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Peer-Review Record

Critical Success Factors (CSFs) for e-Procurement Adoption in the Nigerian Construction Industry

Reviewer 1: Anonymous
Reviewer 2: Anonymous
Reviewer 3: Anonymous
Received: 5 November 2018 / Revised: 10 December 2018 / Accepted: 11 December 2018 / Published: 18 February 2019

Round 1

Reviewer 1 Report

Critical success factors (CSF) for the adoption of e-procurement in the Nigerian  construction sector is a very interesting paper drafted well.

"Adoption" is not an appropriate keyword.

In the introduction, the phrase "For e-procurement systems to be successful, the  CSFs must have been tested and established", must be supported by one or more bibliographic sources.

A brief description should be introduced in the introduction of the CSF methodology.

For equation 1 it is necessary to define the meaning of the variable Z.

The legend of Figure 1 is not readable.

Enter a description of how to fill in table 5 in the text.

Describe please after table 5, even only qualitatively, the KMO and Bartlett, s test.


Author Response

S/N

Comments   and Suggestions by Reviewer

Comments   by Author


Reviewer 1


1.

"Adoption" is not an appropriate keyword.

The word “Adoption” has been removed from the keywords and replaced   with “Nigeria”.

2.

In the introduction, the phrase "For e-procurement systems to be   successful, the  CSFs must have been   tested and established", must be supported by one or more bibliographic   sources.

The statement has been supported by three bibliographic sources from   Ibem et al.(2016), Obat (2016)and Mohammadi (2013)

3.

A brief description should be introduced in the introduction of the   CSF methodology.

The research method stated a brief description of   the outline of the methodology used before the elaborate discussion of the   CSF methodology.

4.

For equation 1 it is necessary to define the meaning of the variable   Z.

The variable Z has now been stated as the abscissa of the normal   curve given as 1.96

5.

The legend of Figure 1 is not readable.

The figure has been enlarged to show the legend on the figure.

6.

Enter a description of how to fill in table 5 in the text.

A description of how Table 5 was computed as been highlighted from   the Likert scale used, the mean score, the ranking index and the appropriate   remark stated.

7.

Describe please after table 5, even only qualitatively, the KMO and   Bartlett, s test.

The KMO and Bartlett’s test has been explained in detail. The Table   is vital to sow other details in the KMO and Bartlett’s test.





Reviewer 2 Report

Abstract

ITC not explained (done in Introduction)

Remove "(6)". The word "six" is understandable. The symbol (6) suggests number of an equasion.


Introduction

What does it mean ICT investment (page 1)

CFSs do not perform. They are factors reflecting sth.

Is there any difference between e-procurements and e-Procurements? If not, please keep one style of writting.


Page 4

The formula (1) should be better described. Z and e are not explained. It is not clear how many features will be analysed (will it be 1-dimension analysis or more?). What does it mean "built environment"? The statement "population is large" needs to be proved. How the population was estimated? What is the lower limit of being large? (dots on the right side of the formula should not be visible).  Since p is assumed 0,5, q is 0,5 too. It means that nothing is explained in the formula (1); Z and e are not explained. It is not proved why p=0,5 gives max variability. Variability of what?

Every formula (including formula (1)) has its specific applications, constraints, assumtions to be fulfilled - they are unknown in the paper.

Remove "(6)". The word "six" is understandable. The symbol (6) suggests number of an equasion.

Again, please don't use: "... two (2)...", please use "two" or 2. (2) suggest equasion number 2.

It is desirable to show which version of alpha test formula was taken (and from; the reference) and describe it showing the describtion of the symbols used.

What is the source of information about the total number of e-procurement users in Nigeria?


Page 5

Describtion of Fig 1 is not readable.

"...more than half of the study participants had over 10 years work experience in the built environment... " is obviously false or fig 2 is wrongly prepared.

It seems that the Auhor(s) mixes (in a result of interview) the companies with the persons providing the information to the interviewer. Is the stakeholder in a construction project is the Client or the person representing the Client.


Page 6

Creating fig 3 as continuous chart does not any value. Another sequence of the branches changes the shape of the chcart. Branches are separate so the bar chart would be more suitable.


page 7

The ascending or descending order of the users would be suitable.


Page 8

"construction industry ecosystem" - I doubd if the ecosystem is proprely used here.


Page 9

"It is important to identify factors that are peculiar to the terrain... "

The relationship between CFS and the terrain is unclear.


"The internet services are also very limited and restricted to urban cities and relatively very high to maintain by the users". What does it mean "very high to maintain"?


