Impact of culture on construction education in South Africa

Michael G. Oladokun, Clinton O. Aigbavboa, Mokgadi D. Kgoadi

Research output: Contribution to journalConference articlepeer-review


The purpose of this study is to assess the impact of culture on construction education in South Africa with a view to determining how cultural backgrounds influence students' behavior. The data used in this paper were derived from both primary and secondary sources. The secondary data were collected through a detailed assessment of related literature. The primary data were likewise collected via a structured questionnaire aimed at 130 respondents who were students registered for Construction Management (CM), Quantity Surveying (QS), Civil Engineering and Building Science at a South African higher education institution. Out of the collected 130 questionnaires, only 101 were usable, representing a response rate of 78 per cent that was deemed viable for statistical analysis for this study. Data received from the questionnaires were analyzed using descriptive statistics procedures. The higher education institution used for the study has a variety of students and lecturers: through this study it is evident that the cultural background of the students shapes their attitudes and values, knowledge base as well as the skill set and these, in turn, influencing classroom behaviors, their study habits, their writing styles and faculty student interactions. The study concluded that culture is an important concept when it comes to education, especially construction education, which needs to be managed appropriately. The study, therefore, recommended that in order to manage cultural differences, students need to be aware of the cultural backgrounds of those with whom they work and interact since failure to manage cultural differences in a collaborative learning environment could possibly lead to student failure.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2787-2795
Number of pages9
JournalProceedings of the International Conference on Industrial Engineering and Operations Management
Issue numberJUL
Publication statusPublished - 2018
Event2nd European International Conference on Industrial Engineering and Operations Management.IEOM 2018 -
Duration: 26 Jul 201827 Jul 2018


  • Construction education
  • Culture
  • Higher education institutions
  • South Africa

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Strategy and Management
  • Management Science and Operations Research
  • Control and Systems Engineering
  • Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering


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