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Construction Procurement Research Group

About the Research Group

Construction procurement is the process through which contracts are created, managed and fulfilled (ISO 10845: 2010). This is an area of practice that is constantly evolving in the construction industry and research is needed to examine and analyse such developments to create procurement systems of the future.

The recently launched World Bank Regional Strategy for Africa indicates that one of the factors militating against Africa’s competitiveness is the adoption of dysfunctional procurement practices, which has contributed immensely to the deficit in fixed infrastructure provision. As the countries in Africa aspire to achieve accelerated economic growth and infrastructure development, there is a need for efficiency and reform when it comes to the way that infrastructure is procured and delivered to help in achieving value for money.  This requires systematic examination of construction procurement practices and analysis of supply chain management practices in infrastructure delivery to develop alternative approaches designed to facilitate the socio-economic development aspirations in specific relation to construction procurement and infrastructure development.

The Construction Procurement Research Group at the School of Economics and Construction Management, University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg has been established to conduct high quality research into the issues affecting the procurement of construction work locally within an international context.

Research areas

Current research of the Group is focused on five specific areas of procurement in the construction industry.

  • Digital technologies including E-procurement and Building Information Modelling
  • Innovative procurement
  • Price formation and commercial relationships in construction contracts
  • Procurement systems in construction
  • Sustainable procurement

The Construction Procurement Research Group is led by Associate Professor Samuel Laryea and coordinated by Dr Eziyi O. Ibem who is a URC Postdoctoral Research Fellow in the School of Construction Economics and Management.  A number of research students (Masters and PhD) are working on topics within these areas and they also form part of the group.

Current research projects
  • Maximizing the diffusion and impact of electronic procurement in the South African construction industry (2013 – 2015). This research is supported with funds from the University Research Committee (URC) and the National Research Foundation (NRF)
  • The diffusion and impact of innovative and sustainable procurement technologies in developing African countries: A case study of Ghana, Kenya, Nigeria, South Africa and Zambia (2013-2016). This research is supported with funds from the Friedel Sellschop Award and National Research Foundation (NRF)
  • Procurement strategy and price formation in the Wits Capital Projects Programme. This research is supported with incentive research funding from the National Research Foundation (NRF)
Research students

Research students affiliated with the Construction Procurement Research Group are working on the following topics

  • Sources of disputes in construction and the resolution techniques employed (Mandlenkosi Phungula)
  • An examination of the relationship between procurement and green rated property development in Gauteng, South Africa (Davis Kiggundu)
  • An investigation into the time performance of the PPP procurement process on projects in South Africa (Mphoto Thabane)
  • Perceiving success of novel projects through early outside assessment (Ronald Smith)
  • Implementation of health and safety regulations on construction sites in South Africa (Gcin’themba Masimula)
  • A comprehensive framework for the development and advancement of building information modelling (BIM) in construction project management practices (Mpho Papo)
Engagement with stakeholders

Please give us your thoughts and comments on any of our research projects by emailing the contacts below.

Research team leader:

Associate Professor Sam Laryea
Tel:  +27 11 717 7657