TQM and the construction industry : Saudi Arabia : a case study
The objective of this thesis is to investigate Total Quality Management (TQM) as a means of making the Saudi construction industry more efficient. The thesis also examines the effect of TQM on industry in general. Although TQM is a management concept that has been implemented in many industries effectively and with encouraging results, adopting TQM in the construction industry is more challenging due to its unique characteristics. The research has examined the compliance of the Saudi contractors and design offices with the principles of TQM qualitatively through personal interviews, and quantitatively through a mailing questionnaire. The objective of this part of the thesis is to determine the levels of industry compliance with the principles of TQM, and to detect the potential obstacles to compliance. In addition, this thesis has examined the effectiveness of TQM implementation in the Saudi construction industry. A case study of TQM implementation in one of the largest project owners (client) in Saudi Arabia has been reported and analysed. In addition, the findings of interviews with contracting companies, to determine the effectiveness of TQM as a solution to the problems of the Saudi construction industry, have been reported and discussed. Furthermore, practical TQM implementation experience in a small construction firm has been reported to augment the findings of other sources, namely the personal interviews and the questionnaire. The interviews with the contractors identified the major problems of the Saudi construction industry, which have been reported in this research. These problems have been further investigated in order to determine their significance through the mailing of a questionnaire. The results of the questionnaire have been reported and analysed in this study. The thesis has discussed those problems that have been identified statistically as significant (major) problems, and proposed solutions to them.