The influence of national culture on the preparation, evaluation and negotiation of claims on international construction projects : a constructivist grounded theory

Tracey, PG 2020, The influence of national culture on the preparation, evaluation and negotiation of claims on international construction projects : a constructivist grounded theory , PhD thesis, University of Salford.

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Abstract

This research has its origins in the commercial complexities of the international construction industry. The catalyst for the research was a challenging construction project in the Gaza Strip 20 years ago which, following the events of the second Intifada, resulted in the need for a series of claims that were prepared, evaluated and negotiated with stakeholders from several different countries.
During the course of this process it appeared that differences in national culture were proving problematic in the resolution of these claims. This observation was widely corroborated by other industry practitioners who had experienced similar challenges on other projects and who had also found national culture to be something of an enigma.
Whilst numerous theoretical frameworks exist in relation to the influence of national culture, little in the way of research has been undertaken in the specialist field of claims within the international construction sector.
The aim of this research is to provide an in - depth understanding of the extent of the influence of national culture on the preparation, evaluation and negotiation of claims on international construction projects. It does not seek to generalise across national cultures but instead provide an idiographic understanding of the research problem and explain how the challenges of national culture can be more effectively managed.
By adopting a Constructivist Grounded Theory research strategy based upon 40 interviews with experienced industry practitioners, from 38 different national cultures, this research project has produced four key findings: Firstly, national culture is an important but often misunderstood consideration in the preparation, evaluation and negotiation of claims on international construction projects. Secondly, the theoretical frameworks in the existing body of literature relating to national culture cannot be usefully applied to the specialist field of claims in their current form. Thirdly, whilst specialist practitioners have developed their own understanding of the challenges of national culture, that understanding has not always proven successful in addressing the challenges that national culture presents. Finally, many of the challenges that industry practitioners perceive to be national culture are, in fact, not actually national culture.
The original contribution to knowledge of this thesis is the construction of an idiographic Constructivist Grounded Theory that explicates the extent of the influence of national culture on the preparation, evaluation and negotiation of claims on international construction projects.
For academia the research project will not only be of relevance to researchers studying the influence of national culture in the context of claims in the international construction sector but also to those who are investigating the extent of the influence of national culture in relation to other phenomena in the construction industry. In particular, the adoption of a Constructivist Grounded Theory as a research method applied to a research problem in the construction industry will be of real significance for researchers in the construction industry as it will provide an example of how that research strategy can be applied in practice.
For industry, the research project provides an in-depth understanding of the real influence of national culture in the specialist field of claims in the international construction industry. It provides construction professionals with a theoretical framework with which to better understand the existing hegemonic theories relating to national culture and to identify when national culture is acting as an influence in this specialist field and thereby more effectively manage and embrace national culture in their practice. The research project will be of particular significance for those construction professionals who are working on international construction projects with stakeholders from different national cultures.
Keywords: national culture, claims, international, construction, constructivist grounded theory.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Contributors: Chynoweth, P (Supervisor)
Schools: Schools > School of Environment and Life Sciences
Depositing User: PG Tracey
Date Deposited: 07 Oct 2020 11:09
Last Modified: 14 Oct 2020 10:17
URI: http://usir.salford.ac.uk/id/eprint/58071

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