort of

other consultant into practical reality which should be seen to correspond

with the client’s requirement.

20
The idea of tender for a project is first communicated to contractors through

public adverts or invitation letters depending on the tender procedures

adopted as stated by Ayeni (1986)

Contractors are requested through this medium to collect contract documents

comprising of contract drawings, specification, bill of quantities and

condition of contract. The quantity surveyor examines the bill of quantities

and communicates his findings and recommended actions to the client

through a tender report for the purpose of selecting the most suitable

contractor. The same procedure is used to select specialist sub-contractors.

Apart from using architectural or engineering drawings which must contain

necessary information and details, so that when read with definite and

concise specification will set out the quality and quantity of materials and

standard of workmanship required in a project, to communicate to the

selected contractor the clients requirements, supervision is also used by these

consultants as a means of follow up to their communicated information to

ensure that the contract provision are applied.

Interim valuation is an exchange of information between the contractor,

quantity surveyor and the architect, claiming payment for work properly

done during the specified period. There is a great reason for the quantity

surveyor’s valuation to contain the total breakdown of the work and the

21
amount involved instead of using a “lump sum” to help in the settlement of

final account and enable the client to understand each valuation. Variation

orders are also forms of communication between the architect or engineer

and the contractor giving notice of intended alterations to the original

design. Ayorinde,(1990).

The architect prepares interim certificates, final certificates, and certificate

of practical completion e.t.c. to communicate to the contractor the amount

due to him or her to confirm that the contractor has completed the project.

2.4 COMMUNICATION AT THE DESIGN OFFICE

Before any useful information can be passed in the design office or drawing

office, the consent of the client must have been won as to what he wants.

The brief from the client to the architect/ designer/ engineer (depending on

the nature of the job) will be the genesis or origin of the design. The

designer passes the mind, taste and request to the drawing table and brings

out every detail inform of line diagram. This first information will be

communicated to the pioneer of the design for latest development.

After all corrections and amendments, the final drawing will be passed to the

designer who goes through them to ensure conforment to all necessary

information, specification, dimension and building regulations and then

sends the negatives for printing. A set should be shown to the client, who

22
will give approval for the next stage which will be the required number of

set for approval at the town planning authority.

2.5 COMMUNICATION ON SITE

The construction site is the place where the whole effort made by the design

team in visualizing the client’s requirements will be put into practical and

the client’s dream will be made reality and as such communication on site

involves all parties to the project. Apart from the formal communication

between the contractor and the consultants in form of drawing, specification

and schedules and bill of quantities which shoes the extent of the work to be

done, the contractor is also in close contact with consultants during site

meetings.

Generally, site meetings are the regular meetings held on the construction

site to discuss the progress of the project to date, difficulties and delays

arising from the project at hand. This offers the contractor and his principal

sub-contractors good opportunities to sort out problem with the design team.

The first site meeting is expected to formally establish a good link between

all the parties involved and as well give a clear indication of the way the

project is to be administered. (Fergusson, 1989)

23
Architect and engineer also supervise as a means of following up

information passed by them to the contractor and ensure that the client’s

requirements are met.

During site visits, architect or engineer give instruction and this must be

noted, anyone amounting to variations should be ideally confirmed in

writing and subsequently communicated to the quantity surveyor who will

analyze and advise. Other methods of communication on site include weekly

reports, which is a complete record summarizing dialing happening on site

for the week as recorded by the clerk of works or resident engineer giving

the overall progress in relation to the programme of work. Weekly reports

are a valuable document for the architect or engineer in keeping them

informed of daily activities on site. It also serves as a reference when dispute

arises at a later date.

Communication within the contractor’s organization includes connection

within work areas, control points, and storage areas. The most common of

these is that between the storage area and the working area. This is the

communication link between manpower and materials and also involves the

transportation of materials from storage points to point of use sometimes

using mechanical plants. This aspect of communication is of paramount

importance as the work force is an essential part of the industry; this is

24
because unless labour receives regular flow of materials and also be

informed of what to do with them, work will definitely stop no matter how

good the management is.

