Academic journal article Asian Social Science

Change Order Management Factors in Building Projects in Northern Nigeria

Academic journal article Asian Social Science

Change Order Management Factors in Building Projects in Northern Nigeria

Article excerpt

1. Introduction

A change is an amendment or addition in respect to the original plans, specification or other contract credentials. A change order is an instruction from an employer approving a change (Park, 2002). Change is a significant and vital factor in construction project management (Ibbs, Wong, & Kwak, 2001; Motowa, Anumba, Lee, & Pena-Mora, 2007) and it is a matter of practical reality, because construction project complexity makes it almost impossible to deliver a building project without changes in its plans or the construction method itself. Changes in construction projects are regular and are likely to occur from varied sources, by a range of causes, at any phase of a project and may have wide-ranging impact (Motowa et al., 2007). Construction projects in Nigeria have suffered deleteriously as a consequence of extensive change orders, which has manifested in cost and time overruns, disputes, arbitration, litigation and even the abandonment of projects. This has negatively impacts on the efficiency of the Nigerian Construction Industry (NCI) (Ade-Ojo & Babalola, 2013; Aibinu & Jagboro, 2002). These amongst other factors have made the NCI unable to address the huge shortfall of basic amenities, essential public infrastructure, and population pressure on the urban centre's resulting in 60% of urban inhabitants lacking housing (Dahiru & Mohammed, 2012). Oladapo (2007) and Sunday (2010) believes that change orders are responsible for cost overruns of between 25-78% and time overruns of between 27-68% of projects. As a result of the important role this industry plays in a nation's economy, it is very important to maintain successful delivery of construction project in Nigeria. Effective management of change orders to avoid failed projects could help in this regard. Although, many studies related to managing change orders have been conducted in other countries (Sun et al., 2006; Motowa et al., 2007) little or no research was found that illustrate to what extent change order management strategies contributes to building project outcome. This paper therefore explore extent to which change order management strategies correlate with overall building project success.

1.1 Objective

(i) To evaluate management strategies that can significantly curtail change order in building project; and

(ii) To establish the relationship between change order management strategies and building project success.

2. Research Background

Change order is unavoidable in construction projects because of the multifarious nature of building projects. Oloo, Munala and Githae (2014) asserted that change orders are common to all types of projects and therefore play a fundamental role in determining final project cost and time. According to Pourrostam and Ismail (2011) the reason for failure by contractor to complete projects within budgeted time are because of change orders. Erdogan, Anumba, Bouchlaghem and Nielsen (2005) pointed out that changes will never disappear, therefore the best alternative is to manage them to prevent negative consequences. Ibbs et al., (2001) on their part concluded "that the litmus test for successful management should not be whether project was free of change orders, but rather, if change orders were resolved in a timely manner to the benefit of all the parties and the project".

2.1 Change Order Management Factors

A change order is intricate information transfer that has to be dealt with carefully, otherwise dispute related to cost and time of work may occur between client and contractor. " Change order is complex because it involves all construction team, together with a huge amount of information that either has to be ask for, sent, checked, corrected, permitted, classified conveyed or submitted, among other things" (Charoenngam, Coquinco, & Hadikusumo, 2003). Owing to this complexity, methods to manage change orders have been proposed in research studies (Ibbs, et. …

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