A CRITICAL STUDY OF THE PRACTICE CHARACTERISTICS OF ARCHITECTURAL FIRMS IN NIGERIA

ABSTRACT

There is very little information available about Nigerian architectural firms. Using the systems approach to organizational research, the study empirically investigated the characteristics of architectural firms in Nigeria. The study looked into the architectural firms’ organizational profiles, cultures, strategies, and structures. The architectural firms’ tasks and information technology characteristics, as well as external influences on the firms, were also investigated, culminating in an investigation of the types of architectural firms that existed in Nigeria. As a result, this study took an exploratory and descriptive approach. As a result, the research was primarily inductive. The architectural practice was investigated as a professional organization, and architectural firms were investigated holistically using a systems approach. The sample size was calculated using the list. Architects Registration Council of Nigeria registered architectural firms (ARCON, 2006). The methods of purposive and random sampling were used. The firm was used as the unit of analysis in the survey and qualitative methods. The structured questionnaire served as the survey instrument, while the interview schedule served as the qualitative instrument. Frequencies, cross tabulations, the chi-square test, principal component analysis, the coefficient of correlation (Pearson’s product-moment correlation coefficient), Multiple Analysis of Variance (MANOVA), discriminant analysis, regression analysis, and cluster analysis were used to analyze the 92 questionnaires collected. The interview data was analyzed using content analysis.
The study identified five types of firms: male-dominated firms, amorphous firms, conventional firms, stable/traditional firms, and versatile firms. The most important sources of variation The differences between the types of architectural firms in Nigeria were accounted for by the level of specialization of activities and the variety of services offered, which accounted for more than half of the differences.
The majority of the architectural firms sampled in Nigeria were more than ten (10) years old, small in size, and owned by a single principal. They had an innovative culture, but not an aggressive culture in pursuit of business opportunities or profit. According to the study, the majority of the architectural firms’ clients were private individuals in Nigeria, and the majority of their projects were residential in nature. The majority of the architectural firms’ clients were obtained through personal contact, and the majority of the firms’ projects Those for which they were able to obtain commissions were weeded out. The majority of the firms were involved in design and build projects, and these firms were found to have more residential projects. Participation in the design and build method also appeared to be a survival strategy, as firms that had been in business for more than 15 years did not participate in projects that used this method. As criteria for staff selection, the firms primarily used design competence, followed by AUTOCAD and information technology literacy. According to the study’s findings, information technology facilities were widely available in the majority of the firms, and the internet was primarily used for information sourcing. The findings also indicate that the internet was used. as a tool for centralization.
The study also discovered that the most powerful external influences on most architectural firms were those exerted by clients, advances in information technology, and the national economy. The characteristics of the firms most affected by these external influences were their staff management culture, their strategic goals, and the principal’s qualification and experience.
According to the study, architectural firms must take advantage of the opportunities provided by information technology in order to operate on a global scale. To meet the needs of the construction industry, architectural schools in Nigeria must fully integrate internship into the study of architecture as well as extensively train students in construction methods. the demands of architectural firms. The study also concluded that there is a need for architects to receive business training because this is a factor in the success of architectural firms. The systems approach to studying architectural firms had proven to be useful and practical. More research on the characteristics of architectural firms and their management strategies is needed, using a systems approach.

CONTENTS TABLE
—————————————-i
Declaration —————————————-ii
Certification
—————————————iii
Dedication —————————————iv
Acknowledgement ————————————v
Abstract —————————————vi
Table of Contents———————————————viii
Tables Catalogue ————————————xiv
Figure Index ————————————xvi
Plates Catalogue ————————————xx
Appendices ————————————xxi
INTRODUCTION TO CHAPTER ONE
1. Study Background ————————-1
1.1 Problem Identification ——————————3
2. The Research Aims and Objectives ————————8
3. Contextualization ———————————8
4. Study Objectives —————————10
1.5 Conclusion
——————————11