Another communication route is that between control points and work area

where managers and supervisors are in close contact with the work men via

verbal or written information. The project manager at the inception of the

construction work uses a programme of work to determine his resource

requirement, he allocates materials, defines and apportion responsibilities to

the general foremen and gangers while using a simplified programme of

work to supervise the actions of the workmen, give orders to the general

foreman who is directly responsible to the project manager.

The operational foreman and charge hand also form a channel of

communication for their workmen and keep them informed on site progress.

As follow up, the project manager uses the programme of work to monitor

progress and evaluate the effect of change that may be imposed by varying

productivity, by mistakes, by weather or by clients. Also within the

contractors organization memoranda are used to inform members of the

news of contracts that have been awarded to the company and the notice

boards are used to communicate to this effect.

25
2.6 BARRIERS IN COMMUNICATION

The following are the barriers to communication in the construction industry

as explained by Adeleke (2004)

I. Lack of detailed drawings, these may not give full description of

the mind of the designer.

II. Inexperience of the site agents or clerk of works will lead to

misinterpretation which can cause a lot of damages and changes

to the original design.

III. Poor and horrible writing or lettering can mislead the clerk of

works or the other operative.

IV. Geographical location where communication can not be easily

passed.

V. Poor recording of bills of quantities and omission of items or

rates.

VI. Fear of the authority especially the senior staff can cause one of

the junior staffs to make mistakes during a face-to face

communication.

VII. Inferiority complex of artisans and operatives can also lead to

misinterpretation of information.

VIII. Telephone message wrongly received is also a barrier.

26
IX. Nervousness is also a barrier. Mistakes can also occur if the one

delivering the message is not composed.

X. Complexity of the job can also be a barrier if the job is not fully

understood.

XI. Availability and level of technology can as well be a barrier if

the job needs a sort of specialist to carry it out.

2.7 OVERCOMING THE BARRIERS

Adeleke (2004) also explained that in order to overcome barriers of

communication within the construction industry, management tends to

concentrate on doing so at a personal level while effort may be geared up in

site level.

The ways which Adeleke (2004) suggested are as follows

- USING FEEDBACK

Using feedback is the process of obtaining information on performance in

order to take collective actions where necessary (Wells, 1978). He also

stated that it entails the communication ensuring that his message is well

understood by the receiver and action is taken.

- USING REINFORCEMENT OR BACKUP

27
As stated by Adeleke (2004), certain information can be communicated

in more than one pattern. For example information may be passed

verbally and also backed up by a written letter.

- USING A DIRECT SAMPLE LANGUAGE

This is the most efficient way of eradicating barriers of effective

communication. When one speaks or gives orders in a plan and simple

language then the other party easily understands. The use of

ambiguous words will be eradicated.

2.8 PROBLEMS CAUSED BY INEFFECTIVE

COMMUNICATION

The major problem facing the construction industry is that ineffective

communication as explained by Oyekunle (1996). Many a time’s

communication ineffectiveness has caused delays in the delivery of projects.

Extension of time will be necessary and the contractor equally will charge

for this.

Provided the delay was not is fault. On the other hand the client may claim

liquidated and ascertained damages if the contractor was responsible. Other

problems that may arise are dispute and arbitration, termination of contract

and in some cases complete abandonment. All these have negated effect on

the cost of construction and the economy at large.

28
2.9 CAUSES OF INEFFECTIVE COMMUNICATION

1. POOR PICTORAL REPRESENTATION

Many a time jobs are described by sketchy, incomplete, inaccurate and

not well correlated drawing and charts, thus they are much more difficult

to be priced and be constructed.

2. POOR WRITTEN MEDIA

Badly written reports, letters, specification, schedules and bill of

quantities most times makes it difficult for such projects to be completed

on time and without disputes.

3. INADEQUATE COMMUNICATION EQUIPMENTS

The problem ranges from bad telecommunication networks to

ineffective postal service. The ineffective power supply is also not

helping issues. The telecommunication networks are bad and messages

received via telephone are most times mis-conceived and e-mails cannot

be sent when there is power outage.

4. SEMANTIC PROBLEM

The same word may mean different things to different people and this is

because the meanings are people not words. For example if a foreman tells

one of his gagmen to get something done “as soon as possible” the gang man

29
may not get it done until after 2hours and he will give the excuse of doing it

“as soon as it is possible for him to get done”.

