Deciphering priority areas for improving project risk management through critical analysis of pertinent risks in the Zambian construction industry

Keywords: building sector, risk identification, Pareto analysis, project risk management, Zambia


Risk identification is the first step in the risk-management process. A plethora of current studies in literature dwell overwhelmingly on risk identification much to the exclusion of the source, and the possible mitigation interventions. In a limited effort to address this deficiency in the body of knowledge, this article reports the results of a study conducted using 15 purposive semi-structured interviews and 198 questionnaires targeting clients, contractors and consultants in the building sector in Zambia. This study uses threats to identify improvement areas in the Zambian Construction Industry (ZCI). As a consequence, this research uses the pertinent risk factors as a point of critical analysis to recommend improvement areas for project risk management. Findings show that most of the risks could be categorised as managerial, technical and finance related and could severally be associated with clients, consultants, and contractors compared to project managers. These could be mitigated in the pre-contract phase and construction phase, with the most deficient knowledge areas being cost management, procurement management, integration management, communication man-age ment, and scope management. This article provides areas of focus for built environ ment professionals to improve project delivery and thereby enhance project execution efficiency.


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