Partnering practice in the relationships between clients and main contractors

Wood, GD 2005, 'Partnering practice in the relationships between clients and main contractors' , RICS Research Paper Series, 5 (2) , p. 42.

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Partnering is considered to be a radical departure from conventional approaches to procurement in the UK construction sector, but may be difficult to integrate within a traditionally adversarial environment. Analysis of the literature suggests that the potential barriers to partnering success can be classified under the headings of cultural and economic factors. Through the use of semi-structured interviews with senior figures within the industry, this research paper explores both themes, as experienced in the context of client: main contractor relationships. Findings indicate that: developing trust is a major challenge; effecting cultural and behavioural change within large, complex organisations is difficult; the behaviour of individuals needs to be monitored on a project by project basis; and there is limited use of formal change management programmes in this respect. Furthermore, the use of pain/gain sharing mechanisms is common although the nature and equity of ‘win-win ’outcomes are variable; the analysis and allocation of risks is often open to negotiation; however, there is still a tendency for clients to seek to transfer risk without commensurate reward; and clients sometimes revert to cost-driven behaviour. The tangible benefits of partnering expressed by the sample in this study can be summarized as improved time and cost performance for clients, and work assurance for main contractors.

Item Type: Article
Themes: Subjects / Themes > T Technology > TA Engineering (General). Civil engineering (General)
Built and Human Environment
Schools: Schools > School of the Built Environment
Schools > School of the Built Environment > Centre for Urban Processes, Resilient Infrastructures & Sustainable Environments
Journal or Publication Title: RICS Research Paper Series
Publisher: RICS
Refereed: Yes
ISSN: 184 2192 183
Depositing User: H Kenna
Date Deposited: 03 Oct 2007 14:39
Last Modified: 27 Aug 2021 22:01

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