Labour-only procurement: A veritable surviving strategy for contractors in a challenging economy

Oluwaseyi Alabi Awodele, Douglas Omoregie Aghimien, Olutayo Gabriel Akinkunmi, Clinton Ohis Aigbavboa

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Citations (Scopus)


Purpose: Due to its cost savings nature and ability to ensure constant jobs for contractors, this study aims to assess the capability of the labour-only procurement system to serve as a surviving strategy for construction contractors in a challenging economy. Design/methodology/approach: The study adopted a mixed-methods design. An interview and questionnaire were used to harness information from 98 construction participants who have been involved in labour-only procured projects. These respondents were identified through snowballing. Frequency, percentage, mean item score, Mann–Whitney u-test and content analysis were used in analysing the data gathered. Findings: Result revealed that participants are willing to execute more projects through this system because it gives considerable cost savings for clients and provides reduction in contractor’s risk and allows them to maintain healthy cash flow. The main factors influencing its usage are the client’s decision to procure materials, need for job at hand for contractors and the need for referrals from clients for subsequent jobs. Practical implications: Findings of this study will assist contractors to understand the potential of this procurement system as a surviving option in a harsh economy. Small and medium contractors can make use of this available opportunity of having projects at hand at reduced risk to ensure continuous cash flow to keep their organisations afloat. Originality/value: The contribution of this study to the body of knowledge lies in its provision of a reasonable insight on the inherent nature of a procurement system as a surviving strategy for contractors unlike the usual assessment of the generic survival strategies adopted in other studies.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)347-361
Number of pages15
JournalJournal of Engineering, Design and Technology
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 20 Mar 2019


  • Contractors survival
  • Labour-only
  • Procurement process
  • Survival strategies

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Engineering


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