The African urban marketplace environment (MPE) is a space with deep cultural significance forming a focal point of economic and social life in African societies. Every African irrespective of their social status has contact with the marketplace. It is an influential, complex and highly dynamic space that deserves to be effectively managed. However, one significant challenge faced in the management of African marketplaces is how best to manage solid waste in order to provide a safe and clean environment. There is evidence in literature that inadequate solid waste management (SWM) in MPE is related to the attitudes of the market users, which has been incessantly tagged as ‘poor’. Literature also indicates a lack of sufficient understanding of the MPE and the factors that underpin the users’ attitude towards waste. Therefore, the aim of this study is to provide an in-depth understanding of the dynamics of the MPE in order to identify the key underlying factors that underpin the attitude of market users towards waste.
The research is undertaken in the Facilities Management (FM) context. It focuses on the environmental management component of FM with a particular consideration to SWM as a key reoccurring FM theme in the MPE. Primary data generation and collection was undertaken within the City of Port Harcourt, Nigeria. Adopting a sequential mixed model research design, four markets were selected and data generated using non-participant observation, semi-structured interviews, questionnaires and focus group research instruments. Non-participant observation of the four markets was carried out, 43 semi-structured interviews were conducted, and 746 questionnaires were administered. Finally, a focus group session made of 10 market stakeholders across the cases was conducted.
The research established 10 key factors that could enhance the SWM practices in MPE. Through the application of analytical tools - Relative Importance Index (RII) and Interpretive Structural Modelling (ISM) - the relative importance and the interdependencies between the factors were evaluated respectively. An ISM Influence-based Model was developed to serve as a guide for better SWM practices in MPE. The study also identified five key factors that underpin the attitudes of the market users towards waste. Contrary to existing literature, the research established that the trigger and facilitation of desired attitudinal change lies primarily with the market managers rather than the users. These outcomes of the research provide the essential knowledge to market facilities managers particularly in aiding to improve performance in environmental management as a core component of FM services in MPEs. It can be concluded that this research will enhance the effective functioning of markets by providing a safe and clean environment, which will have an impact on the attitude of the community towards waste.
|Date of Award||Jun 2016|