Page 9 to 16

There is a serious flaw in applying factor analysis (and the tests connected to it). Achieving so good result of KMO (i.e. independence of factors) most of answers for the "Availability of Internet" scored 5 should give the score 1 for e.g. "Availability of ITC infrastructure". Both of the factors were scored near 4 (as average) so the KMO test could not be so good.

The factors' analysis is used mainly for data reduction or classification.

The aim of applying the factors' analysis is not specified in the paper.

7 pages of analysis is not concluded or concluded in the way that important factors have different names from the names previously used (eg. in table 5).

In order to apply statistical tools it is necessary to specify the aim, to check if the requirements of applying the tool are fulfilled, to show which variants of test were considered, to show formulas with describtions (which kind of values were assigned to the symbols). It is necessary to dicuss the result of analysis (what take into account, what is to be exluded next). Analysis without conclusion is worthless.

Author Response


Reviewer 2


1.

Abstract



ITC not explained (done in Introduction)

The full meaning of ICT has been stated in the abstract


Remove "(6)". The word "six" is understandable.   The symbol (6) suggests number of an equation.

The number {6} has been removed leaving only the word six.

2.

Introduction



What does it mean ICT investment (page 1)

ICT investment means the hardware, software and other facilitating   conditions to actively participate in an e-Procurement environment. This has   been included to explain the term.


CFSs do not perform. They are factors reflecting something.

Yes CSFs do not perform. The definition of CSFs in this context is   creating a central point of reference in measuring the success or failure in   the use of e-Procurement systems. This is stated in Page 1.


Is there any difference between e-procurements and e-Procurements? If   not, please keep one style of writing.

There is no difference between e-procurements and e-Procurements.   However, to keep a uniform style of writing, e-Procurement has been used   throughout the article.

3.

Page 4



·           The formula (1) should be better described. Z   and e are not explained.

·           It is not clear how many features will be   analysed (will it be 1-dimension analysis or more?).

·           What does it mean "built   environment"?

·           The statement "population is large"   needs to be proved. How the population was estimated? What is the lower limit   of being large? (dots on the right side of the formula should not be   visible).  Since p is assumed 0,5, q is   0,5 too. It means that nothing is explained in the formula (1); Z and e are   not explained. It is not proved why p=0,5 gives max variability. Variability   of what?

·     The formula in equation 1 has been well   described to show where it was obtained and the variables well explained.

·     There are three (3) objectives outlined in the   study. The statistical tools used for each objectives have been outlined in   the research method. Furthermore, the CSFs was tested beyond the mean score   to classify and reduce the factors using factor analysis and make inferences   from the findings.

·     The word built environment has been removed   and replaced with the construction industry.

·     The population for the study include   registered and unregistered construction stakeholders. Without a comprehensive   list, the population is undefined as shown in works of Ibem et al. (2016).   Cochran (1963) then gave a formula that helps to use simple random sampling   to estimate the minimum sample size which was done in this study. The   variables of Z and e have been defined. p is given as 0.5 because the   researchers do not know the variability in the proportion of the actual users   of e-procurement systems in the construction industry. This helps give   maximum variability in the proportion.


Every formula (including formula (1)) has its specific applications,   constraints, assumptions to be fulfilled - they are unknown in the paper.

All the assumptions has now been stated p = 0.05 at 95%, q = (1-p)   which is equal to 0.5, Z = 1.96 and e = ±5% precision.


Remove "(6)". The word "six" is understandable.   The symbol (6) suggests number of an equation.

Again, please don't use: "... two (2)...", please use   "two" or 2. (2) suggest equation number 2.

The numbers have been replaced with word phrases throughout in the article   as suggested.


It is desirable to show which version of alpha test formula was taken   (and from; the reference) and describe it showing the description of the   symbols used.

The Cronbach alpha reliability test was used as recommended by   Pallant (2011) which is stated in the study and referenced.


What is the source of information about the total number of   e-procurement users in Nigeria?

The total number of e-procurement users were obtained from the   questionnaire survey as stated in the research method. A total of 1092   questionnaires were retrieved while only 759 respondents indicated that they   have used e-Procurement systems.

4.

Page 5



Description of Fig 1 is not readable.

Figure 1 has been enlarged to clearly show the legend


"...more than half of the study participants had over 10 years   work experience in the built environment... " is obviously false or fig   2 is wrongly prepared.

The statement has been corrected to reflect the information in Figure   2 now Figure 3, that more than half of the study participants had over 5   years work experience.


It seems that the Author(s) mixes (in a result of interview) the   companies with the persons providing the information to the interviewer. Is   the stakeholder in a construction project is the Client or the person   representing the Client.

