Causes of client dissatisfaction in the South African building industry and ways of improvement : the contractor's perspectives

Hanson, David Nicholas
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ABSTRACT This research report sets out the results of investigations into the causes of client dissatisfaction in the South African building industry and ways of improvement, from the contractors’ perspectives. The study is limited to the views of contractors who are registered with the Gauteng Master Builders Association (GMBA). The descriptive survey method was adopted in the study, which involved two stages of data gathering. At the first stage, semi-structured pilot interviews were conducted with a convenience sample of 18 directors and senior executives of construction companies within the target group. The data obtained from the exploratory surveys were subjected to crosstabulation matrix analysis. Results showed that the most recurring factors underlying client dissatisfaction were late completion (medium sized contractor category), unrealistic construction programs imposed by clients (large sized contractor category) and poor quality of workmanship (combined/pooled category) at the end of the development phase; slow reaction time on part of contractor to attend to defects (medium sized, large sized and combined/pooled contractor categories) at the operation phase. Making use of a competent and reputable contractor was the most recurring strategy for improving client satisfaction. Correlation analysis was carried out to determine the extent of divergence or consensus in views of the two groups / categories of contractors targeted in the questionnaire survey. The results indicate significant correlation in the views of the contractor groups on the underlying causes of client dissatisfaction at the end of the development phase and at the operation phase. Significant correlation was also established in the views of the contractor groups on strategies for improving client satisfaction. Recommendations were made on ways of improving client satisfaction levels in the South African building industry based on the results obtained in the study. Areas requiring further research/investigation/exploration were also identified.
Causes client dissatisfaction, South African building industry, Contractors