A comparative study of causes of time overruns in Hong Kong construction projects

Wai Ming Chan, Mohan M. Kumaraswamy

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

504 Citations (Scopus)


This paper presents the results of a survey undertaken to determine and evaluate the relative importance of the significant factors causing delays in Hong Kong construction projects. The survey covered 83 previously identified delay factors, which were grouped into eight major categories. The main reasons for delays were analyzed and ranked according to different groups classified on the basis of (a) the role of the parties in the local construction industry (i.e. whether clients, consultants or contractors) and (b) the type of projects. Results indicate that the five principal and common causes of delays are: 'poor site management and supervision', 'unforeseen ground conditions', 'low speed of decision making involving all project teams', 'client-initiated variations' and 'necessary variations of works'. Differing perceptions as to the principal causes delaying projects are observed between Hong Kong, Saudi Arabia and Nigeria, the two latter countries being chosen for purposes of comparison with other countries. It is hoped that the significant delay factors identified in this survey will provide a basis for strategies to minimize delays and will also be incorporated into a 'construction time' forecasting model for Hong Kong construction projects in the future research programme.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)55-63
Number of pages9
JournalInternational Journal of Project Management
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 1997
Externally publishedYes


  • Clients
  • Consultants
  • Contractors
  • Delay factor categories
  • Delay factors
  • Hong kong
  • Nigeria
  • Saudi arabia

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Business and International Management
  • Management of Technology and Innovation

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