Introduction To Methodology Of Research Construction Essay

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This chapter outlines the research methodology and identifies the tools and techniques employed in a systematic data collection exercise. The methodology describes the practical way in which the whole research project has been organised (Oliver, 2004). According to Walliman (2005), a plan of action must be developed that shows how the problems will be investigated, what information will be collected using which methods, and how this information will be analysed in order to arrive at conclusions and develop recommendations. Research projects synthesise and analyse existing theory, ideas, and findings of other research, in seeking to answer a particular question or to provide new insights (Fellows & Liu, 1997).

Once the problem statement has been formulated, it should become evident what kind of data will be required to study the problem, and also what kind of analysis would be most appropriate to analyse the data (Walliman, 2005). The problem investigated in this study is the potential of variation orders on construction projects to impact the overall performance of these projects through, inter alia, increasing the cost of construction without adding value to the project. It is anticipated that the identification of the causes of variation orders may lead to their reduction, possible elimination and improvement in overall project performance.

A number of hypotheses will be tested. According to Neutens and Rubinson(2002), the hypothesis is the tentative attempt by a researcher to predict the significant results of the research study process. When a research problem has been identified, it is necessary to indicate how the problem will be investigated or overcome to formulate research objectives (Walliman, 2005). These are linked to hypotheses as anticipated answers to the research problem.

The approaches

The methods of collecting data impact upon the analyses which may be executed and subsequently, the results, conclusions, values and validity (Fellows & Liu, 1997). To improve the validity of the research findings, the triangulation approach was adopted for data gathering. This approach consists of combinations of qualitative and quantitative methods strengthened with the literature review

Qualitative method

The qualitative approach seeks to gain insights and understanding people's perceptions of 'the world.' The beliefs, understanding, opinions, views of people are investigated (Fellows & Liu, 1997). Qualitative methods in this study seek to obtain the perception of construction industry employers in Dubai the preferred forms of contract is 1987 . Observations were done on specific employers conditions of contracts. Qualitative research has the following characteristic (Bodgan and Bikin (1998)

Qualitative research is natural setting

Qualitative data has the natural setting as the direct source of data, and the research is the key instrument. Data were collected from employers conditions of contracts prevalent in Dubai. The reason that a quantitative researcher goes to the location under study is determine the context and experience the situations that can best be understood when they are directly observed (Neuten & Robinson,

2002). the selected forms of contracts involved interpretation of the compare and contrast technique.

Inductiveness of qualitative data analsis

Qualitative research data is inductively analysed: data is not collected to prove or disprove a prior hypothesis. It is first collected and grouped together(Neutens & Rubinson, 2002). Open ended questions were formulated to seek the opinions from the relevant construction industry professional in Dubai,

Essential meaning of qualitative research

Meaning is of essential concern to the qualitative approach. The investigation seeks to know personnel opinions of the construction industry professionals in Dubai. Professionals include resident Engineer, contract managers, senior quantity surveyors and quantity surveyors.

Quantitative methods

Quantitative methods focus attention on measurements and amounts (more and less, larger and smaller, similar and different, often and seldom) of the charatesteristics displayed by the people and events that the researcher studies (Thomas, 2003)

Quantitative data comprise the following:

Compare and contrast of FIDIC 1987 versus FIDIC 1999

Secondary data

The secondary data is in the form of literary sources covering relevant topics of the subject matter. Two distinct literature studies were adopted as proposed by Melville and Goddard (1996), namely a preliminary and a full literature study.

Preliminary literature study

A preliminary literature study allowed a feel for the topic to be acquired and the issues involved, and an understanding of how the proposed research would fit into it. A preliminary literature provided an understanding of the background and key concepts of the research study and the basis upon which the problem statement was formulated.

Complete literature study

A full literature study is part of the research process itself rather than part of he preparation for research. Such a literature review demonstrates that a researcher is knowledgeable of the area under investigation, shows how previous research studies support the current one and generate new research ideas through discovering what was left behind by others. The literature examined was compiled mainly from textbooks, journels, conference proceedings., theses and dissertations. According to Melville & Goodard (1996), these are the most reliable sources of information and are the most referenced in scientific reporting. Copies of these were obtained from the construction industry professionals in Dubai and electronically from websites.

Primary data

Exploratory study

The design of the research was informed by the findings of an exploratory study.