5. EDUCATION AND TRAINING

A number of site operatives cannot speak or understand English language

and it makes their mother tongue to work with them or send information to

them because they are not well educated, also some are not trained enough

to read drawings and therefore cannot do anything without verbal

explanation.

6. INCOMPACTIBILITY

Individuals have diverse cultures, small groups, large groups through which

they assimilate and interpretes differently.

7. MOTIVATION

When the motivations on certain jobs are not there then the individuals will

relent on carrying out orders or passing information on to the next person.

8. FAILURE TO DISCUSS

This is due to positive effect of point up imaginary words of silence that

prevents healthy dialogue and group problem solving.

9. JARGON

Different people in different department or sections of an organization speak

in different languages although they are actually speaking English.

30
10. PERCEPTION ABOUT THE INFORMATION

Not only does the receiver evaluate what he hears in terms of his own

background but also takes the senders into account.

2.10 BENEFITS OF EFFECTIVE COMMUNICATION

Effective communication in the construction industry will enhance the rate

of productivity i.e safe material wastage, safety to operatives and gives room

for continuity of contract between the client and the contractor in the ways

explained below by Carter (2003) as listed

i. If working drawings are well prepared, detailed and handled with

utmost seriousness and by an experienced clerk of works, site

agent, there will be no problem during setting out , excavation and

setting of blocks using the actual dimensions and shapes. And

since there will be no alteration or demolition, performance will be

increased.

ii. Artisans will have free hand to perform the duties as expected.

There will be no repetition of materials usage therefore reducing

waste.

iii. There will be a good relationship between client and workers.

31
iv. Duration of completion of the project will be reduced thereby

giving no room for liquidated and ascertained damages or any

extra costs for both parties.

v. Maximum profit will be realized by the contractor and maximum

satisfaction will be achieved by the client.

vi. There will be no argument or dispute between the clerk and the

artisans between consultants and contractor and between client and

contractor.

2.11 CONCLUSION

Having identified the steps in communication, types of communication.

Barriers in communication, problems caused by these barriers and how to

overcome these barriers. It is therefore necessary for any construction

organization to handle communication with utmost seriousness and by the

time the benefits begin to come; the client would not have to pay for

overtime and the contractor will not have to pay liquidated damages and the

process of construction project delivery will be timely.

32
CHAPTER 3

3.0 RESEARCH METHODOLOGY

3.1 INTRODUCTION

The essence of this chapter is of define the entire method adopted in this

research work. It describes the procedure followed in realizing the goals and

objectives in this research. This involves the adequate description of the

research are stressing on the inclusiveness of the chosen area of this

study, the research tools and sampling techniques necessitating the

administration of questionnaires and oral interview.

Other discussions centered on research design which describes the major

procedure followed in carrying out the research the method of data

collection and finally, the analysis of data indicating the statistical tool used

and suitability of such tools.

3.2: CHARACTERISTICS OF POPULATION OF STUDY

This consist ten (10) indigenous Firms are to be assessed. 5 questionnaires

was be administered to each of them, totaling 50 questionnaires. The reason

for seeking this information is to know the role of effective of

33
communication in timely delivery of construction projects in Nigeria. The

population of the research are Architects, Builders, Structural Engineers,

Project Managers and Quantity Surveyors.

3.3: SAMPLING

The procedure for sampling in this research is based on simple random

sampling method. This entails the use of identical objects on which the

entire population is written. The objects are then gathered together with the

required number being selected from them, one after the other, using random

digit table.

3.4: DETERMINATION OF SAMPLING SIZE

The sampling size for this research work will be 5 questionnaires for the five

professionals listed above i.e. Architects, Builders, Structural Engineers,

Project Managers and Quantity Surveyors.

3.5: QUESTIONNAIRE ADMINISTRATION

In order to obtain appropriate and adequate responses from the respondents,

a combination of fixed response and open end type of questionnaire was

prepared in such a way that the options of the respondents were required on

the subject of the dissertation.

The questionnaire is divided into two main sections A and B. in the fixed

response type of questionnaire design, there are tailored options of answers

34
from which the respondents must choose while responding or answering

each question. The opinions of the respondent were just to tick his or her

own approval of available options of answer.

