AN INVESTIGATION INTO THE CHALLENGES FACING THE SUSTAINABILITY OF THE LONG-TERM CONSORTIUM AS A MODEL OF PROFESSIONAL FIRMS IN THE CONSTRUCTION INDUSTRY IN KENYA

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ABSTRACT
Formation of the long-term consortium is aimed at bringing professional firms together into a long-term commitment, so as to maximize the effectiveness of each participant‟s resources. It also addresses the project‟s time and quality issues more quickly than if the project was carried out using the traditional procurement methods.
The purpose of this research was to investigate the challenges facing the sustainability of the long-term consortium as a model of professional firms in the Kenyan building industry. The research engaged intensive literature review that highlighted the whole construction environment by looking at the different business structures adopted by professional firms in the construction industry in Kenya, their advantages, disadvantages and challenges. It looked at how the consortium tries to solve these challenges by elaborating the factors considered by professionals firms when forming short-term consortia and the challenges faced by the consultants in sustaining the long-term consortium in the Kenyan construction industry. A successful long-term consortium in Sweden was also highlighted so as to bring out the type of environment required to sustain the few consortia that are created in Kenya.
Field survey was engaged to collect data from the target population of Architectural, Quantity Surveying and Engineering firms within Nairobi City County. Questionnaires were administered to 63 respondents. A sample size was determined through stratified random sampling of the respondents. The data obtained was processed and analyzed descriptively using Microsoft Excel and Statistical Package for the Social Sciences (SPSS). Findings were discussed and interpreted in relation to the objectives of the research.
The findings of the study show that short-term consortia are formed frequently so as to deliver the project and immediately dissolve after project delivery. The reasons that lead to formation of short-term consortia, such as tendering, encourage short-termism within the Kenyan construction industry. Barriers to sustainability of the long-term consortium are factors that greatly influence the construction environment and they include cultural, organizational and to a very minimal extent, industrial factors.
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The study recommends aggressive awareness campaigns by the professional bodies in the industry on the continuity of the consortium and a reward mechanism for consultants who manage to overcome the barriers within the construction environment in Kenya associated with failure of the long-term consortium. It also recommends educating the consultants within the construction industry on the benefits associated with the long-term consortium.

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