Forensic delay analysis: An investigation of the reasons for disagreements in timerelated disputes

Atanasov, Vasil, Greenwood, David, Thurairajah, Niraj and Hatcher, Cara (2021) Forensic delay analysis: An investigation of the reasons for disagreements in timerelated disputes. In: Proceedings of 37th ARCOM (Association of Researchers in Construction Management) annual conference 2021: Recover, Rebuild and Renew: Shifting mindsets and practices to change the future, 6-7 September 2021, [virtual conference]. Association of Researchers in Construction Management (ARCOM), Leeds, pp. 460-469. ISBN 978099554656

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Construction project delays are widespread and persistent. Disputes frequently occur, and their complexity and value has produced a role for experts specialising in Forensic Delay Analysis (FDA). Previous literature suggests that the main problem (and the main generator of escalated disputes) lies with the insufficiency and/or poor quality of available information. In this study, twelve disputes were examined for their key points of disagreement. These cases indicate that there are, in fact, four distinct factors: namely the availability, validity, and disclosure of relevant information, and the approach taken to its analysis. Insufficiency and poor quality of information was indeed a factor in these disputes, but not the only one; the apparently deliberate lack of transparency, the selective interpretation of information, and the subjective adoption of delay analysis method are at least as important in creating and amplifying the dispute. The resulting interplay between the availability of reliable data, the readiness of actors in providing it, and the conflicting motives behind the way it is analysed by experts results in a zero-sum gamble for the parties seeking the resolution of delays and their consequences. This could be partially or fully avoided by (i) exploiting advances in information technology; (ii) the introduction of agreed contractual delay protocols; and/or (iii) radical changes to the concept of 'ownership' of information. The work presented here is part of a wider study examining the impact of advances in information technology on the more efficient resolution (or even avoidance) of contractual disputes.

Item Type: Book Section
Additional Information: Funding information: The authors would like to acknowledge the assistance of the Major Projects Association, UK for its continuing support throughout the study.
Uncontrolled Keywords: Case studies, Contractual disputes, Information technology, Project delay
Subjects: G500 Information Systems
H200 Civil Engineering
H300 Mechanical Engineering
K100 Architecture
Department: Faculties > Business and Law > Newcastle Business School
Faculties > Engineering and Environment > Architecture and Built Environment
Faculties > Engineering and Environment > Mechanical and Construction Engineering
Depositing User: Elena Carlaw
Date Deposited: 05 Jul 2022 12:53
Last Modified: 05 Jul 2022 13:00

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