Title: Time and Cost Overrun in Construction Industry

Section I.

1A. Research Aims

The primary aim of this research is to identify and analyse the issues and challenges related to over-runs of cost and time factor faced in the construction industry. The secondary aim is to propose appropriate remedial solutions to overcome overrun challenges in future.

Thus, the purpose of the study is to determine and analyze commonly occurring issue of the time delays and cost overruns in the construction sector. The scope of the study will consider both public and private construction firms and its project to get an overall notion of the existing issues faced by these firms. This will be useful for suggesting effective ways to minimise the overruns and overcome the risk factors responsible for time and cost overrun in this sector.

1B.Rationale of the Research

Cost, time and quality are the three significant factors responsible for the success of any construction project. Due to advancements in technologies and material innovation, the quality factor has been appreciably improved to a certain extent. However, cost and time performance and issues such as time delays and cost overrun still remains an ongoing challenge for the construction/project managers, builders, architects, contractors, etc.

In competitive business landscape and economic boom, there is a need to complete projects within budget, quality and time as these criteria are considered valuable and measures success of any construction project (Ismail et al., 2014). The time and cost overrun extends project duration, reduce revenue, increase cost and affect productivity and motivation of the project owners and employees. The owners expects the project to be delivered on time without exceeding costs to gain desired return which has put pressure on the overall sectors. Any shortage of cost might lead to procurement of low quality material and cause time delay in the project. Similarly, time delay can increase the cost of the project thus, impacts overall project delivery (Shehu et al., 2014). Thus, cost and time factor are identified as the major concerns in this industry. This is an indicative that there is an existent need to investigate the overrun in context of time and cost factor for construction projects to suggest remedial solution that support the construction activities and overall sectors as it is an important factor in economic development of a nation especially for developing and under developed nations (Memon et al., 2014). Another reason is there is no substantial improvement in these two performance criteria or significant solution adopted is seen to mitigate the issue of overruns despite a number of published researches in this area for specific regions. However, there are limited studies that gave a clear indication of the cost and time overruns factors and their management. Hence, this research aims to fulfil this gap for the construction sector in managing the factors responsible for time and cost overruns by remedial solutions.  The study can contribute to the existing literature to add new information in the overrun issue in the construction sector and can serve as a reference to seek solutions in mitigating this issue. Thus, this study can be useful for the students as well as professional of the construction sector.

Apart from this, this research is also supporting in expanding my knowledge and understanding of the performance criteria (cost and time) and its importance in a project and role and responsibilities of project/construction managers. This research is also inspired by my need to gain insight on how new and emerging technologies can support the issue of time and cost overrun in managing construction project.  These will be helpful to take decisions to plan my career as construction manager or project manager in and growth prospects according to skills, knowledge and capabilities to survive in the challenging construction industry.

1C.Research Objectives

To successfully achieve the aims of this research, the following research objectives will be addressed by the researcher:

  • To identify issues faced by construction firms context of time and cost overrun.
  • To determine factors causing cost and time overruns in construction sector
  • To analyse the impact of time and cost overrun in construction projects.
  • To identify and discuss new techniques/technologies for management of time and cost in projects.
  • To recommend ways in terms of strategy, practice and procedures to overcome/minimise the challenges of the cost and time overrun which remain supportive for the future construction activities/projects.

Section II.

Research plan

Activities Time period
develop a research proposal and get approval


1 month
develop introduction chapter and research plan


1 month
conduct literature review


1 month
select research methods and research techniques


2 month
conduct primary research through survey


2 month
collect primary data


1 month
integrate primary and secondary data


1 month
Analyze the integrated data and present findings


2 month
identify the research implications and the limitations


15 days
proof read and final submission


15 days

 Induction, deduction and abduction research

In inductive approach the researcher has to develop or create the hypothesis on his own basis in accordance with the issues that are in the research study as well as the various objectives and the data been collected by the researcher while developing own theories. It is easy for the researcher to develop or create own theories as well as it also helps the researcher to create reliable and valid research outcomes. Inductive research approach is based on observations. These observations are specific and limited in context of their scope. It further proceeds towards a generalized conclusion which is also not certain. Many of the research are conducted using this approach or method. It includes collecting the evidence, seeking the various patterns, and framing of the hypothesis as well as theory to explain what is been seen or observed (Bayraktar et al., 2012).

In deductive approach the researcher work on the already developed theories, and then the researcher evaluate these various theories to frame out the hypothesis of the research. In this kind of research approach the researcher has got the access to lots of various resources that are been used in developing the hypothesis. In this research the researcher is bound to use only the theoretical aspects instead of working on the facts and figures.

In abduction approach pr abductive reasoning is been conducted to address the weakness or the limitations that are linked with the two approaches i.e. inductive and deductive. Abductive reasoning involves deciding what will be the most likely inference that can be made out of a set of various observations (Madhok & Keyhani, 2012). Abductive approach begins with an incomplete set of observations and further proceeds to the likeliest most possible explanation for the set. The abductive approach is creative as well as intuitive. Abductive research or abductive reasoning is applied to make logical inferences as well as the constructive theories.

