Due to the complex nature and characteristics of the industry, adversarial attitudes are usually involved and therefore, new ways in carrying out management processes to attain an improved performance and a qualitative project delivery in the industry is necessary. Partnering is a set of strategic action that deliver marked improvements in construction performance and project success will be attained more readily than the other traditional management approaches. The determination of the Prospect of Partnering as a Procurement method in the Nigerian Construction Industry was achieved by investigating the awareness, applicability, benefits and challenges of partnering as a procurement method. Structured questionnaire was administered and analyzed by percentage using Statistical Product for Social Sciences (SPSS) and a Relative Importance Index (RII) was used for ranking. Tables and charts were subsequently used to express the results as descriptive presentations. Inferences were made from the analysis carried out and high percentage responses were indicated on the level of awareness of partnering in the industry with 90.0%, 91.7%, and 77.0% as indicated by the Clients, Contractors and Consultants respectively. On the level of applicability however, there was little indication of just 5.0% and 6.8% from the Contractors and Consultants respectively, but high percentage response was indicated for the Clients with a percentage response of 87.9%. On the most beneficial factor in implementing partnering in the Nigerian Construction Industry, „Achieving better buidability‟, „reduction in the rate of litigation‟ and „better opportunity for innovation and value engineering‟ were identified with RII values of 0.96, 0.76 and 0.86 as seen by the clients, contractors and consultants respectively. On the challenges of implementing partnering, both the clients and contractors share the same view noting that „inadequate knowledge and skills of partnering processes pose the highest challenge with a very high RII value of 1.0. However, the consultants viewed „Corruption‟ also with a very high RII value of 0.99 as the most challenging factor this procurement method. It is recommended that both the consultants and the contractors should adopt partnering as a procurement method especially for large projects in order to gain the benefits of such procurement process.
1.1 Background of the Study
Due to the complex nature and unique characteristics of the construction industry, construction projects rely on the efficient organization at all levels of the teams involved, including the clients, architects, engineers, contractors and materials providers. A construction project must proceed through stages of concept, scheme design, bidding, contracting, construction, service and maintenance (Chen and Wu, 2010).As suggested by Chen and Wu (2010), construction projects rely on integrated efforts of several hierarchically linked parties (including clients, architects, engineers, general contractors, suppliers and subcontractors) using their differentiated technology, knowledge and skills. These parties are usually independent organizations with different objectives and goals, operating processes and management styles.
Partnering isdefined by Al-Amoudi(2011), as a strategic commitment between companies or firms in order to develop their performance in a mutual project.It is a strategic action that delivers marked improvements in construction performance. It is driven by a clear understanding of mutual objectives and co-operative decision- making by multiple firms all focused on using feedback to continuously improve their joint performance (Chen and Wu 2010). Although the definitions of partnering in construction vary from one study to another, thereexists a common consensus on the key elements of partnering; co-operation and teamwork, commitment, mutual trust and respect, communication, equity, responsiveness.