Criticality of project knowledge and experience in the delivery of construction projects

Jeffrey Boon Hui Yap*, Ban Leong Lim, Martin Skitmore, Jason Gray

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

9 Citations (Scopus)
283 Downloads (Pure)


Purpose: Poor project knowledge and inadequate experience are frequently linked to construction time-cost overruns. This paper aims to expound on the criticality of project knowledge and experience in the successful delivery of projects in the construction industry. 

Design/methodology/approach: Following a detailed literature review, a quantitative positivist approach with a questionnaire survey involving industry professionals is used to appraise the 30 prevalent causes of time-cost overruns according to frequency, effectiveness and importance indices. The data are then subjected to Spearman’s rank correlation tests and exploratory factor analysis. 

Findings: Using the importance index, which assimilates both frequency and effectiveness indices, the criticality of knowledge and experience in the overall context is seen as fundamental for addressing the contractor’s faulty planning and scheduling, construction mistakes and defective work, site management and supervision, delayed/slow decision-making, incomplete drawings and design documents and change/variation orders. Spearman’s rank correlation tests indicate a good consensus of perceptions among the key parties involved. Next, an exploratory factor analysis uncovers six underlying knowledge-based factors affecting construction performance, relating to inaccurate resource estimates, design changes, resource shortages, lack of experience, incompetence and mistakes and defects. 

Originality/value: The study draws out the repercussions of the hitherto limited research into the deficiencies in knowledge and experience in undertaking construction projects to enhance performance using knowledge management functions.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)800-822
Number of pages23
JournalJournal of Engineering, Design and Technology
Issue number3
Early online date1 Feb 2021
Publication statusPublished - 12 Apr 2022
Externally publishedYes


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