Journal article Open Access

The Practice of Conflict Management in Construction Projects in Kenya

Samuel Kiilu Mbatha; Ahmad Omar Alkizim; Titus Kivaa Mbiti

Blue Eyes Intelligence Engineering and Sciences Publication (BEIESP)

Conflicts in construction projects seem an increasingly prevalent phenomenon in Kenya, perhaps because of the projects’ uncertainty, complexity, and diversity of participants. Management of these conflicts remains ineffective, an occurrence that creates a major obstacle to the success of project implementation, usually leading to an increase in project cost, delayed project completion, and in worst cases suspension of the project. A review of literature has revealed the negative role played by conflict on project success.This study sought to investigate the practice of conflict management in construction projects in Kenya to develop a schematic framework for managing conflicts, using project harmony potential as a measure of the availability of conflicts or their lack in construction projects. The study adopted a cross-sectional research design. Construction projects registered with NCA in the last five years within Nairobi and having the embedded unit of analysis of project participants under this study were sampled using the cluster method. Questionnaires were administered to project developers, contractors, and consultants working in consultancy or contractor firms randomly sampled. The study used inferential analysis of bivariate Pearson’s correlation and Regression analysis to determine the significant factors affecting the project harmony potential as well as establish a predictive model. The study demonstrated that there was a positive and statistically significant linear relationship between project harmony potential and delay management, project team partnering orientation, direct provisions for conflict management in the Project Handbook, promptness of Monitoring and Evaluation work, CPM (Construction Project Manager) technical experience, and communication plan. These factors were considered to be critical factors for the project harmony potential for construction projects in Kenya. A model was established using these variables and was found to explain 69.1% of the project harmony potential. The developed model will be useful in predicting the harmony potential of a project during implementation.

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