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PERCEPTION AND ATTITUDE TOWARDS THE PRACTICE OF
FACILITIES MANAGEMENT IN AKURE
1Oyetunji Abiodun K & 2Eyakwanor Akpovi A.
1. Department of Estate Management, University of Benin; 2347031606666,
2. Department of Architecture, University of Benin; 2347036555701,
The practice of facility management in the built environment industry is seen as one which
should be left to the hands of a particular professional in the construction industry. The attitude
and perception of Estate Surveyors and Valuers towards the practice corroborates that it should
be the sole responsibility of the profession. This study investigates the perception and attitude of
real estate professional on the practice of facility management in Akure. Findings revealed that
80.95% of the respondents had a high working understanding of facilities management while
57.14% see the profession as an integral part of traditional property management. It was
recommended that Nigerian surveyors should accept the globally acknowledged multi-
disciplinary nature of facilities management and seek to define areas of best relative contribution
within a multidisciplinary team that consists of other professions who also have facilities
management contributions. Surveyors are also advised to stick to the competency area of the
profession and leave other areas to other more competent disciplines
Keywords: Attitude, Competent, Facilities management, Practice, Profession, Scope
The profession of the chartered or registered management surveyor is one of the vocational
legacies of colonial British rule in countries of the Commonwealth. More than forty years since
most African nations achieved independence, the members of this profession - known by names
as Estate Surveyors and Valuers or Chartered Management Surveyors – have been increasingly
recognized as the expert agents for management of land, buildings, plant and machinery and
even in a limited sense facilities. However, since the 1980s, a new and more encompassing
management vocational specialty has emerged from the USA and Europe, focusing on facilities,
as large corporations across the world came to realize the importance of the management of
businesses as more integrated facilities (Odiete, 1998; Featherstone, 2000).
Nigeria as a country itself has not been excluded as the country’s multinational corporations have
begun to respond to the changing worldwide needs and seek for an integrated business, resource,
infrastructure and management of their facilities. Kortze and Nkado, (2003) point out that
facilities management has become the necessary “enabling mechanism” that captures the shifting
facility management needs of corporations worldwide. The Property Management Surveyor
(Estate Surveyor and Valuer) in Nigeria having gotten the legal and public recognition to carry
out valuation and property management activities has accepted the responsibility as the specialist
manager of investment properties as well as corporate facilities and had indeed begun to put
forward the argument that the Estate Surveyor and Valuer, rather than engineering professionals
was ideally suited for such responsibilities.
Facilities management according to the (Centre for Facilities Management, 2010) is the process
by which an organization delivers and sustains support services in a quality environment to meet
strategic needs”. It may also be defined as “the process by which an organization ensures that its
buildings, systems and services support core operations and processes as well as contribute to
achieving its strategic objectives in changing conditions (Keith, 2009). As buildings become
more complex and house more technology, user expectations rise and the pressure on them to
perform increases. Increasing legislation to ensure health, safety and welfare as well as to protect
the environment has added new responsibilities on companies to manage the workplace.
Center for Facilities Management, (CFM, 2010) emphasized the need to focus resources on
meeting user need s to support the key role of people in organizations and strives to continuously
improve quality, reduce risks and ensure value for money. CFM (2010), scope of the discipline
covers all aspects of property, space, environmental control, health and safety, and support
services, and requires that appropriate control points are established in the organization. The
facility plan will set out these policies and identifies corporate guideline and standards. The plan
will describe the organization, structure, procedures and responsibilities of all stakeholders.
Facilities management lay out an organization’s response to vital issues such as space allocation
and charging, environmental control and protection, direct and contract employment. Facilities
management is relevant to all sectors in developed and developed and developing countries”.
Alexander (1996) examined the core activities of facilities managers which includes organization
and management, quality management, value management, risk management, building
performance, environmental management, information management, support services and project
management. Park (1998) opined that the duties of a facilities manager must include but not
limited to space planning, maintenance and feedback, operational services, assets management,
life cycle costing, system and software, services, allied activities, health and safety and property
portfolio. Spedding (1999) further identified ten business areas of FM consultants as follows: -
building valuation and inventories; space analysis; user and occupancy surveys; safety and
security audits; telecommunication and information system provision and support; Inspection of
premises and maintenance; furniture and equipment surveys; planning and management of
contracted out services; re-location of premises and procurement of new properties.
