Research in Ethiopian Construction Industry: Review of Past Studies and Future Need Assessment

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Construction industry plays a vital role for developing countries as they are considerably dependent on the growth and development of physical infrastructures: furthermore, its relation to both economic and social sectors is very significant. Construction research is the systematic process of collecting and analyzing information to increase our understanding of every critical occurrence under study which plays a large role in the development of the industry. However, in Ethiopia the trend of using construction research works is very low: consequently, the role of research works in the construction industry is insignificant. In this respect, the main objective of the research was to identify the current and future research needs of the construction industry based on different perspectives. In order to identify the current and future research needs of the construction industry it was essential to find out if the past and current construction research which is done by academic institutions is directly correlated with the construction industry demand. To determine their alignment and correlation, evaluations of the rankings of construction research trends and industry demands were carried out. The assessment was done through a review of one hundred sixteen construction research papers from Addis Ababa Institute of Technology, School of Civil and Environmental Engineering, Construction Technology and Management post-graduate program. The research papers were classified into common construction research topics areas. The industry research need was then gathered using a questionnaire survey. Each research topic area was given a ranking based on the quantity of researches classified into the common construction topic areas. Besides, questionnaires were sent to professionals from Ethiopian Roads Authority, Addis Ababa City Roads Authority, Real estate developers, Consultants, and Foreign and Local Contractors to find their ranking of the research topic areas by the individual sectors. Additionally, questions were raised to determine the possible causes for the less involvement of construction research findings in the industry, identify the benefits, and possible methods to enhance the university industry linkages. The results show that the top three topic areas by the research ranking was concrete technology, industry overview, and constructability, on the other hand questionnaire respondents determined that the most important research topic areas for the construction industry participants are economics or cost control, delay and cost overrun, and productivity. The result of the Pearson correlation test indicates that there is no linear relationship among the most researched topic areas from the university and the current needs of the research participant of the construction industry professionals. The research, additionally, also makes available recommendations on how to improve these conditions. Keywords: Construction industry, Construction research trend, University -Industry linkage, Industry research need.



Construction Industry, re Need Assessment