Challenges in the Implementation of Quality Management in the Construct Sector in Palestineion

Discussion Committee: 
Dr. Riyad Abdel-Karim Awad / Supervisor
Dr. Samir H. Helou / External Examiner
Dr. Ayham Jaaron / Internal Examiner
Dr. Riyad Abdel-Karim Awad / Supervisor
Maysoon Hesham Syaj
The construction industry has been one pivotal industry for the development of the Palestinian infrastructure and economy. But it lacks efficiency, quality is poor, budgets are unreliable and prices are excessive. Better management would result in increased efficiency with reduced quality failures yet saving tremendous amount of money. The improvement of quality has become a major challenge faced by the construction industry and can involve, reducing cost of rework, reducing maintenance cost and improving the life cycle value of the projects. Total Quality Management (TQM) is one better solution to overcome these problems, and TQM is considered one of the most important approaches to success of construction industry. This present study is intended to provide the necessary information needed to better manage the quality of a construction sector in Palestine. The aim of this study is to identify the current status and to highlight main problems and obstacles faced by construction companies in the implementation of TQM and to determine the success factors necessary for the implementation of TQM at construction sector in Palestine. Both qualitative and quantitative research methodology were utilized in this study. The questionnaire was developed and used as a tool for data collection. The population of the research consisted of managers and engineers in construction companies in the main cities of Palestine. To carry out the research, a randomly chosen sample of 174 managers and engineers from construction companies were selected to obtain their opinions on the identified most important problems and factors affecting quality. From the respondents' answers, it is evident that the understanding of quality and implementing the Quality Systems (QS) is not sufficient. Also the current situation needs more attention. Furthermore participation of top management of these companies needs to be strengthened. The principal outcome of this study is to develop a management model for the introduction of TQM in Palestinian construction companies which will be used as a tool to measure TQM and to assess a company’s strengths and weaknesses with regard to its use of Quality Management (QM). Applying this model will lead to the continuous improvement. The results of the study indicate that awarding the tender on the basis of lower prices is the most important problem affecting QM then lack of expertise in Quality Management System (QMS), lack of education and training, and lack of owner's awareness about the importance of quality. Also, the most important factors affecting quality are: implement safety program, review drawings and specification before tendering and fetch materials in a timely manner. Clarity of work instruction, awarding tender to the most accurate bidder are also among the factors effecting quality. The results also indicate that there are twelve critical success factors with 47 critical sub factors were needed for the successful implementation of TQM in Palestinian construction companies. It is recommended that raising awareness about QMS is required by giving special workshops and courses. And contracting and consulting firms must develop a QS. Also, using the developed model as a tool to measure quality and identify the weakness points that lower the degree of quality and improve it.
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