Sampling

The objectives of sampling is to provide a practical means of enabling the data collection and processing components of research to be carried out while ensuring that the sample provides a good representation of the population (Fellows & Liu, 1997). William (2005) indicated that sample should be free from bias. Otherwise, the type of selected sample will greatly affect the reliability of subsequent generalisation. Sampling strategies are categorised into two main groups, namely probability and non-probability sampling (Blaxter, Hughes & Tight, 2001)

Probability sampling

Probability sampling is also known as random sampling. In random sampling, each member of the population has an equal chance of being selected (Fellows & Liu, 1997). The advantage of this method is that it is free from bias. The disadvantage is that fthe selected sample may not have provided the relevant expected information or may not be willing to provide the required information. A list of construction industry professionals in Dubai was compiled from which a representative sample was derived. These included consultancy firms, cost consultancy firms, architectural firms, contracting firms. This method is not expected to low response rate. Hence it was abandoned.

Non probability sampling

Non probability sampling is also known as non-random sampling. Although non-random sampling is viewed as providing a week basis of generalisation, it is a useful method for certain studies (Walliman, 2005). Give the nature of required data to be gathered from the field and the anticipated cooperation of selected participants, a non-random sampling method was judged to be judged to be the most suitable. The purposive and snowball sampling methods were adopted.

Purposive sampling

Purposive sampling consists of handpicking supposedly typical or interesting cases (Blaxter et al, 2001). According to Walliman (2005) and O'Leary (2004), purposive sampling is labelled as "theoretical sampling". It is useful sampling method consisting of getting information from a sample of the population that one thinks knows most about the subject matter (Walliman, 2005). O'Leary (2004) indicated that there is a growing recognition that non-random samples can credibly represent the populations, given that the selection is done with the goal of representativeness in mind. Furthermore, "purportiv" highlights the importance of conscious decision making in non random sample selection (O'Leary, 2004). This method was used to select the companies to which questionnaires were sent. Companies were selected based on whether contact details were available and, in particular, phone numbers. An initial telephonic inquiry was done to invite the participation of selected construction industry professionals in Dubai.

Interviews

Any person to person interaction between two or more individuals with a specific purpose in mind is called an interview (Kumar, 2005). The interview may be conducted face to face or by telephone. The interview involves questioning or discussing issues with people and it is viewed to be very useful technique for collecting data which would probably not be accessible using techniques such observations and questionnaires (Blaxter et al , 2001). Because of its flexibility and interview is a useful method of obtaining information and opinions from experts during the early stages of the research project (Walliman, 2005). Three kinds of interviews are distinguished: unstructured, semi structured and structured. Semi structured interview were conducted with top management personnel from construction industry professionals in Dubai. Interviewees were first informed of the focus of interview prior to meeting. This helped the interviewees to prepare in advance. Interviews were conducted either in meeting rooms or in offices of the interviewees.

Field data capturing

A questionnaire enables a researcher to organise the questions and receive replies without actually having to talk to every respondent (Walliman, 2005). The questions are fixed and are the same of each respondent. Most of the questionnaires were emailed with the web link. The questions were formulated in friendly way to avoid unnecessary time wastage of the participants.

Open ended questions

These are the questions that seek to get the opinion of respondents. An open- ended question is a qualitative enquiry aiming at minimising the imposition of predetermined responses when gathering data whereby people can respond in their own words (Patton, 2002). Kumar (2005) indicated that open-ended questions provide a wealth of information provided respondents feel comfortable about expressing their opinions; provide the respondents an opportunity to express themselves freely resulting in a greater variety of information; virtually eliminate the possibility of the investigator's bias.

Closed-ended questions

Respondents were restricted in the way they answered the questions as they were required to select one answer from among the given ones. Closed-ended questions, as they provide 'ready made' categories within which respondents reply to the questions asked by the researcher, help to ensure that the information needed by the researcher is obtained (Kumar, 2005).

Feedback from peers

The quality of this study was improved by discussions with peers in the form of conversations, and presentations at meetings and seminars. Comments from reviewers of the conference and journal papers produced during this research study were taken into consideration to improve the quality of this research study.

Data analysis

Data analysis encompasses the compilation and interpretation of the data collected. Analysis will depend on the nature and form the data has been recorded. Since the data has been recorded using qualitative and quantitative approaches, the analysis will be done accordingly. Whether it is qualitative or quantitative data, the main rule of any form of analysis is to move from raw data to meaningful understanding (O'Leary, 2004).

Qualitative analysis

The analysis of qualitative data consists of abstracting from the raw data all

Literature review

The study shall review the related the literature on the subject of Conditions of Contract prevalent in Dubai. The study shall be focused on the following literatures:

FIDIC 1987 4th - FIDIC Conditions of Contract for Works of Civil Engineering Contracts Part 1 General Conditions with Forms of Tender and Agreement Fourth Edition Reprinted 1988 with editorial comments Reprinted 1992 with further amendments.