Comparison between induction, deduction and abduction

Deduction is a form of argument that generally takes form of a general statement then look for a logical conclusion. While on the other hand, induction is different form deduction in the way that in induction the facts and data is obtained firstly then any type of reasonable conclusion is been made. At the same time, abduction is different from both of these induction and deduction. Abductive form of reasoning is based on the evidence which is been presented then any conclusion or decision is been made.

The deductive approach is been adopted when the researcher has to work on the already existing theories and with the help of these theories the researcher further develops the hypothesis of the research. While in the inductive approach the researcher develops or frame out the hypothesis on his basis as per the objectives of the research, the various issues and the data been collected by the researcher at the time of developing the theories (Brennan & Croft, 2012). At the same time, in inductive research approach the researcher develop his own theories which is simpler than developing or focusing on the already been developed theories for testing of the hypothesis.

On the other hand, abduction reasoning is different from these two in a way that it includes forming a conclusion which is from the information that is known to the researcher. It is very useful for forming the hypothesis to be tested.

The inductive research approach is the most effective one as in this approach the researcher has the option of developing his own new theories rather than focusing on the already developed theories been utilized for testing the hypothesis. It will also help the researcher to conduct the research on time and successfully along with creating valid and reliable research outcomes.

Describe the methods

There are three methods in the research that can be used by the researcher to conduct the research successfully. The three research methods are quantitative research method, qualitative research method and the research method. The qualitative research method is been used by the researcher when there is a need to get an in depth understanding or knowledge about the behavior of the human or the nature by the researcher (Khojastehpour & Johns, 2014). The quantitative research method is been used by the researcher when there is a requirement to analyze the numerical data been collected by the researcher for conducting the research successfully and accomplishing its objectives on time. The mixed research method is the combination of the both research methods i.e. quantitative and the qualitative research methods.

In this research the quantitative research method is been used as it helps the researcher to know about the actual requirement of the people on few particular things as well as conditions. It will also help the researcher to produce the valid research outcomes of the research and to achieve its objective effectively and on time.

Explain why the sequence of methods is the most effective

The sequence of methods is effective and appropriate way to address the research aim(s) given the resources available because conducting a survey will be helpful to determine the views and opinions of the stakeholder in relation to the various factors causing cost and time overrun in construction industry (Demetriou et al., 2010). The sequence of methods is also very essential ax it helps the researcher to carry out the research on time and accomplish its various objectives. It also helps to attain the valid and accurate research outcomes effectively. The sequence is important because if the activities overlap each other than it affects the sequence and this give rise to serious difficulties that may affect the completion of the study. So this shows that the study should be conducted in a proper sequence in order to attain the objectives of the research.

Section III.

Research plan for 11 week research project

The research plan is based on the inductive methodology to obtain research details that contribute to the conceptual knowledge of the researcher (Gottfredson and Aguinis, 2017). The researcher adopts a quantitative research method. The nature of the research can be quantifiable which makes the use of quantitative research design favourable to investigate different variable i.e. cost and time. Under this method, survey questionnaire method is adopted to get primary research data.  It will include collection of data through close ended questionnaire followed by analysis of objective data in numerical form. Thus, the questionnaire based survey method will focus on question about the cost and time overrun to justify the reason that why this research should be considered. The data collection will be also including secondary source by means of reviewing the existing market research journal and articles by other researcher in topic related of this research area.

For this, the first step will be to select, analyse and the research problem to identify the problem, prioritise the issues, analyse and justify them. This will be helpful to develop the research aim and objectives.   The second step will be to analyse the information available. For this the step to be taken is review of market research studies and other published information form relevant source. Next activity will be to determine what the researcher wants to achieve by conducting this research. This step is fulfilled by formulation of research objectives to fulfil the generic and specific the aim of the research (Bryman and Bell, 2015). Another activities involved in this research plan is to decide on additional data that is required to address each research question in a systematic manner. This step focuses on setting the research methodology of the study. The key steps are to decide on the type and nature of study, technique for collection of measurable data and plan for its analysis and interpretation. It will also include ethical consideration to undertake the survey questionnaire in an appropriate way by maintaining the confidentiality of the survey participants.  The intended structure of the study is given in form of work plan that outline the research schedule and milestones.

The research work plan is constructed for duration of 11 weeks. The research plan will include key work activities undertaken and expected outcome for each week for successful completion of the study within designated period of time by use of Gantt chart.

Area of work activities Milestones and outcome Week
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11
Preparation for  the research Develop topic- Finalization of the topic
Research background – Decide on research aims and objectives Indentify research gap – Develop research aim/objectives
Collect and analyze published sources, eBooks, journal and research articles related to research topic Complete review of existing literature – identify the reason for cost and time overrun
Analysis of other researcher findings – secondary research Complete data collection from secondary source- data collected for analysis
Conduct Primary research Prepare questionnaire
Sampling and sample size Describe population and number of participants- decide criteria for participation
Distribute questionnaire via mail
Receive responses – data collected for analysis
Analysis the primary data

–          Distribution of data

Creation of tables and charts – Initiate interpretation
Analysis of the primary and secondary data Address each research objectives – Identify limitation of study
Report writing Results, discussion  – decide on  recommendations
Submission for approval



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