Flawed Institutional Structures: Project Managers Underutilized in Nigeria’s Construction Industry

Ebuka Valentine Iroha*, Tsunemi Watanabe, Satoshi Tsuchiya

*Corresponding author for this work

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Many studies have been conducted on the poor performance of the construction industry. Nigeria’s construction industry has been linked to project delays and cost overruns, leading to many abandoned construction projects throughout the country. These issues are largely attributed to inadequate project management practices and the underutilization of project managers. To address these challenges, an institutional analysis was conducted to examine the factors, within the institutional framework of the Nigerian construction industry, that hinder the effective utilization of project managers and the implementation of project management practices. Data were collected from the previous literature and were supported by data collected through semi-structured interviews in Nigeria. The collected data were coded into a four-level framework for institutional analysis. This method was employed to analyze the interrelationships between the identified embedded factors, institutional laws and regulations, and construction organizations, and to understand how their influence results in the underutilization of project managers. Deviation analysis was conducted as an additional method to categorize the impacts of the embedded factors at each institutional level and to determine how these impacts contribute to the underutilization of project managers in the Nigerian construction industry (NCI). It was found that the system of the underutilization of project managers consists of two subsystems: underutilization and lowering commitment. For the former subsystem, corruption, political influence, religious and tribal discrimination, and organizational culture were found to adversely influence the institutional structure of the construction industry in Nigeria. These factors weaken the governance mechanisms within the industry, leading project managers to prioritize corrupt practices over project needs. The ineffectiveness of existing laws and regulations exacerbates the situation, supporting unfair working conditions and contributing to the underperformance of project managers. This result leads to development at the top of the latter subsystem, with minimal incentives and limited opportunities for career growth within construction organizations. The findings hold significant potential for addressing systemic issues in the Nigerian construction industry, particularly the underutilization of project managers and organizational support measures to improve project management practices and mitigate the adverse effects of corruption.
Original languageEnglish
Article number807
Pages (from-to)1-29
Number of pages29
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 15 Mar 2024


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