Delays in Building Construction Projects in Ghana

Frank DK Fugar, Adwoa B Agyakwah-Baah


This study investigates the causes of delay of building construction projects in Ghana to determine the most important according to the key project participants; clients, consultants, and contractors. Thirty-two possible causes of delay were identified from the literature and semi-structured interviews of 15 key players in the implementation process. These delay factors were further categorised into nine major groups. The list of delay causes was subjected to a questionnaire survey for the identification of the most important causes of delay. The field survey included 130 respondents made up of 39 contractors, 37 clients and 54 consultants. The relative importance of the individual causes and the groups were calculated and ranked by their relative importance index. The overall results of the study indicate that the respondents generally agree that financial group factors ranked highest among the major factors causing delay in construction projects in Ghana. The financial group factors were delay in honouring payment certificates, difficulty in accessing credit and fluctuation in prices. Materials group factors are second followed by scheduling and controlling factors.


Building construction projects; Delay causes; Ghana

Full Text:



Abd El-Razek, M.E., Bassioni, H.A.and Mobarak, A.M. (2008) 'Causes of delays in building construction projects in Egypt', Journal of Construction Engineering and Management, 134 (11) 831-841

Ahmed, S.M., Azhar, S., Kappagntula, P., Gollapudil, D. (2003) 'Delays in construction: a brief study of Florida construction industry', Proceedings of the 39th Annual ASC Conference, Clemson University, Clemson, SC, 257-66

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, 14 (2), 192-206

Amankwa, O.P.J. (2003) Ghana: A human geography for secondary schools, St. Francis Press, Ghana

Assaf, S.A. AlHejji S. (2006) 'Causes of delay in large construction projects', International Journal of Project Management, 24 (4), 349-357

Assaf, S.A., Alkhail, M., and Al-Hazmi M. (1995) 'Causes of delay in large building construction projects', Journal of Management in Engineering, ASCE, 11 (2), 45-40

Ayman, H. (Al-Momani) (2000) 'Construction delay: a quantitative analysis', International Journal of Project Management, 18 (1), 51-59

Bailey, K.D. (1994) Methods of social research, 4th ed, Free Press, New York

Bolton, J. (1990) 'Type of claims', Construction and disruption claims, Course Manual, Portman Inter-Continental, London

Chalabi, F.A., and Camp, D. (1984) 'Causes of delays and overruns of construction projects in developing countries', CIB Proc., W-65, Vol. 2, 723-734

Clough, R.H. (1986) Construction contracting, John Wiley and Sons, New York

Fagbenle, O.I., Adeyemi, A.Y., and Adesanya, D.A. (2004) 'The impact of non-financial incentives on briclayers' productivity in Nigeria', Construction Management and Economics, 22, 899-911

Faradi, A.S. and El-Sayegh, S.M. (2006) 'Significant factors causing delay in the UAE construction industry', Construction Management and Economics, 24 (11), 1167-1176

Frey, L.R., Botan, C.H., Friedman, P.G., and Kreps, G.L. (1991) Investigating Communication: An introduction to Research Methods, Prentice Hall, Engle Woods Cliffs

Frimpong, Y., Oluwoye, J., Crawford, L (2003) 'Causes of delay and cost overruns in construction of ground water projects in developing countries: Ghana as a case study', International Journal of Project Management, 21, 321-326

Frimpong, Y. and Oluwoye, J. (2003) 'Significant factors causing delay and cost overruns in construction of groundwater projects in Ghana', Journal of Construction Research, 1 (2), 175-87

Gabor, P. (1993) 'Sampling'. in R.M Grinnell, (ed), Social work research and evaluation, 4th ed, Peacock, Itasca, Ill, 154-170

Murdoch, J. and Hughes, W. (1992) Construction Contracts: Law and Management, E & FN SPON, London

Nkado, R.N. (1995) Construction Time- Influencing Factors: the Contractors' Perspective, viewed 18 Dec 2006,

Odeh, A.M. and Battaineh H (2002) 'Causes of construction delay: traditional contracts', International Journal of project Management, 20 (1), 67-73

Oglesby, C, Parker, H and Howel, G (1989) Productivity Improvement in Construction, McGraw-Hill, New York

Ogunlana, SO, Olomolaiye, PO (1989) 'A survey of site management practice on some selected sites in Nigeria', Building Environ 24 (2), 191â6

Ogunlana, S.O., Promkuntong, K., and Jearkjirm, V. (1996) 'Construction delays in a fast-growing economy: comparing Thailand with other economies', International Journal of Project Management, 14 (1), 37-45

Sambasivan, M. and Soon, Y.W. (2007) 'Causes and effects of delays in Malaysian construction industry', International Journal of Project Management, 25 (5), 517-526

Sweis, G., Sweis, R., Abu Hammad, A. and Shboul, A. (2008) 'Delays in construction projects: The case of Jordan', International Journal of Project Management 26 (6) 665-74

Wahab KA (1997) 'Improving efficiency in the building sector', West Africa Tech Rev, 81â9