International Construction Specialty Conference of the Canadian Society for Civil Engineering (ICSC) (5th : 2015)

Preliminary investigation of the impact of project delivery method on dispute resolution method choice in public highway projects Gad, Ghada M.; Momoh, Ayodeji K.; Esmaeili, Behzad; Gransberg, Douglas G.


The use of alternative project delivery methods (PDMs) is perceived to create collaborative environments that result in less adversarial relationships between construction parties, which consequently leads to less disputes. While many research studies investigated the alternative PDMs’ impact on cost, schedule, quality, and sustainability, there is limited research to empirically investigate the impact of the PDM on the dispute resolution process choice. This aim of this paper is to conduct a preliminary investigation on how PDMs’ choice has affected Department of Transportation (DOTs) selection of the dispute resolution method (DRM). To achieve this objective, the researchers conducted content analysis of three State DOTs’ specification documents, both for Design-Bid-Build (DBB) and Design-Build (DB) PDMs. Results show that a stepped process is used in all three states with some form alternative DRM being used before resorting to litigation to provide opportunity for prevention and early resolution of disputes. In terms of PDM effect on the DRM, one state used an amicable dispute resolution process that fosters partnerships in DB and not in DBB projects, while another used partnering efforts regardless of the PDM employed. Also, the use of non-binding DRBs in another DOTs’ DB specifications before resorting to binding DRM provide opportunity for amicable ADR methods to be used before being escalated to litigation. This study serves as a preliminary investigation of how PDM choice could affect the way disputes are handled and results show that there is no consistent manner on which the dispute resolution process is selected based on PDM.

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