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Risk management of construction projects under extreme conditions: A case study of Iraq

Risk management of construction projects under extreme conditions: A case study of Iraq
Risk management of construction projects under extreme conditions: A case study of Iraq
The COVID-19 pandemic has affected construction markets around the world, causing legislative changes, supply chain disruptions, and workforce restrictions. Construction industry stakeholders in developing countries are considered to be more susceptible to the challenges and emerging risks associated with the pandemic, exacerbated by poor risk management (RM) practices, undermining the successful delivery of construction projects. This thesis examines the impact of extreme conditions’ risk management practices, the challenges associated with their implementation, and their emerging risks on the success of construction projects in developing countries by considering the Iraqi construction industry during the COVID-19 pandemic.
This thesis encompasses three papers written as part of a PhD by publication (“Three-Paper PhD”), situated between introduction and conclusion chapters. The first paper focuses on identifying and assessing the main challenges and barriers to RM effective application in the construction industry during COVID-19 pandemic, and assesses the level of efficacy of current RM practices adopted by Iraqi construction practitioners. The second paper explores the key emergent COVID-19 risks for the construction industry and investigates their risk level. The final paper analyses the direct and indirect effects of emergent COVID-19 risks on the successful delivery of construction projects.
Mixed (qualitative and quantitative) methods were used in each study to fulfil the objectives, including (1) semi-structured interview; (2) focus group discussion; (3) questionnaire survey; (4) fuzzy inference system; (5) analytical hierarchy process; and (6) structural equation modelling.
The results show that the five most critical challenges and barriers to construction RM implementation in Iraq are: (1) bribery, (2) the complexity of quantitative-based risk assessment tools, (3) a lack of willingness for collaboration among stakeholders, (4) time-consuming processes, and (5) ineffective risk communication. Also, the results indicate low risk management practices in relation to the identified RM challenges and barriers and their categories. The RM practices as average values on a scale of 0.1 to 1.0 (with 0.1 representing very poor RM practices efficacy and 1.0 representing very high RM practices efficacy) are as follows: (1) management-related challenges and barriers (0.4033), (2) team-related challenges and barriers (0.3766), (3) analytical approaches-related challenges and barriers (0.3393), and (4) behaviours-related challenges and barriers (0.3282). The results reveal that the most critical COVID-19 risks affecting the construction industry are (1) contract suspension, (2) contractor bankruptcy, (3) materials price escalation, (4) inappropriate risk allocation, and (5) claims arising under a construction contract. Furthermore, the results show that contractual implications-related risks have the strongest
total effects on project success, followed by organisational implications-related risks, construction financial market-related risks, health and safety of the construction workforce-related risks, and supply chain operations-related risks, respectively.
This research contributes to the body of knowledge by providing a foothold foundation for researchers and decision-makers to improve their understanding of the impact of the pandemic with its deep uncertainties in relation to developing countries. It can assist in the development of effective strategies to address RM implementation challenges and barriers, and extreme conditions’ emerging risks, and ultimately enhance construction RM practices. Furthermore, understanding the nature of the relationship between the risks emerging from extreme conditions and project success should assist construction contractors in identifying the root causes of low-level project success; and in developing appropriate strategies for improving project success levels by addressing the direct and indirect effects of extreme conditions risks such as those of the COVID-19 pandemic.
University of Southampton
Al-Mhdawi, Mohammed Khalid Slmman
46c878d1-a5a0-4113-9438-4188f8856068
Al-Mhdawi, Mohammed Khalid Slmman
46c878d1-a5a0-4113-9438-4188f8856068
Brito, Mario
82e798e7-e032-4841-992e-81c6f13a9e6c
Onggo, Stephan
8e9a2ea5-140a-44c0-9c17-e9cf93662f80

Al-Mhdawi, Mohammed Khalid Slmman (2022) Risk management of construction projects under extreme conditions: A case study of Iraq. University of Southampton, Doctoral Thesis, 251pp.

