Identification of the relations between dispute factors and dispute categories in construction projects

Ilter D.

International Journal of Law in the Built Environment, vol.4, no.1, pp.45-59, 2012 (SCI-Expanded) identifier


The purpose of this paper is to: distinguish dispute factors from dispute categories, terms generally used interchangeably in the literature; compose consistent and comprehensive lists of dispute factors and categories; and identify the impacts of various dispute factors through empirical analysis of the associations between dispute factors and categories. In total, 50 construction projects in Turkey (each with a contract amount of 1 million USD or over) were investigated and analysed employing a specially developed dispute research survey form and through interviews with the project managers. Specific suggestions have been developed for various stakeholders of construction projects, building upon the associations revealed by the correlation analysis. These suggestions relate to the following issues; for employers: contractor selection (experience and technical capability), avoiding variations and punctual instructions; for consultants: preparation of project documents; for contractors: project selection and approach to conflicts; for project managers: defining the project scope, punctual instructions and use of ADR methods; for all stakeholders: project duration, unfamiliarity with local conditions, adversarial approach in handling conflicts and communication problems. This paper suggests an improvement to dispute terminology by differentiating between dispute factors and categories, and identifies the relations between these factors and categories by an empirical study. The results of this research can help practitioners and academicians by providing insights on the dynamics of dispute occurrence. An increased awareness of dispute factors and their specific impacts can allow practitioners to discern and identify the associated risks and endeavour to avoid certain practices, and thus eventually contribute to reducing disputes in the construction projects. © 2012, Emerald Group Publishing Limited