The purpose of this study is to identify the primary root causes of defects in terms of why they persist in construction, despite the increasing implementation of quality systems. Defects in construction continue to be a source of concern in the construction industry. There have been studies that have tried to identify causes of defects. Although concepts are usually related to organisational factors, previous studies have been carried out on an operational level. There is a well-trodden area within the literature relating to the operational level, but little is known about the causes of defects on a higher, organisational level within construction.