The study was carried out on construction stakeholders which include Architects,   Builders, Engineers, Contractors, Construction/Project Managers, Quantity   Surveyors, Estate/ Facilities Managers, Supply Chain Managers/ Procurement   Officers and Construction Materials/Equipment Vendors. These stakeholders   work for construction businesses as reflected in the study. The actual users   of e-Procurement systems was measured at individual and firm level   respectively.

5.

Page 6



Creating fig 3 as continuous chart does not any value. Another   sequence of the branches changes the shape of the chcart. Branches are   separate so the bar chart would be more suitable.

Figure 3 now Figure 4 has been changed to bar chart.

6.

Page 7



The ascending or descending order of the users would be suitable.

Figure 5 has been changed to reflect an ascending order of the actual   users.

7.

Page 8



"Construction industry ecosystem" - I doubt if the   ecosystem is properly used here.

The word “ecosystem” has been removed from the statement.

8.

Page 9



"It is important to identify factors that are peculiar to the   terrain... "

The relationship between CFS and the terrain is unclear.

The study highlighted that CSFs for developed countries are different   from CSFs for developing countries has pointed out in several studies in [7,   8, 9]. Therefore, the CSFs highlighted in these studies [7, 8, 9] were   adapted for this study.


"The internet services are also very limited and restricted to   urban cities and relatively very high to maintain by the users". What   does it mean "very high to maintain"?

The statement is explaining the monthly data subscription that each   user has to purchase at exorbitant prices. This has now been captured in the   statement.

9.

Page 9 to 16



There is a serious flaw in applying factor   analysis (and the tests connected to it). Achieving so good result of KMO   (i.e. independence of factors) most of answers for the "Availability of   Internet" scored 5 should give the score 1 for e.g. "Availability of   ITC infrastructure". Both of the factors were scored near 4 (as average)   so the KMO test could not be so good.

The factors' analysis is used mainly for data   reduction or classification.

The aim of applying the factors' analysis is not   specified in the paper.

7 pages of analysis is not concluded or concluded   in the way that important factors have different names from the names   previously used (eg. in table 5).

In order to apply statistical tools it is   necessary to specify the aim, to check if the requirements of applying the   tool are fulfilled, to show which variants of test were considered, to show   formulas with descriptions (which kind of values were assigned to the   symbols). It is necessary to discuss the result of analysis (what take into   account, what is to be excluded next). Analysis without conclusion is   worthless.

The KMO test was carried out and supported the   use of factor analysis due to the adequacy at 0.946 which is greater than the   acceptable value of 0.7. Why factor analysis was used has now been explained   in the study. The aim of the factor analysis was to help reduce the factors   and classify the factors to understand similarities that exist between the   factors. From the 21 CSFs tested, it was reduced to 20 CSFs which has been   stated in the study. From the scree plot generated, three components were   formed from the CSFs. Different names were then given to the components that   were generated from the factor analysis which are different from the factors   before testing. The aim was achieved and further literature was used to   corroborate the findings from the factor analysis of the CSFs.


Reviewer 3 Report

The paper is well structured, makes a good state of the question and poses adequately the objective of the research. In the results and discussion section the results are presented and compared with previous studies, and the results contribute to grow up the body of knowledge of e-procurement.

In my opinion the article is suitable for the publication but in order to improve the comprehension of the readers authors should modify and add the next points:

§  In the Research Method section must be included a figure about Nigeria geopolitical zones (and a brief description of the performance of the procurement system).

§  In the Research Method must be included a brief description of the techniques used in the subsequent analysis of the data (for example Kaiser-Meyer-Olkin test).

§  The graphs, in my opinion, should have the same format (figures 1 to 4).

Best regards


Author Response


Reviewer 3


1.

In the Research Method section must be included a figure about   Nigeria geopolitical zones (and a brief description of the performance of the   procurement system).

A figure of Nigeria’s geopolitical zones has been included as Figure   1 while the description of the performance of procurement systems in the   Nigerian construction industry has been included in the introduction and   review of Literature.

2.

In the Research Method must be included a brief description of the   techniques used in the subsequent analysis of the data (for example   Kaiser-Meyer-Olkin test).

A brief description of the techniques used in the subsequent analysis   has been included in the research method section.

3.

The graphs, in my opinion, should have the same format (figures   1 to 4).

Thank you for the suggestion. The authors tried to use the best   graphs that suit each question. However, for consistency a pie chart and bar   chart has been used in the study.