REVIEW OF LITERATURE IN CHAPTER TWO
2.0 Getting Started
——————————-12
2.1 Organizational Analysis Through Different Lenses
——————-12
2.2 Organizational Characteristics and Contingency Theory ————-14
2.3 Organizational Characteristics
———————14
2.3.1 Technological Specifications
——————18
2.
3.2 Characteristics of the Structure ———————-20
2.3.3 Plan of Action —————————21
2.3.4 Personal Qualities of Employees ———————-21
2.3.5 The Physical Setting
———————22
2.3.6 Organizational Culture: Goals and Value Systems ———22
2.3.7 Outside Environment
———————23
2.4 Organizational Structure and Organizational Patterns
————-24
2.5 Classification of Organizations ———————25
2.5.1 Methodologies

in relation to Organizational Classification ————26
2.5.2 Organizational Classification Typological and Taxonomical Procedures ————————28
2.6 Professions and Their Study ————————-30
2.7 Professional Organizational Analysis ——————-32
2.8 Characteristics of the Architectural Profession —————-33
2.9 The Architect’s Office ———————-34
Architectural Practice as a Professional Service ———-35
2.9.2 Architectural Practice as a Creative Activity ———-36
3.93 Architecture as a Business
——————-36
2.10 Obstacles to Architectural Practice ———————49
2.11 Architectural Firms’ Characteristics ——————41
2.11.1 Architectural Firm Strategies
—————42
2.11.1 1 Strategic Business Planning ————-43
2.11.1.2 Strategy for Competition ————-44
2.11.1.3 Staffing Methodologies ——————46
2.11.2 Architectural Firm Structure —————-47
2.11.3 Architectural Firm Organizational Profile ————-49
2.11.4 Technological properties —————-50
2.12 Architectural Firm Case Studies
——————-52
2.13 Methodological Approaches to the Analysis of Architectural Firms. ———53
2.14 Conclusion
—————————-54

CONCEPTUAL CHAPITRE THREE

3.0 FRAMEWORK INTRODUCTION ——————————57
3.1 The System Approach to Organizational Research
———-57
3.2 Empirical Classification Approach —————-60
3.3 Summary ———————————-61

4.0 INTRODUCTION TO CHAPTER FOUR METHODOLOGY

——————————-62
4.1 Approach to Methodology ————————-62
4.2 The Study Participants ————————62
4.3 Sampling Procedure —————————-63
4.4 Sample Dimensions —————————63
4.5 Areas of Study ——————————66
4.6.1 Instruments for Data Collection ———————66
4.6.2 Design of Questionnaires/Interviews ———————-66
4.7 Data Collection and Processing ———————67
4.7.1 Subproblem 1———————————67
4.7.2 Subproblem 2———————————68
4.7.3 Subproblem No. 3
————————69
4.7.3 Subproblem 4
————————69
4.7.5 Minor Issue 5————————70
4.8 Pilot Evaluation
— —————————-70
4.9 Preliminary Survey Information ————————-70
4.10 Summary of the Chapter —————————-71

PROFILES OF ARCHITECTURAL FIRMS IN CHAPTER FIVE
5.0 Getting Started ——————————-73
Firms’ Age Profiles (5.1) —————————-73
5.2 Firm Ownership Structure ————————-74
5.3 Reasons Why Principals Started Businesses ——-77 Firms’ Registration Status (5.4) ———————77
5.5 Architectural Firms’ Employee Profiles
——————78
5.5.1 Number of Employees in an Architectural Firm —————78
5.5.2 The Number of Professionals Working in the Firms —————-80 5.5.3 The Number of Support Personnel in Firms 5.5.4 Qualification of Architects in Firms —————-81 —————-83
5.5.5 Architects’ Designation ———————-84
5.5.6 Gender Profiling
—————————-85 5.6 Client Profile —————————87
5.6.1 Architectural Firms’ Clientele and Ownership Structure ———88 5.6.2 Client and Architectural Firm Age ——————-89 5.7 Economic Overview —————————-90
5.7.1 Average Size of Projects Completed in the Previous Two Years ———-90
5.7 2 Project Sizes Targeted in the Next Year ————-92
5.7.3 Remuneration Methods ———————93 5.7.4 Perception of Architectural Firm Success ———94
5.8 The Characteristics of Principal ———————96
5.8.1 Principal Gender ————————-96
5.8.2 Principal’s Age ————————97
5.8.3 Number of Firms in which the Principal has previously worked ———98
5.8.4 Principal with the Highest Qualification ——————-99
5.8.5 Additional Principal Qualifications
— ————100
5.8.6 Years of Principal Experience ——————101
5.8.7 Number of Years of Experience of the Principal Prior to Establishing Firms
———-103
Principals’ Attendance at Institutions —————-103
5.9 Organizational Profile Factors of Architectural Firms ——105
5.10 Different Types of Architecture Firms Based on Firm Profiles ——-107
5.10.1 Firm Profile Attributes in Cluster 1 ————108
5.10.2 Firm Profile Attributes in Cluster 2 ————109
5.10.3 Firm Profile Attributes in Cluster 3 ————109
5.10.
4 Firm Profile Attributes in Cluster 4 ————110
5.10.5 Firm Profile Attributes in Cluster 5 ————111