Conditions of Contract for Construction for Building and Engineering Works Designed by the Employer General Conditions Guidance for the preparation of particular conditions forms of letter of tender, contract agreement and Dispute Adjudication Agreement First Edition 1999.

Guide to the use of FIDIC Condition of Contract for works of civil engineering construction - Fourth edition.

Supplement to FIDIC 4th - a practical legal guide by E.C Corbett - addressing amendments published summer 1992.

The FIDIC form of contract - the fourth edition of the red book - second edition by Nael G. Bunni

The above book comprises the following;

Part 1 - Background and concepts of the Red Book

Part 2 - The fourth edition a commentary

Part 3 - The fourth edition in practice

Part 4 - Comparison between the third and fourth edition of Part 1 of the red book

Dubai employer's conditions of contract modelled to FIDIC 1987 Fourth edition

Roads and Transport Authority

Part 1 Conditions of contract for works of civil engineering construction -General conditions - January 2006

Government of Dubai Civil Aviation

Part 1 Standard Conditions of contract Part 1 - General conditions - revision 2 - October 2001

Dubai Municipality

Conditions of contract for works of civil engineering construction - General conditions May 20 1999

Emirates Airlines

Part 1 FIDIC 1987 4th - FIDIC Conditions of Contract for Works of Civil Engineering Contracts Part 1 General Conditions with Forms of Tender and Agreement Fourth Edition Reprinted 1988 with editorial comments Reprinted 1992 with further amendments. Part 2 Consolidated conditions of contract

Union Properties (Edara Project Management)

Part 1 Conditions of contract general conditions with forms of tender and agreement - second edition 14 May 2000.

Jebel Ali Free Zone Authority

Part 1 conditions of contract for works of building and civil engineering construction - General conditions

Dubai International Properties

Part 1 Conditions of contract for works of civil engineering construction - General Conditions - Part 2 Conditions of particular application (Re-measurement contract)

Dubai TECOM Investments

Part 1 Conditions of contract for works of civil engineering construction - General Conditions

Ministry of Public Works and Housing

General and particular conditions of contract - May 2003

Dubai Properties

Part 1 Conditions of contract for works of civil engineering construction - General Conditions - Part 2 Conditions of particular application

Tatweer

FIDIC 1987 4th edition - FIDIC Conditions of Contract for Works of Civil Engineering Contracts Part 1 General Conditions with Forms of Tender and Agreement Fourth Edition Reprinted 1988 with editorial comments Reprinted 1992 with further amendments Conditions of contract for civil engineering construction - Par 2 Particular applications.

Sama Dubai

Volume 1 Tender and Contract Conditions January 2007. Part 2 conditions of particular applications.

Victory Heights Golf and Residential and Development LLC

Part 1 Conditions of Contract for works of civil engineering construction FIDIC 1987 Fourth edition. Part 2 particular conditions of contract.

Modelled to FIDIC 1999 First edition

Abu Dhabi Tourism Development and investment company

Particular conditions amend the conditions of contract for construction by building and engineering works designed by the employer published by FIDIC 1999 1st edition the general conditions.

Nakheel Properties

Conditions of contract (General Conditions ) for Design and build contract

Al Dar Properties

Part 1 FIDIC 1999 1st edition conditions of contract for construction, for construction, for building and engineering works designed by the employer. Part 2 conditions of particular application.

Abu Dhabi ports company

Conditions of contract for construction FIDIC first edition 1999

Emirates of Abu Dhabi Department of Municipal Affairs

Conditions of Construction Contract

Particular Conditions of Construction Contract

Victory Heights Golf Residential and Development Co LLC

Part 1 Tender and conditions of contract Conditions of Contract for Construction for Building and Engineering Works Designed by the Employer General Conditions Guidance for the preparation of particular conditions forms of letter of tender, contract agreement and Dispute Adjudication Agreement First Edition 1999. Part 2 Particular conditions of contract.

Others

Emaar properties

Conditions of contract (re-measurement contract - design, construct, commission)

Conditions of contract (lump sum contract)

Dubai Silicon Oasis

The Conditions of contract is modelled to Dubai Municipality Conditions of Contract for works of civil engineering contracts. Part 2 conditions of particular applications.

Dubai Sports City

Part 1 the Conditions of contract is modelled to Dubai Municipality Conditions of Contract for works of civil engineering construction First edition 1999. Part 2 conditions of particular applications.

The study and analysis

Data Collection

Writing the research report

Conclusion

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