Questionnaire Development

The questionnaire consisted of three main parts over eleven (11) pages. The questionnaire content was finalized after conducting an extensive review of the relevant literature and consulting

Figure 3: Schematic diagram of the research methodology

qualified and competent practitioners working in the field of construction. This questionnaire essentially contained a list of specific risks and a list of specific response methods from four response techniques: 1) retention; 2) reduction; 3) transfer; and 4) elimination.

The first part of the questionnaire included background information about the respondent, i. e. 1) name, 2) designation, 3) name of company he/she works for, 4) company nationality, 5) company ownership type, 6) types of projects acquired, 7) locations of project acquired, 8) experience, 9) contact information, and 10) asking respondent’s permission for authorization of disclosure of his/her personal information for the sole purpose of this research. Some of the abovementioned information were labeled ‘optional’ to keep, as much as possible, the respondents privacy. The information labeled ‘optional’ was the name, company name, and contact information.

The second part of the questionnaire dealt with criticality of risks. In order to facilitate the process of identifying construction project risks from the perspective of the contractor, it was decided to classify risks according to their type. Hence, six main risk categories were identified: 1) financial and economic risks; 2) construction and design risks; 3) political/government risks; 4) client­generated risks; 5) subcontractors-generated risks; and 6) miscellaneous risks. A total of 29 different risks were grouped under these categories as shown in Table 1. The six subsections collectively included 29 close-ended questions using a 5-point Likert scale. An instruction of the indication of each point on the Likert scale was provided on top of the section. The scale points ranged from 1 (not critical at all) to 5 (exceptionally critical). Blank spaces were provided for the respondents, at their option, to list other key risks that were not listed in the questionnaire.

The third section of the questionnaire covered the effectiveness of risk mitigation measures. This section was divided into six subsections, one for each of the six risk categories. The six subsections collectively included 29 blocks each containing the response methods associated with the 29 risks. The response methods covered retention, reduction, transfer, and elimination

Table 1: Risks Included in the Questionnaire Survey

Risk Group

Risk Factors

[A] Financial and Economic Risks

– Foreign exchange and convertibility

– Cash shortage

– Inflation and interest rates

– Competition.

[B] Construction and Design Risks

– Improper design

– Improper project management

– Constructability

– Site safety

– Low construction productivity

– Defective work

– Resourced unavailability

– Defective material.

[C] Political/Government Risks

– Political instability

– Change in laws

– Corruption

– Approvals and permits

– Expropriation

[D] Client-Generated Risks

– Financial ability

– Changing needs

– Response to Claims

– Possession of site

[E] Subcontractors-Generated Risks

– Technical qualifications

– Financial ability

– Variation of bids

[F] Miscellaneous Risks

– Differing site conditions

– Physical damages

– Force majeure

– Partnership risks

– Environmental protection

Table 2: Number of response methods per each risk category

Elimination

Transfer

Reduction

Retention

Total / Category

[A] Financial

4

18

22

[B] Construction

6

7

22

5

40

[C] Political

5

3

18

2

28

[D] Client

5

6

6

17

[E] Subcontractors

1

3

10

14

[F] Miscellaneous

4

3

10

2

19

Total / Technique

25

16

84

15

140

techniques. The 29 blocks collectively included 140 close-ended questions. Table 2 displays the number of response methods used for each category of risks from each response technique. The complete listing of the 140 risk response methods are listed in Orabi (2003).