5.11 Conclusion —————————111

CULTURAL PROFILE OF ARCHITECTURAL FIRMS (CHAPTER SIX)
6.0 Introduction —————————————114
6.1 Architectural Firms’ Organizational Culture ————-114
6.2 Key Cultural Values of Architectural Firms ——————118
6.3 Cultural Values of Architectural Firms and Other Firm Characteristics
——119
6.3.1 Architectural Firms’ Organizational Cultural Values and Innovation
—119
6.3.2 Architectural Firms’ Cultural Values and Ownership Structure ——120
6.3.3 Architectural Firms’ Cultural Values and Methods of Compensation
——-\s121
6.3.4 Architectural Firms’ Cultural Values and the Principal’s Age——-121
6.4 The Principal’s Leadership Styles ———————122
6.5 Spatial Arrangement of Most Architectural Office Parts ——-124
6.6 Customization of the Reception Area —————-125
6.7 Architectural Firm Organizational Culture Factors ————126
6.8 Different Types of Architectural Firms Based on Their Cultures

5Firms ———128
6.8.1 First Cluster Firms’ Cultural Attributes———-129
6.8.2 Firms in the Second Cluster’s Cultural Attributes————130
6.8.3 Third Cluster Firms’ Cultural Attributes ————131
6.8.4 Firms in the Fourth Cluster’s Cultural Attributes ————132
6.9 Conclusion
—————————-133

CHAPTER SEVEN ARCHITECTURAL FIRMS’ ORGANIZATIONAL STRATEGIES
Introduction (7.0) ——————————135 7.1 Architectural Firms’ Business Strategies ——————135\s7. 1.1 Targeted Client Group ——————-135\s7. 1.2 Projects in the Portfolio of the Firm —————-137 7. 1.3 Factors Influencing the Proportions of Different Project Types ——-138\s7. 1.4 Client Acquisition Methods ———————-139 7.2 Architectural Firms’ Competitive Strategies —————142\s7. 2.1 Network of Architectural Firms’ Branches ————143\s7. 2.2 Branch Network in West Africa and Other Parts of the World———-144 7. 2.3 Collaboration with Other Companies ——————145\s7. 2.4 Subcommissions and Long-Term Contracts

————150 7.2.5 Architectural Firms and Building Procurement Methods 7.2.6 Ranking of Architectural Firms’ Strategic Principles ———155 7.2.7 Major Strategic Principles of Architectural Firms ————-157
7.3 Firms’ Staffing Strategies ————————-158\s7. 3.1 Staff Selection Criteria (Architects) —————-158\s7. 3.2 Methods of Retaining Competent Employees —————160\s7. 3.3 Architectural Firm Staffing Mode —————163
7.4 Architectural Firm Types Based on Firm Strategies
7.4.1 Architectural Firm Types Based on Business Strategies ——164 7.4.2 Types of Architectural Firms Based on Competitive Strategies 7.4.3 Architectural Firm Types Based on Staffing Strategies ——172 7.5 Summary——————————175

CHAPTER EIGHT: OFFICE STRUCTURE, TASK, AND INFORMATION
TECHNOLOGY CHARACTERISTICS OF ARCHITECTURAL FIRMS
8.0 Introduction ——————————-178 8.1 Specialization of Duties ——————-178 8.2 Formalization of Activities ————————-181\s8.38.3 Concentration of Decision Making ———————-182
8.4 Authority Delegation ————————185
8.5 Forms of Architectural Firm Organizational Structures
———186
8.6 Architectural Firms’ Task and Information Technology Characteristics ——-189
8.6.1 Services Provided by Architectural Firms ————189 8.6.2 Staff Organization for Project Execution ————190
8.6.3 Service Subcontracting
———————191
Firms’ Information Technology Characteristics —————-194
8.7.1 Firms’ Access to Information Technology Facilities ———-194
8.7.2 Use of Internet Resources in Architectural Firms 8.7.3 Websites and Electronic Mail (E-Mail) Addresses ———-195 ————-198
8.7.4 Information Technology, Size Ownership Forms, and Architectural Firm Structures ————————-197
8.8 Architectural Firm Types Based on Office Structures; Task and Information Technology Characteristics of the Firms ————199
8.8.1 Architectural Firm Types Based on Location

