Managing standard construction contractual forms
modifications in the Middle East - overview and recommendations
, PhD thesis, University of Salford Manchester.
Despite the fact that there exists several construction forms of contract that aim to standardize the contractual clauses in relation to the construction industry, the adoption of the same has been subject to major modifications and alteration endangering the overall spirit and consistency of the contractual forms.
Within the construction industry, many parties are involved in projects. Those parties mainly include the Client and the Contractor, in addition to the Project Manager, Project Consultant(s), Subcontractor(s) and Suppliers. Hence, contracts need to be customized, agreed, and signed to formalize parties’ relationships. Knowing that the Middle East region has, and will continue to have, major construction projects during the upcoming years, it is of major importance to understand the nature of Standard Contractual forms being used and the modifications that are being introduced, noting that well configured contractual clauses play a major role in simplifying part of the complexity associated with the construction environment.
This research focuses on standard construction contracts in practice between 2005 and 2015, in the Middle East, with their corresponding conditions. The aim of this research is to investigate the major modifications originally introduced to provide additional immunity to a certain project party within the Middle East region to improve construction management performance. This is achieved by first reviewing the various international standard forms of contract, and general contractual issues, and then further investigating the reasons and implications of major modifications introduced to these standard forms of contract. A single case study is examined in this study, within which questionnaire surveys and semi-structured interviews are used as the data collection techniques. It is found that one of the most commonly used standard contractual forms between 2005 and 2015 in the Middle East is the Conditions of Contract for Works of Civil Engineering Construction 4th Edition. The key findings highlight the reasons for the introduction of major modifications as being over protecting one of the parties or providing additional flexibility to one of the parties. Furthermore, the implications of introducing such modifications are identified as compounding the issues of project performance in terms of delays and cost escalation. This study recommends measures and modifications that would allow for contextual appropriateness, yet mitigate the impact of the same through the introduction of a proper balanced contract which is fit for purpose.
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