An evaluation of risk factors impacting construction projects in Ghana

Nicholas Chileshe, Adwoa Boadua Yirenkyi-Fianko

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

73 Citations (Scopus)


The purpose of this paper is to identify and assess the likelihood of occurrence and degree of impact of the risk factors on construction projects within the Ghanaian construction industry. A survey of randomly selected samples yielded responses from 34 contractors, 46 consultants, and 23 clients or owners (private and public) within the Ghanaian construction industry. Literature review is used to identify 25 relevant risk variables which were grouped into ten composite factors and then incorporated into the design of the survey instrument. Survey response data were subjected to descriptive statistics and analysis of variance (ANOVA), and subsequently the exposure rating levels were determined, which enabled the categorisation of the probability-impact scores in low, medium and high levels. Results of this study indicate a disparity of the ranking of the degree of occurrence and impact among the groups. There was a statistical difference at the p<0.05 level significant for five out of 25 risk factors occurrences as follows: “construction methods”, “inflation”, “weather condition”, “ground conditions and contaminant conditions” and “poor communication amongst project team” and only one for the degree of impact scores for “price fluctuation”. Based on the composite risk factors, the financial and economic factors were found to be the most likely to occur and have the most impact on projects, whereas legal risk factor was found to be a low weighted risk, as it had the least likelihood to occur and the least impact score. The post hoc comparisons using the Tukey HSD test also indicated differences between the contractor and clients in the ranking of construction methods risk variable, but no significant differences between contractors/consultants and clients/consultants. Geographically, only respondents from construction organisations in the Greater Accra Region were considered, which limits generalization of the findings. The research did not also distinguish foreign from local contractors in the classification, as literature has shown that the perception of the degree of impact and likelihood of occurrence of risk analysis could also vary according to the degree of ownership. The paper makes a contribution by exploring the degree of risk occurrence and its impact on construction projects within a developing economy and much lesser studied context. The paper provides insights on the perception of risk among construction professions in Ghana and it also provides some insights on the current levels of risk for foreign contractors wishing to operate in Ghana.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)306-329
Number of pages24
JournalJournal of Engineering, Design and Technology
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 5 Oct 2012
Externally publishedYes


  • Construction industry
  • Ghana
  • Project management
  • Project performance delivery
  • Risk management

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Engineering


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