Round 2

Reviewer 2 Report

As the only reference for statistical issues a manual for SSPS is shown. It does not explain everything (I have revised the content of it). KMO, Bartlett test, Likert scale are not supported by any reference. It is clear, that before the analysis correlation matrix should be prepared (21x21).

Apllied method should be shown explicitly (is it exploratory or confirmatory factor analysis EFA or CFA; is it principal factor analysis or principal component analysis PFA or PCA).

In my opinion the scientific paper - even if advanced methods are applied - should make the reader just a bit familiar with basics and therefore make him trust that e.g. KMO or Bartlett methods are the right one for the purpose you applied them.

The paper does not provide this kind of trust. It is still not shown (proved) and I strongly believe that pairwise correlation between CSFs exists (very high in some cases). Even if you've checked that, it should be expicitly shown. I can't believe that independency of CSFs is so low as presented test shows.

Some detailed remarks:

Why the first component you name "Management support" while it refers mainly to afordability, accessability, stability?

Why the awareness of e-Procurement is an element of Management support but not a component of Human Factors?

Why the existance of stadards is in Human Factors but not in Technology factors?

Answers "I'm not sure" should not be counted for cumulative pertage - it doesn't make sense.


Author Response

S/N

Comments   and Suggestions by Reviewer

Comments   by Author

1.

As the only reference for statistical issues a manual for SSPS is   shown. It does not explain everything (I have revised the content of it).   KMO, Bartlett test, Likert scale are not supported by any reference. It is   clear, that before the analysis correlation matrix should be prepared   (21x21).

The KMO and Bartlett test have now been referenced on Page 6 which   followed the process highlighted in the SPSS manual by Pallant (2010). The   Likert scale follows previous studies in 7, 14 and 18.

2.

Applied method should be shown explicitly (is it exploratory or   confirmatory factor analysis EFA or CFA; is it principal factor analysis or   principal component analysis PFA or PCA).

The applied method used for the classification and data reduction is   the principal component analysis (PCA) as shown in Table 7 and Table 8.

3.

In my opinion the scientific paper - even if advanced methods are   applied - should make the reader just a bit familiar with basics and   therefore make him trust that e.g. KMO or Bartlett methods are the right one   for the purpose you applied them. The paper does not provide this kind of   trust. It is still not shown (proved) and I strongly believe that pairwise   correlation between CSFs exists (very high in some cases). Even if you've   checked that, it should be expicitly shown. I can't believe that independency   of CSFs is so low as presented test shows

On Page 6, the rationale for the use of KMO and Bartlett tests have   been expanded and explained further for the readers to understand the process   of using the tests. By explaining the KMO and Bartlett test with reference to   Pallant (2010), the authors have been able to show trust in the use of the   tests where the data obtained confirmed the adequacy to proceed further with   the PCA test.

4.

Why the first component you name "Management support" while   it refers mainly to affordability, accessibility, stability? Why the awareness   of e-Procurement is an element of Management support but not a component of   Human Factors?

The rationale for the first component title has been explained on   Page 13. This   is simply because, the availability and accessibility as well as type and   quality of physical infrastructure such as Internet facilities, e-Procurement   tools and application, ICT infrastructure in terms of hardware, skilled   personnel and power supply in any organisation is a function of top   management attitude towards the use of such facilities and its readiness to   invest in their acquisition. In the same vein, the level of awareness of e-Procurement   technologies amongst staff members is also partly a function of the quality   of IT savvy personnel recruited and the type of in-service training they are   exposed to within the organisations. These issues are mainly within the   purview of top management of firms and organisations in terms of policies and   strategic decisions; and are essential components that should be put in place   for effective deployment and sustained use of e-Procurement tools,   technologies and processes.

5.

Why the awareness of e-Procurement is an element of Management   support but not a component of Human Factors?

The rationale for the second component title has been explained on   Page 15. The   emergence of this under human factor is understandable because standards are   created by human beings based on the existing cultural, social, economic and   technological norms locally and globally. Consequently, the essence of   standards is to have a unified and generally accepted criteria or parameters for   describing the characteristics of tangible and intangible entities amongst people.   The implication of this finding is that in order to increase the adoption of e-Procurement   systems in the construction industry there is a need for entrenched   understanding of common parameters for describing, displaying and specifying construction   materials, works and services as well as the benefits of e-Procurement   systems.

6.

Answers "I'm not sure" should not be counted for cumulative   percentage - it doesn't make sense.

Thank you for the suggestion. However, a 5-point Likert scale was   used, therefore, the scale of “I’m not sure” is a data that must be included   in the result. This has been checked according to previous studies.


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