Major delays in construction projects

A global overview



By Funke F. Fakunle1 and Adebayo A. Fashina2,3*

1Health, Safety, and Environment Department, AdeFolasade Management Systems Consults, Lagos, Nigeria.

2Engineering Management Program and Project Management Program, School of Graduate Studies and Research, Gollis University, Hargeisa, Somaliland.

3Project Management Program, School of Graduate Studies and Research, Gollis University, Hargeisa, Somaliland.

*Corresponding author: Adebayo Adeboye Fashina. adebayofashina@gmail.com




Over the years, delay in construction projects have been a persistent source of concern for construction practitioners, project developers and researchers. This has led the civil engineering and construction research community to develop various approaches and techniques in identifying the major causes of these recurrent eccentricities, globally. The primary objective of this paper is to present an overview of the major delays in construction projects and their causes across the globe with emphasis on the significance research studies conducted in selected countries. The paper is therefore, based on a literature review investigating the major delays in construction projects in selected construction industry globally. The paper could assist impending construction practitioners that may want to enter into the construction market anywhere in the world and upcoming researchers who may want to further explore construction-related projects delay to get an improved fundamental understanding of the major project delays encountered in the construction industry.

Keywords:    Types of construction Delay, Major Construction Delays, Construction Projects


Delay can be defined as the extension of timeline required to finish up a construction project (Hammadi & Nawab, 2016). Besides, whenever construction projects encounter delay, they are either lengthened or fast-tracked, which in turn incur extra cost (Subramani, 2014). To the owner, client or donor, delay signifies a loss of revenue via the lack of production facilities and rentable space, a total reliance on current facilities (Oloo & Ngugi, 2016) or inadequacy in the enforcement of building codes and regulations (Fakunle et al., 2020). Sometimes, delay causes excessive overhead costs to the contractor due to a number of reasons that may include prolonged work period, outrageous increase in material costs, and increase in labor cost (Assaf, Bubshait, Atiyah, & Al-Shahri, 2001).

Furthermore, considering the fact that the timely delivery of  any form of  project, be it telecommunication projects (Fashina, Abdilahi, & Fakunle, 2020) or construction projects (Olawale and Sun, 2010) is perceived as one of the most vital aspect of projects success, delay in construction projects can be seen as one of the most common and costly problem encountered in the construction industry and it is globally taken seriously (Abdul-Rahman et al., 2009; Moura et al., 2007; Olawale & Sun, 2010). Presently, many least developed and developing countries in Asia, Middle East, Africa and Europe are faced with the problem of construction delays (Ali, 2018; Alnuaimi & Mohsin, 2013; Kikwasi, 2013; Moura et al., 2007; Sambasivan & Soon, 2007). This implies that construction delays can have several negative effects on construction projects if not properly managed (Sheikh, Fakunle, & Fashina, 2020). Nevertheless, some of these delay effects include time and cost overruns, acceleration losses, low service quality, sudden contract termination, low efficiency, and disputes among key construction stakeholders etc. (Aibinu & Jagboro, 2002; Kikwasi, 2013). Globally, these delays affect the construction industry, without excluding the developed countries such as the US, UK, Australia, China, Japan etc. (Olawale & Sun, 2010; Sepasgozar et al., 2019).

This paper attempts to present an overview of the major delays in construction projects from a global perspective. In an effort to achieve this, a detailed literature review investigating the major delays in construction projects and their causes in selected construction industry across the globe was carried out. Moreover, this paper expands and provides an improved understanding of project delays in the global construction industry. This however, offers useful information that can guide future studies related to delay in construction projects.



To read entire article, click here


How to cite this paper: Fakunle, F. F., Fashina, A. A. (2020). Major delays in construction projects: A global overview; PM World Journal, Vol. IX, Issue V, May.  Available online at https://pmworldlibrary.net/wp-content/uploads/2020/04/pmwj93-May2020-Fakunle-Fashina-major-delays-in-construction-projects.pdf



About the Authors


Funke Folasade Fakunle

Lagos Nigeria




Funke Folasade Fakunle is a young female NEBOSH international diploma qualified professional with 10 years of significant QHSE experience in QHSE management, training and consultancy. Being passionate about Health, Safety and Environment (HSE) and management system in the workplace, she has acquired certifications in Process Safety: Hazard Operability study (HAZOP), Lean six sigma (Green Belt Holder), ISO 9001 Lead Auditor, OHSAS 18001 Lead Auditor, AOFAQ Level 3 Award in Education & Training, NEBOSH International Diploma in Occupational Safety and Health, NEBOSH International General Certificate in Occupational Safety and Health, Project Management, Rigging Safety and Inspection etc.

Funke received a B.Sc. degree in Mathematics from the University of Uyo, Akwa-Ibom, Nigeria in 2008. Over the past 10 years, she has gained significant QHSE experience in various industries.  These include construction, oil & gas, logistics and transportation, telecommunication, manufacturing, banking and security sectors. She is a register Professional/Associated Member of the International Register of Certificated Auditors (IRCA), International Institute of Risk and Safety Management (IIRSM), and Society of Petroleum Engineers (SPE).

As an QHSE Consultant/Trainer at present, she conducts QHSE training, consulting and auditing/evaluation exercises that help improve the QHSE Management Systems of various organizations. This allows her to adequately provide her clients with the necessary advisory services that include but not limited to HSE employee orientation training, development, planning and implementation of QHSE Management Systems, QHSE auditing, Environmental Management System, process improvement and so on.

Funke can be contacted on funkefolasade7@gmail.com



Dr. Adebayo Adeboye Fashina

Hargeisa, Somaliland




Dr. Adebayo Adeboye Fashina is a young certified management consultant (CMC), professional researcher, educator and education management consultant with over eight years of significant international experience working on STEM education, EOMS/Project management research and teaching, science research and teaching, and capacity building at various levels of education across Africa.

Dr. Adebayo hold a Bachelor’s degree in Physics/Electronics, MSc. in Theoretical Physics and Ph.D. in Theoretical and Applied Physics. He currently works with Gollis University, Hargeisa as an Associate Professor of Physics and Engineering Management. Prior to his present job, he worked as a Researcher/GTA/Lecturer-B at AUST before joining Kampala International University, Uganda as a Senior Lecturer and later worked as an Associate Professor at William V. S. Tubman University, Liberia. He was nominated for the 2016 Sustainable Energy Africa Awards and shortlisted as one of the three finalists in the ”Emerging Leaders” award category at the 2016 Nigeria Energy Forum.

Dr. Adebayo has conducted training workshops, seminars and given speeches/talks/presentations at local and international conferences. He has published more than 20 articles in reputed journals and is an active reviewer of many international journals. He is a motivated, energetic and focused individual with strengths in innovative teaching approaches, interdisciplinary research, data analysis, teacher training and team management. His research interest includes sustainable living, project management, RE policy and management, education organization management system (EOMS), educational planning, photonic nanostructures of materials etc. He is a fellow of African Scientific Institute, USA and the Institute of Management Consultants, Nigeria.

Dr. Adebayo can be contacted on adebayofashina@gmail.com or afashina@gollisuniversity.org




  1. […] variation and errors are other reasons for construction delays. It’s essential to pay attention to the client’s demands during planning. Project managers […]