Factors contributing to project time and hence cost overrun in the Malaysian construction industry

Shehu, Zayyana, Endut, Intan Rohani and Akintoye, Akintola orcid iconORCID: 0000-0002-0611-5824 (2014) Factors contributing to project time and hence cost overrun in the Malaysian construction industry. Journal of Financial Management of Property and Construction, 19 (1). pp. 55-75. ISSN 1366-4387

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Official URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1108/JFMPC-04-2013-0009



– The delivery of construction projects in Malaysia is plagued by time overruns, which turns what should have been successful projects into those incurring additional costs, or money-losing ventures; as well as leading to various other unexpected negative effects and faute de mieux situations. The purpose of this research is to assess those factors leading to time overrun in Malaysian construction projects. The perceptions of public and private sectors, contractors, clients, and consultants are compared relative to a list of factors derived from the review of extant literature in project delay.


– The research data were collected through an industry-wide questionnaire survey circulated across the Malaysian construction industry. The research develops a list of 84 time overrun factors. Responses were collected from 49 clients, 51 contractors, and 105 consultants, to explore and analyse the major factors that are responsible for causing time overrun based on sectors (public and private), organisations (clients, contractors and consultants) and professional roles.


– Project delays beyond contract dates are predominantly caused by contractors and are usually associated with financial factors. “Cash flow problems faced by the contractors” was found the major factor, which contributed to project delays, whereas “storage on site” was seen as the least significant factor.

Practical implications

– It is noteworthy that the findings in this research have a regional focus; it is, therefore, suggested that readers from other sections of the world exercise caution in applying the findings. As it is believed that every construction industry has its nature, culture and regulations, these factors can change as a result of such differences.


– This research provides stakeholders with information on factors, which, if properly understood, can make project delays less likely.

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