Structures ——199 8.8.2 Architectural Firm Types Based on Task and Information Technology Architectural Firm Characteristics ————-203
8.9 Summary———————————-205

CHAPTER NINE: FIRMS’ TYPOLOGIES AND EXTERNAL INFLUENCES ON FIRMS
9.0 Getting Started
——————————-208 9.1 External Influence Strength on Firms ——————-208 9.2 External Environment and Other Architectural Firm Characteristics ——-210 9.3 Characteristics of architectural firms and firm success ———212 9.4 Architectural firm characteristics and success when the firms are heavily influenced by the external environment ————216 9.5 Description of the Architectural Firms’ External Factors 9.6 Different Types of Architectural Firms ————————-223
9.7 Factors Influencing Organizational Differences in Architectural Firms ——-227 9.8 Summary—————————————228

SUMMARY AND CONCLUSION OF CHAPTER TEN
10.0 Getting Started ——————————-230
10.1 Summary of Findings and Conclusion
————————230
10.2 Consequences of

the Results ————————-233
10.3 Prospects for Further Research
———————-234
10.4 Concluding Thoughts —————————-235
REFERENCES ———————————236

TABLES IN ORDER

Table 1 shows where registered architectural firms in Nigeria are located. ———-10 Table 4.1 Sample Size Calculations ———————-65 Table 4.2: Questionnaire Distribution to Architectural Firms Based on City Locations —————————-71
Table 5.1: Ages of Firms in the Register of Architectural Firms Entitled to Practice in Nigeria —————————74
Table 5.2: Firm Ownership Structures from the Register of Architectural Firms Authorized to Practice in Nigeria —————————79
Table 5.3 Count of Professionals in Firms ———————81 Table 5.4: Number of Support Personnel in Firms ———————82 Table 5.5 Architect Qualification ————————84 Table 5.6 Architects’ Designation ————————85 Table 5.7 Staff Gender ———————86 Table 5.8 Clients of Architectural Firms ——————-88 Table 5.9 Remuneration Methods ———————-93
Table 5.10 Additional Qualifications of Architecture Firm Principals ——101
Table 5.11 Principal’s Educational Institution ——————-104
Table 5.12: Descriptions of Profile Factors ———————-106
Table 6.1 Rank Order of Cultural Values
———————-115
Table 6.2: Cultural Values Factors in Architectural Firms ————-118
Correlations between Innovation and Other Cultural Attributes (Table 6.3)
——120
Table 6.4: Descriptions of Cultural Factors ———————-128
Table 7.1: Motivations for Collaboration ——————149
Table 7.2: Ranking of Architectural Firms’ Strategic Principles ——156
Table 7.3: Factors Influencing Architectural Firms’ Strategic Principles ———158 Table 7.4 Ranking of Staff Selection Criteria (Architects)———159
Formalization of Activities ——————182 Table 8.1
Table 8.2 Decision-Making Centralization ——————183
Table 8.3 Ranking of the Frequency of Services Offered by Architectural Firms ——190 Table 8.4 Ranking of Availability of Services ——194 Information Technology Facilities
Table 8.5: Application of Internet Facilities Ranking ————-195
Table 9.1 Ranks the Strength of External Influences on Architectural Firms ——-209
Table 9.2: Discriminant Analysis- Firm Success—————- —213
Table 9.3 Canonical Discriminant Function Coefficients- Firm Success ——-214
Table 9.4 Functions at Group Centroids- Firm Success ————-214
Table 9.5 Classification Results- Firm Success —————-215
Table 9.6: Discriminant Analysis- Success in the Face of Adversity ——-217
Table 9.7 Canonical Discriminant Function Coefficients- Success in the Face of Adversity —————————-217
Table 9.8 Functions at Group Centroids- Success in the Face of Adversity —-218
Table 9.9 Classification Outcomes Success in the face of adversity ————218
Table 9.10 Discriminant Analysis- Success when external influences are weak ——-220
Table 9.11 Canonical Discriminant Function Coefficients – Success under Weak Conditions

external factors ————221
Table 9.12 Functions at Group Centroids- Success in the Presence of Weak External Influences —-221
Table 9.13 Classification Results- Success in the Presence of Weak External Influences ——-221
“Model Summary——223” Table 9.14 Categorical Principal Component Analysis
Table 9.15: Description of External Environment Dimensions ———-223