Record type: Thesis (Doctoral)

Abstract

The COVID-19 pandemic has affected construction markets around the world, causing legislative changes, supply chain disruptions, and workforce restrictions. Construction industry stakeholders in developing countries are considered to be more susceptible to the challenges and emerging risks associated with the pandemic, exacerbated by poor risk management (RM) practices, undermining the successful delivery of construction projects. This thesis examines the impact of extreme conditions’ risk management practices, the challenges associated with their implementation, and their emerging risks on the success of construction projects in developing countries by considering the Iraqi construction industry during the COVID-19 pandemic.
This thesis encompasses three papers written as part of a PhD by publication (“Three-Paper PhD”), situated between introduction and conclusion chapters. The first paper focuses on identifying and assessing the main challenges and barriers to RM effective application in the construction industry during COVID-19 pandemic, and assesses the level of efficacy of current RM practices adopted by Iraqi construction practitioners. The second paper explores the key emergent COVID-19 risks for the construction industry and investigates their risk level. The final paper analyses the direct and indirect effects of emergent COVID-19 risks on the successful delivery of construction projects.
Mixed (qualitative and quantitative) methods were used in each study to fulfil the objectives, including (1) semi-structured interview; (2) focus group discussion; (3) questionnaire survey; (4) fuzzy inference system; (5) analytical hierarchy process; and (6) structural equation modelling.
The results show that the five most critical challenges and barriers to construction RM implementation in Iraq are: (1) bribery, (2) the complexity of quantitative-based risk assessment tools, (3) a lack of willingness for collaboration among stakeholders, (4) time-consuming processes, and (5) ineffective risk communication. Also, the results indicate low risk management practices in relation to the identified RM challenges and barriers and their categories. The RM practices as average values on a scale of 0.1 to 1.0 (with 0.1 representing very poor RM practices efficacy and 1.0 representing very high RM practices efficacy) are as follows: (1) management-related challenges and barriers (0.4033), (2) team-related challenges and barriers (0.3766), (3) analytical approaches-related challenges and barriers (0.3393), and (4) behaviours-related challenges and barriers (0.3282). The results reveal that the most critical COVID-19 risks affecting the construction industry are (1) contract suspension, (2) contractor bankruptcy, (3) materials price escalation, (4) inappropriate risk allocation, and (5) claims arising under a construction contract. Furthermore, the results show that contractual implications-related risks have the strongest
total effects on project success, followed by organisational implications-related risks, construction financial market-related risks, health and safety of the construction workforce-related risks, and supply chain operations-related risks, respectively.
This research contributes to the body of knowledge by providing a foothold foundation for researchers and decision-makers to improve their understanding of the impact of the pandemic with its deep uncertainties in relation to developing countries. It can assist in the development of effective strategies to address RM implementation challenges and barriers, and extreme conditions’ emerging risks, and ultimately enhance construction RM practices. Furthermore, understanding the nature of the relationship between the risks emerging from extreme conditions and project success should assist construction contractors in identifying the root causes of low-level project success; and in developing appropriate strategies for improving project success levels by addressing the direct and indirect effects of extreme conditions risks such as those of the COVID-19 pandemic.

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Published date: October 2022

Identifiers

Local EPrints ID: 471288
URI: http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/471288
PURE UUID: b3dc66a2-a828-4a63-8f4a-3e970977ed3c
ORCID for Mohammed Khalid Slmman Al-Mhdawi: ORCID iD orcid.org/0000-0001-5870-0323
ORCID for Mario Brito: ORCID iD orcid.org/0000-0002-1779-4535
ORCID for Stephan Onggo: ORCID iD orcid.org/0000-0001-5899-304X

Catalogue record

Date deposited: 02 Nov 2022 17:38
Last modified: 03 Nov 2022 03:02

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Contributors

Author: Mohammed Khalid Slmman Al-Mhdawi ORCID iD
Thesis advisor: Mario Brito ORCID iD
Thesis advisor: Stephan Onggo ORCID iD

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