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Sustainable construction: exploring the capabilities of Nigerian construction firms

Dania, A. A., Larsen, G. D. and Ewart, I. J. ORCID: (2014) Sustainable construction: exploring the capabilities of Nigerian construction firms. In: 30th Annual ARCOM Conference, 1-3 September 2014, Portsmouth, UK, pp. 3-12.

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As the built environment accounts for much of the world's emissions, resource consumption and waste, concerns remain as to how sustainable the sector is. Understanding how such concerns can be better managed is complex, with a range of competing agendas and institutional forces at play. This is especially the case in Nigeria where there are often differing priorities, weak regulations and institutions to deal with this challenge. Construction firms are in competition with each other in a market that is growing in size and sophistication yearly. The business case for sustainability has been argued severally in literature. However, the capability of construction firms with respect to sustainability in Nigeria has not been studied. This paper presents the preliminary findings of an exploratory multi-case study carried out to understand the firm's views on sustainability as a source of competitive advantage. A international firm and a lower medium-sized indigenous firm were selected for this purpose. Qualitative interviews were conducted with top-level management of both firms, with key themes from the sustainable construction and dynamic capabilities literature informing the case study protocol. The interviews were transcribed and analysed with the use of NVivo software. The findings suggest that the multinational firm is better grounded in sustainability knowledge. Although the level of awareness and demand for sustainable construction is generally very poor, few international clients are beginning to stimulate interest in sustainable buildings. This has triggered both firms to build their capabilities in that regard, albeit in an unhurried manner. Both firms agree on the potentials of market-driven sustainability in the long term. Nonetheless, more drastic actions are required to accelerate the sustainable construction agenda in Nigeria.

Item Type:Conference or Workshop Item (Paper)
Divisions:Science > School of the Built Environment > Organisation, People and Technology group
ID Code:43257
Additional Information:First published in ARCOM proceedings: ISBN 9780955239083


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