There is no doubt that the field of facilities management is broad and continues to widen as more
and more practitioners join the league. But there is indeed the need to streamline the functions
that are being performed by the facilities managers. It is also obvious that many of the
professional callings highlighted above are currently the areas of professional callings of other
professionals. Ojo (2002) compared property management and facilities management and
concluded that many areas of professional callings of the estate surveyor and valuer are now
embedded in the work of the facilities managers but there are obvious differences in areas of
space planning, churn management and workspace resource management.
2. Factors Influencing Facilities Management Practice by Nigerian Estate Surveyors
Factors for facilities management practice generate limitations to and standards for facilities
management practice and decision making. Various authors have examined factors of facilities
management practice. Some of them include Lee (2002), Nutt (2002), Hinks (2002), Bennett
(2000), Cotts (1999) Krumm et al (1998), Schindler (1998), and Barrett (1995) but the most
prominent amongst these are the studies by Chotipanich (2004) and Moore and Finch (2004).
Chotipanich (2004) after conducting a literature review categorized factors that influence
facilities management practice to include: internal factors including organizational
characteristics, facility features, and business sector; and external factors including economic,
social, environment, legislation and regulation, facilities management market context, and local
culture and context.
Moore and Finch (2004) in the study which investigate the factor responsible for the growth of
facilities management in South East Asia, identified globalization, information technology, high
cost of space, employee expectations, cost of mistakes, labor costs, regional economy, property
market, general business environment, market maturity and procurement systems as factors that
influence the growth of facilities management in the region. The influence of globalization and
information technology was identified as one of the main drivers of facilities management
growth. Literature showed factors influencing the practice of facilities management. There are
some factors common to more than one list, but there is certainly no general agreement on the
variables. Review of previous research shows some common factors that influence facilities
management practice. They include: size of an estate; type of business of an organization; extent
of contracting out of service; physical features of facility; existing culture of an organization;
client demands/expectations; training; presence of environmental policies/legislation set by a
company or government; presence of expertise needed to create a very good working
environment; cost control of services provided; monitoring of performance of past FM services
provided; and economic climate of the country.
3. Literature on Facilities Management and the Perception of Estate Surveyors and
According to Strathclyde (1994), the College of Estate Management conducted a study on how
Facilities Management is perceived by property professionals and the research examined
professionals in various sectors and was able to determine their respective perceptions of
Facilities management, the definition they accorded it, the perceived differences between
facilities management and property management as well as how the organization the respondents
worked in influenced perception of Facilities management. Another study by Hinks (1999)
looked into the extent to which chartered surveyors in the UK are taking professional roles of
facilities management. It also examined the role of the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors
(RICS) in the future of Facilities management. The survey of RICS members provided a better
understanding of the scope of Facilities management from the view point of the RICS and its
members. One has to be cautious in accepting the outcome of these studies as relevant to Nigeria,
since they were carried out in a different cultural, social and institutional setting.
Ogunba & Adewunmi (2005) carried out a study to examine the role perception of estate
management professionals in facilities management in Nigeria. Within the professional body of
Nigerian estate surveyors and valuers (the Nigerian Institution of Estate Surveyors and Valuers),
facilities management has become an important subject of discussion. It began to be a focus of
discussion at the Institution’s 1993 Owerri Conference and became more so at the 1998 Kano
Conference. Papers presented at the conference and elsewhere discussing facilities management
in relation to the role of the estate surveyor and valuer include papers, such as Odiete (1998),
Fatokun (1998), Udo (1998), Umezuriuke (1998), Fatokun (2002), Ojo (2002), Omirin (2000),
The increasing recognition of facilities management by the Institution and its practitioners is a
reflection of the increasing recognition accorded to facilities management in Nigeria’s business
world. It is clear that leading corporations - especially those that are global players with
operational centers and staff across the world - are increasingly making demand for such
services. In recognition of this, many Nigerian Estate Surveyors and Valuers have joined the
recently formed International Facilities Management Association (Fatokun, 2002). Some of the
Nigerian papers tended to view facilities management and property management as more or less
one and the same and by implication uni-disciplinary rather than multi-disciplinary.
This appears to be the assertion of Udo (1998), Odiete (1998) and Ojo (2002) who opine that
estate surveyors are by their related skills and training (in real estate acquisition, lease
negotiations and management, construction project management, space planning and
management and premises operation and maintenance very relevant to facilities management),
and indeed are already employed as facilities managers in both public and private sectors of the
economy (either as an in-house or consultant facility managers). They suggest that whether the
surveyor is a consultant or in-house adviser, he offers value-added advice to the benefit of the
users and helps to unlock users’ property problems and realize property values.