3.6: METHOD OF DATA COLLECTION

The questionnaires were distributed to the respondents through direct

contact in order to supply the necessary data to be used for the research

work.

Responses were collected on individual basis and also interviews were

conducted with respondents in respect of questionnaires earlier distributed.

3.7: TECHNIQUES FOR DATA ANALYSIS

All data collected were collated; organized and relevant answers were

adopted in order to ensure a meaningful presentation and analysis of data

collected. Secondary data were used as supplements. Theoretical concepts

obtained interviews were used to interpret and compare the findings.

Analytical tools were basically the descriptive statistical, which includes

percentage, tables and charts.

3.8: LIMITATIONS OF THE RESEARCH METHODOLOGY

The very fact that most construction companies are sensitive and must be

kept confidential, the firms were reserved in disclosing information

concerning the past and present experience. In some cases, the difficulties

35
are that professionals were not available and when available to fill

questionnaires and some opted for oral interview and the researcher had to

do a lot of writing. In other cases, some professionals collected

questionnaires and never fill them till date despite regular visits to their sites

which has resulted into time waste.

Some professionals actually claim that they cannot find the questionnaires

and ask for another copy and still do not fill them.

3.9: STUDY AREA/ CASE STUDY

The study area of the research was Lagos state and this is because it houses

the most number of indigenous construction firms in Nigeria.

36
CHAPTER 4

DATA ANALYSIS

4.0 INTRODUCTION

The information and data collected from the professionals from the ten

construction firms now becomes the aim of this chapter. This is very useful

in making conclusions and making of which the chapter five of this study is

based.

4.1GENERAL PERCENTAGE OF RESPONSE TO QUESTIONNAIRE

SECTION NO GIVEN OUT NO OF RESPONSES


Architect 13 11
Builder 13 10
Civil Engineer 12 12
Quantity Surveyor 12 9
TOTAL 50 42
PERCENTAGE 100% 84%

Eighty four percent (84) of the total questionnaires distributed were

completely filled and returned.

4.2 THE POPULATION OF RESPONDENT

The population of respondents is as analyzed below.


37
Table 1

Professional Number Percentages Section of pie


chart
Architect 11 26.19 94.27
Builder 10 23.81 85.72
Civil engineer 12 28.57 102.86
Quantity 9 21.43 77.15
surveyor
Others 0 0 0

Source: field survey

From the table and chart above it is noticed that the highest population of

respondents are the Civil Engineers, followed by the Builders and then the

Architect and lastly the Quantity Surveyors.

4.3 ACADEMIC QUALIFICATION OF RESPONDENTS

Table 2

Academic Number Percentage Section of pie


qualification chart
WAEC/GCE 0 0 0
38
OND 13 30.95 111.43
HND/BSc. 25 59.52 214.29
MSc./MBA 4 9.53 34.28
OTHERS 0 0 0

Source: field survey

The table and chart shows that the highest populations of respondents are the

HND/B.Sc holders. This is because they are more involved in the medium

managerial positions.

4.4 WORK EXPERIENCE OF RESPONDENTS

Table 3

Years Number Percentage Section of pie


chart
1-5 25 59.52 214.29
6-10 12 28.57 102.85

10-15 5 11.91 42.86

39
Above 15 0 0 0

Source: field survey

The table and chart clearly indicates that majority of the people in the

medium managerial positions are those whose years of experience falls

between 1-5 years.

4.5 THE ANALYSIS TO RESPONSES TO THE QUESTIONNAIRES.

1. Communication is an effective tool of actualization of a project.

Table 4

Options Number of Percentage Section of pie


responses chart
5 22 52.38 188.57
4 20 47.62 171.43
3 0 0 0
2 0 0 0
1 0 0 0

40
Source: field survey

From the above chart and table all respondents agrees that communication is

an effective tool in the actualization of construction project

2. Site meetings are an important channel of communication between the

consultants and contractor on site.

Table 5

Options Number of Percentage Section of


responses pie chart
5 28 66.67 240.00
4 12 28.57 102.86
3 2 4.76 17.14
2 0 0 0
1 0 0 0

41
Source: field survey

The table and chart above clearly shows that site meetings creates an

important avenue for consultants and contractor to exchange ideas and pass

on information to on another.

