University of Twente Student Theses


Conflict management in the construction industry : a new paradigm

Oerle, M.M. van (2022) Conflict management in the construction industry : a new paradigm.

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Abstract:Conflict management in the construction industry has been extensively studied. Afterall, conflicts are an inevitable part of any construction project, and when left unresolved they consume a lot of time and energy. Most of these studies view conflicts as incidents, focusing on one aspect of conflict management: causes, prevention, or resolution. This paper argues that conflicts are continuous processes of escalating and de-escalating tensions. By modelling this continuous process,this paper provides new insights into underlying mechanisms. Thereby, providing parties with concrete guidance to control and optimize conflict management processes. Through the analysis and evaluation of current research combined with studying practice, a framework was developed. The framework shows that the individual aspects of conflict management are interconnected. Furthermore, the combining of these aspects provides practitioners with concrete guidance for conflict management in complex construction projects. The results show that any measure taken by a party will impact not only the conflict at hand but also the relationship between parties therefor future conflict management for the remainder of the project. Preventative measures are shown to have a significant impact on a conflict’s (de-)escalation dynamics. Additionally, de-escalation measures that consider the longevity of a project are found to have a positive impact on the long-term relationship between the client and contractor. The asymmetrical role of both the client and contractor underlines the importance of a continuous conflict management approach.
Item Type:Essay (Master)
Faculty:ET: Engineering Technology
Programme:Construction Management and Engineering MSc (60337)
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