This attitude by estate surveyors is probably a defensive attempt to restrict the property and
facilities management fields to itself against a perceived competitive threat from other
professionals. Umezuruike (1998) and Adewunmi (2006) however lend credence to the call for
multidisciplinary management of facilities. Still, the role to be played by the estate surveyor
within such a multidisciplinary framework is not clearly defined. Fatokun (1998) recognizes this,
and calls on the Nigerian Institution of Estate surveyors and Valuers to strengthen, establish, and
encourage further studies on facilities management through conduct of CPD, workshops,
seminars. Umezuruike (op. cit) suggests that the role of an Estate surveyor as a facilities manager
will depend on the nature of the organizational structure in place, the efficiency and effectiveness
of the entire management system and the focus of management and management policies.
4. Theory of Management
Management is defined as “getting things done through and with others (Nwachukwu, 2007). It
can be more scientifically defined as the co-ordination of all the resources of an organization
through the process of planning, organizing, directing and controlling in order to attain
organization objectives (Lawal, 2002). Management is seen as a process demanding the
performance of a specific function (Stephen et. al. 2002). The manager is the individual to
provide the dynamic force or direction (Nwuba, 1994) and expected to possess special talents or
abilities quite different from non-managers (Nwachukwu, 2007).
Management function is identical in all formal organizations whether it is a profit making
organization or a non-profit-making organization. The concept of the universality of
management implies that all managers irrespective of their profession in the organizational
hierarchy perform at one time or the other identical functions. What managers do in
organizations are similar as; making decisions, focusing on objectives, planning and setting
policies and organizing and staffs, community with subordinates, colleagues and superiors;
directly and supervising; and controlling (George, 1967).
5. Evolution of Facilities Management
Owen (1995) gave a brief beginning of the facilities management faculty. Facilities
management’s roots are to be found in a broad spectrum of backgrounds. The term “facilities
management” itself originated in the hi-tech computer world and was transposed into the built
environment area via space planners and office furniture manufacturers. There it was used as a
communication vehicle between these interior space specialists and a wide range of clients or
“users”; many represented by staff with no property background, including personnel and
administrative staff, accountants and production managers.
Facilities Management (FM) became recognized as identifiable management concept in the
United States of America at the start of the eighties and has been practiced in the United
Kingdom since about 1983, with the main growth occurring this decade. All the functions, which
are now incorporated under the facilities management umbrella, existed prior to the recognition
of FM. What FM has achieved, that is new, is an understanding that a co-ordinated and
integrated approach to a range of business activities can add value to an organization’s process.
This was corroborated by Spedding (1999) when he said that what is new in FM is the view of
the support which the property can give to the mission and goals of a particular business. The
practice of facilities management as a professional discipline (with its own defined procedures,
professional and educational associations, and the like) has begun. The growth of the most
prominent trade organization in this field – The International Facilities Management Association
(IFMA) – from its inception in 1980 to 1,500 members in 1985 and more than 4,000 members in
1987 is one dramatic example. Spedding (1999) was in line with this account when he revealed
that he came in contact with the concept of FM in the late 1980s.
The re-structuring of the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) England from seven
divisions into sixteen faculties in 1995 saw the coming into existence the Facilities Management
Faculty. This gave impetus to the professionalization of Facilities Management among
surveyors. This incident led the College of Estate Management at the University of Reading to
establish a professional diploma in facilities management, which was accredited by the RICS.
The combined efforts of the RICS, BIFM and IFMA through conferences, publications, and
research and industry liason have internationalized facilities management and these actions have
been aided and abetted by communication and information technology including internet.
6. Research Methodology
This paper tends to investigate the attitude and perception of the Estate Surveyors and Valuers to
facility management practice in Akure, Ondo State, Nigeria with a view to understand and add to
existing knowledge the importance of facility management in real estate profession. The target
population for the study are the practicing Estate Surveyors and Valuers. According to the 2012
directory of the Ondo State Branch of the Nigerian Institution of Estate Surveyors and Valuers
(NIESV), there are twenty-one (21) firms of Estate Surveyors and Valuers practicing in the
Ondo, hence it will serves as the sample frame for this study and since it is within a manageable
size it will also constitute the sample size for the study. Questionnaires were administered to the
21 Estate Surveyors and Valuers in Akure as they constitutes the sample size. Questions relating
to level of awareness on the practice, the perception about the practice, scope and coverage areas
of facility management services were peculiar questions asked to ascertain the perception and
attitude of Estate Surveyors and Valuers on the practice of facility management in Akure. The
data obtained was analyzed using descriptive statistics.