3. Training of operatives is necessary for onsite communication.

Table 6

Options Number of Percentage Section of


responses pie chart
5 8 19.05 68.57
4 26 61.91 222.86
3 7 16.67 60.00
2 1 2.38 8.57
1 0 0 0

42
Source: field survey

Findings shows that when workers are trained, onsite communication is

carried out in a more reliable pattern and higher productivity is attained

4. Poor communication often results into delay, increase in cost,

abandonment, amongst other problems.

Table 7

Options Number of Percentage Section of


responses pie chart
5 23 54.74 197.14
4 12 28.56 102.86
3 4 9.52 34.29
2 3 7.14 25.71
1 0 0 0

43
Source: field survey

This table and chart shows the possible outcome of poor communication as a

higher percentage agrees that it causes delay which will in turn cause an

increase in the cost of the project.

5. Workshops, handbills and posters will enhance productivity and

educate workers.

Table 8

Options Number of Percentage Section of


responses pie chart
5 17 40.46 145.71
4 13 30.94 111.43
3 8 19.04 68.57
2 3 7.14 25.71
1 1 2.38 8.57

44
Source: field survey

Findings reveal that the use of posters, handbills and organizing workshop

will enhance site productivity and also educate workers.

6. Poor leadership result into poor communication.

Table 9

Options Number of Percentage Section of


responses pie chart
5 7 16.66 59.99
4 13 30.94 111.41
3 13 30.94 111.41
2 7 16.66 59.99
1 2 4.76 17.14

45
Source: field survey

Findings reveal that the leadership pattern has a little effect on

communication on site.

7. Poor and distorted information will affect the level of work done on

site.

Table 10

Options Number of Percentage Section of


responses pie chart
5 27 64.26 231.39
4 11 26.18 94.27
3 3 7.14 25.71
2 1 2.38 8.57
1 0 0 0

46
Source: field survey

From table and chart poor and distorted information has an effect on the

level of work done on site.

8. Inexperience interpretation of working drawings can cause a failure in

building components.

Table 11

Options Number of Percentage Section of


responses pie chart
5 25 59.50 214.25
4 15 35.70 128.55
3 1 2.38 8.57
2 1 2.38 8.57
1 0 0 0

47
Source: field survey

The table and chart shows that inexperienced interpretation of working

drawings is a major cause of building component failure.

9. Every worker on site is responsible for disseminating information

effectively.

Table 12

Options Number of Percentage Section of


responses pie chart
5 16 38.08 137.12
4 15 35.70 128.55
3 5 11.90 42.85
2 4 9.52 34.28
1 2 4.76 17.14

48
Source: field survey

From the above, the study shows that every worker on site is responsible for

effective dissemination of information.

10.Poor means of communication leads to distorted information on site.

Table 13

Options Number of Percentage Section of


responses pie chart
5 9 21.42 77.13
4 27 64.26 231.39
3 4 9.52 34.28
2 0 0 0
1 2 4.76 17.14

49
Source: field survey

This table and chart shows that poor mean of communication is another

cause of distorted information on site.

11.Good relationship between site operatives will lead time wastage and

material wastage.

Table 14

Options Number of Percentage Section of


responses pie chart
5 6 14.28 51.42
4 6 14.28 51.42
3 3 7.14 25.71
2 6 14.28 51.42
1 21 49.98 179.97

50
Source: field survey

The table and chart shows that there is no correlation between the

relationship between operatives and time and material wastage.

12.Lack of interest to perform duties as expected will lead to ineffective

communication.

Table 15

Options Number of Percentage Section of


responses pie chart
5 16 38.08 137.12
4 15 35.70 128.55
3 7 16.66 59.99
2 2 4.76 17.14
1 2 4.76 17.14

51
Source: field survey

The table and chart shows that the interest a worker put into his work affects

the quality of communication he practice.

13.The importance of language used among operatives is very essential

for effective communication on site.

