Title: Client perspectives on relationships with architects on private house projects

Authors: Ayirebi Dansoh; Samuel Frimpong

Addresses: Department of Building Technology, Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, Private Mail Bag, Kumasi, Ghana ' Department of Building Technology, Kumasi Polytechnic, P.O. Box U.P 41, KNUST, Kumasi, Ghana

Abstract: Small private house projects constitute a great percentage of the design and construction market for architects, but the relationship between architects and clients on such projects is widely reported to be challenging and turbulent. Clients' perceptual experiences of their relationships with architects are expected to be the key to understanding their attitude toward architects. The purpose of this paper is to empirically explore clients' lived experiences of their relationship with architects they employed on their projects. Interview transcripts from six clients were analysed using Giorgi's phenomenological method. Three themes and 13 sub-themes emerging from 48 significant statements indicated that clients' relationships with architects generated feelings of inferiority and helplessness although they expect to enhance their self-esteem. Clients also struggled to maintain authority over projects. The results provide a lead for architects and other consultants to develop a pragmatic approach toward managing relationships with clients on small private owner-occupier house projects.

Keywords: clients; architects; architectural practice; client-architect relationships; private houses; private housing projects; client perceptions; phenomenology; Ghana; inferiority; helplessness; self-esteem; authority; relationship management; owner-occupiers.

DOI: 10.1504/IJQRS.2016.082643

International Journal of Qualitative Research in Services, 2016 Vol.2 No.3, pp.155 - 179

Received: 13 Jan 2016
Accepted: 04 May 2016

Published online: 04 Mar 2017 *

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