7. Results and Discussion
Table 1 showed that out of 21 respondents, 80.95 percent report that they have had a high
working understanding of facilities management, while 19.05 percent do have a low but
appreciable level of facilities management awareness. This suggests that though facilities
management is apparently obscure and new phenomenon as an emerging field of interest in
Nigeria, a significant portion of estate surveyors are aware about facilities management as a
wider and distinct discipline from property management.
Table 1: Level of Facilities Management Awareness
Source: Field survey, 2014
Table 2 showed that 57.14 percent of the respondents are of the opinion that facilities
management is an integral part of the traditional property management, hence they believe that
facilities management is not different from the normal practice of property management and
28.57 percent of them still sees the profession as a distinct profession on its own which should
not be marry together with property management.
Table 2: Perception of Surveyors on professional status of FM Practice
Integral part of traditional property
A distinct profession
A consortium of professionals
Source: Field survey, 2014
Most of the estate surveyors and valuers who claimed to be aware and also participate in facility
management in their firm were of the opinion that the areas which they cover in the aspect of
facility management is the asset management as evidenced by 47.62 percent of the respondents
view while 28.57 and 23.81 percent specialize in space management and services management
respectively. This showed that the total coverage area which facility management emphasis has
not been fully exploited by the practitioners in the state.
Table 3: Scope and Coverage Areas of FM Services in Estate Surveying Firms
Scope and Coverage Areas
Health and Safety
Source: Field survey, 2014
Table 4 showed that estate surveyors perceive the future facilities management market in Nigeria
lie mainly with their own profession. The percentage of respondents that agreed strongly and
moderately to this assertion was 38.09% and 19.05 % respectively. This view suggests that
Nigerian estate surveyors do not yet really accept the notion that facilities management is multi-
disciplinary in nature. This result is contrary to the results in similar studies in the UK which
showed that surveyors favored multi-disciplinary practices. The disparity is probably attributable
to the fact that the RICS itself is multidisciplinary in nature and there is a greater level of
facilities management awareness in the UK.
Table 4: Perceptions by Surveyors’ Areas of Profession where Facilities Management
Estate Management dominates
Construction professions shares the facilities
management consultants develops
Other non-construction fields takes over FM
Source: Field Survey, 2014
Facilities management is evolving globally as a multidisciplinary discipline. In the process of its
evolution, the role of each discipline has begun to require clarification. Chartered Surveyors in
the UK have begun the process of clarification on this issue, but in Nigeria, there has hitherto
been no investigation into this area. Rather, the profession has defensively tried to secure the
entire profession for itself, ostensibly because it has hitherto preformed the property management
role. The result has been a lot of confusion as to the Estate Surveyors’ scope, and areas of best
contribution in facilities management. This paper has attempted to make a contribution to the
The paper is justified by the need to ensure that estate surveyors distinguish themselves in an
emerging discipline that is related to their training and skills, not through a defensive stakeout
against competing professionals but through clarifying areas of best contribution within a
multidisciplinary framework to increasingly sophisticated clients. Clients in particular want to be
convinced that in relation to other professionals, the property surveyor is able to meet some of
the core competencies within the ambit of facilities management. The estate surveyor needs to
clarify his best role in this discipline, and then focus and develop his skills in such areas so that
he can develop valuable specialist service delivery.
The following recommendations were put forward towards improving the practice of
facilities management. They are:
i. Nigerian surveyors must accept the globally acknowledged multi-disciplinary nature of
facilities management and seek to define areas of best relative contribution within a
multidisciplinary team that consists of other professions who also have facilities
ii. Surveyors should stick to the competency area of the profession and leave other areas to
other more competent disciplines since more efficient contribution from estate surveyors
in facilities management can be achieved with the provision of wider education and
iii. The roles of different professionals can be complementary in the evolving
multidisciplinary approach to facilities management. There need be no unnecessary
overlap of functions between professions once the role of each is clearly defined.
iv. There is a need for enlightenment about the relevance of the surveyor in identified core
competencies, given the skills and training. In Nigeria, such enlightenment is perhaps
best done by the Estate Surveyors professional body, the Nigerian Institution of Estate
Surveyors and Valuers (NIESV).
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