Table 16

Options Number of Percentage Section of


responses pie chart
5 9 21.42 77.13
4 26 61.88 222.82
3 5 11.90 42.85
2 2 4.76 17.14
1 0 0 0

52
Source: field survey

Findings from the table and chart shows that the anguage used among site

operatives is utmost important in practicing effecticve communication

14. Late dissemination of information will affect output on site negatively.

Table 17

Options Number of Percentage Section of


responses pie chart
5 17 40.46 145.69
4 17 40.46 145.69
3 6 14.28 51.42
2 2 4.76 17.14
1 0 0 0

53
Source: field survey

The table and chart shows that late dissemination of information negatively

affects output on site.

15.Poorly presented information on site creates a big problem in the

timely delivery of construction of projects.

Table 18

Options Number of Percentage Section of


responses pie chart
5 25 59.50 214.25
4 14 33.32 119.98
3 2 4.76 17.14
2 1 2.38 8.57
1 0 0 0

54
Source: field survey

The table and chart shows that the presentation of information on site may

create a big problem when poorly presented, in the timely delivery of

construction projects.

4.6 DEDUCTIONS

From the above analysis it could be deduced that the reasons why poor

communication occurs in the construction industry are:

• Lack of an established communication system in many firms

• Irregular site meetings

• Inadequate training of operatives on communication skills

• Distortion in information

• Inexperience interpreting of information on working drawings

• Lack of interest to perform duties

55
• The language used in disseminating information

• Late dissemination of information

• Poor presentation of information

4.7 DISCUSSION OF FINDINGS AND OBSERVATIONS

From the research and direct visits to some construction sites coupled with

the information gathered through the questionnaire distributed, it was

revealed that most indigenous firms are aware of the importance of effective

communication as such that qualified personnel were appointed to man some

strategic point effectively.

In most of these firms, open policy of communication was exhibited as such

that no form of organizational barrier exists. The labourer could easily walk

up to the site supervisor for instructions without going through anybody.

In larger organizations, the means of communication is very effective and

advanced equipment like radio messages and walkie talkie are being used on

large site.

56
CHAPTER FIVE

5.0 CONCLUSION AND RECOMMENDATION

5.1 CONCLUSION

It is not exaggerating to say that a major problem in the Nigerian

construction industry is that of setting up meaningful and reasonable

communication network despite its urgent need.

In any project, good communication, properly timed, will result into co-

operation.

Poor buildability, poor management of resource and low productivity and

some other similar effects are as a result of poor communication in the

57
industry and usually cause delay in timely project delivery. This also will in

turn have an adverse effect of the economy at large.

5.2 RECOMMENDATIONS

From the research work carried out on communication process in the

Nigerian construction industry using Lagos state as an example, the

followings are my recommendations.

1. Provision of adequate communication equipment for speedy

transmission of information.

2. The message should be reinforced i.e. it should be presented in a

number of ways or means.

3. Firms should have a well established communication system to

enhance communication’s effectiveness

4. Written communication should be illegible and readable as possible.

The use of simple, direct language and avoidance of jargons is very

essential to avoid destruction.

5. A more efficient post and telecommunication services will

contribute in no small measure towards achieving communication

effectiveness

6. Superiors should not treat sub-ordinates in such a way that they will

be accessible to them. This will effect in a positive way, the paint up

58
imaginary wall of silence that prevents healthy dialogue and group

problem solving.

7. Education and training programmes should be organized by firms

to meet its obligations by providing well-qualified employees at all

levels. It should be designed to include both information about the

working and also appreciation of the sources of information. This

will enable them to exercise their minds more confidently and

capably, and so enable them to become easily aware of the more

efficient techniques.

8. Making use of feedback should be encouraged.

Feedback is the process of obtaining information and performance

in order to take collective actions where necessary. It ensures that

the communication get his message back from the receiver which

tells him how far understanding has taken place. This is why face to

face communication is more effective than written ones.

9. The communicator should adjust to the world of the receiver. Since

his intention is to get the message across, he should try predicting

the impact of what he is going to say on the receiver feelings and

attitude. He should size up the receiver’s store for background

59
information, intelligence, level of thinking, reasoning, perception,

information image and memory and therefore tailor fit the receivers

vocabularies, interest and values.

10.The employers of labour in the industry should give preference to

well qualified applicants for employment.

5.3 AREA OF FURTHER STUDIES

Further studies could be carried out to evaluate the management system and

how it affect the communication on construction sites in Nigeria.

60