LIST OF IMAGES

Figure 2.1: The Organizational Structure

—————————17
Figure 2.2: Professionals’ Business Sources †———————38
Figure 3.1: Outline of the Researcher’s Thought Process ——————60
Firm ages are depicted in Figure 5.1. —————————-74
Figure 5.2: Firm Ownership Structures —————————75
Figure 5.3: Firm Registration with ARCON
————————78
Figure 5.4: Total Numbers of Employees in Architectural Firms —————-79
Figure 5.5: Female Staff Representation in Architecture Firms ———-86
Figure 5.6: Average Project Size in the Last Two Years ————-91
Graph 5.7 Costs of Projects Planned for the Next Year ——————92
Figure 5.8 Perceptions of the Firm’s Success ————————94
Figure 5.9 Principal Gender ——————————96
Figure 5.10 Principal Age Group ————————-97
Figure 5.11: Number of Firms in which the Principal has previously worked ————-98
Figure 5.12 Principal with the Highest Qualification ————-99
Figure 5.13 Principal Possession of Other Qualifications—————101
Figure 5.14: Number of Years of Principal Experience —————102
Figure 5.15 The number of years the Principal has been registered with the Nigerian Architects Registration Council (ARCON) ——————-102
Figure 5.16: The Principal’s Years of Experience Before Starting Firms ———-103
Figure 5.17: Cluster Distributions of Architectural Firm Types Based on Firm Profiles —————————108
Figure 5.18: Variables Important in Cluster Formation Cluster 1 of Firms Based on Profiles—108 Figure 5.19 Variables Important in Cluster 2 of Firms Based on Profiles—109
Figure 5.20 Variables Important in the Formation of Cluster 3 of Firms Based on Profiles—110 Figure 5.21 Variables Important in the Formation of Cluster 4 of Firms Based on Profiles—110 Figure 5.22 Variables Important in the Formation of Cluster 5 of Firms Based on Profiles—111 Figure 5.23 Variables Important in the Formation of Cluster 6 of Firms Based on Profiles—111
Figure 6.1: A Summary of the Principals ———————123
Figure 6.2: Architectural Office Spatial Arrangements
— ————-124
Figure 6.3: The Amount of Items in the Reception Area
— ————-125
Figure 6.4 Is there artwork in the reception area? ————125
Figure 6.5 Do Models Work in the Reception Area? ————125
Are there any artworks or paintings in the reception area?
— ———-126
Graph 6.7 Is there any vegetation in the reception area? — ————-126
Are there any awards, plaques, or souvenirs in the reception area? ———-126
Is there reading material available in the reception area? ——————\s126
Figure 6.10 Firm Cluster Distribution Based on Cultures
— ————-129
Figure 6.11 Cultural Attributes of Firms in the First Cluster ————-130
Figure 6.12 Cultural Attributes of Firms in the Second Cluster ————-131
Figure 6.13: Cultural Attributes of Firms in the Third Cluster ————-131
Figure 6.14 Cultural Attributes of Firms in the Fourth Cluster ————-132
Figure 7.1: Targeted Client Groups ————————136
Figure 7.2: Targeted Client Groups with Multiple Responses ————136
Figure 7.3: Proportions of Various Project Types in Firm Portfolios ————-138
Figure 7.4: Justifications for Project Type Proportions ———————139
Figure 7.5: Client Proportions from Various Sources —————140
Figure 7.6: Network of Architectural Firm Branches —————143
Figure 7.7: The Number of Architectural Firms in Nigeria.
————143
Figure 7.8 Branches Network in West Africa and Other Parts of the World ——145
Figure 7.9 Does the firm collaborate with other firms locally? ———-146
Figure 7.10 Does the Firm Work with Other Companies Outside of Nigeria? ——-146
Figure 7.11 Firms That Worked Together Locally ———————147
Figure 7.12 Internationally Collaborated Firms ——————147
Figure 7.13 Types of Firms Involved in Collaboration————-148
Figure 7.14: Collaboration Reasons- Multiple Response Results ———-150
Figure 7.15: Proportion of Companies with Long-Term Contracts ————-151

 

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