University of Twente Student Theses


Towards flexibility in complex construction projects through contractual collaboration

Griffioen, S. (2017) Towards flexibility in complex construction projects through contractual collaboration.

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Abstract:In the past decades, many researches on improving collaboration of the client-contractor relationship in the construction industry have been conducted. However, deeper insights into the dynamics of conflict escalation as the driving factor of collaboration failure, is rare. This study examines from Glasl’s escalation theory perspective the driving factors behind conflicts that often lead to legal disputes. Multiple in-depth interviews were carried out to attain a clear understanding of these dynamics. By means of a system-dynamics analyses a coherent view of the causalities was formed. The study results show that due to the competitive ambience in the current construction industry and because of the way this is stimulated by the manner in which current tendering procedures are organised, less emphasis is placed on relational aspects in the contract. As a consequence, when issues arise, this study shows that parties tend to dive into a cold strategic conflict, hence, opportunism. Based on the insights obtained in this research, a three-step conflict intervention model consisting of awareness, identification and fitting interventions is suggested. This model can be used as a toolbox in order to put more emphasis on the relational aspects in the procurement phase of construction projects. Thereby creating more flexibility so that possible complex issues can be prevented which helps safeguard future collaboration over the course of long-term complex construction projects.
Item Type:Essay (Master)
Faculty:ET: Engineering Technology
Subject:56 civil engineering
Programme:Construction Management and Engineering MSc (60337)
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