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UBC Theses and Dissertations

A framework for assessing innovation potential as a function of procurement mode in infrastructure project delivery Tawiah, Paul Adu


The delivery of infrastructure projects in almost all cases is impacted by critical issues of budget constraints, programme delays, quality and safety concerns, and an increasingly complex stakeholder environment. Innovation as it relates to the physical, process, organisational/contractual and financial dimensions of a project has a central role to play in not only meeting the demands of a wide variety of project performance metrics (e.g. technical, economic, quality, etc.) but also improving upon them and overall project efficiency. The use of public-private partnerships, or P3's has increased in popularity with governments on a worldwide basis as a means of driving innovation and efficiency to overcome the procurement and performance challenges of delivering infrastructure such as highways, water supply, and hospitals. One of several arguments forwarded by P3 advocates in support of one or more of its variants as a procurement mode, in place of traditional design-bid-build procurement for delivering such infrastructure, is the ability of P3 to harness more of the innovative capability of the private sector. It is asserted that this capability results in lower capital and/or life cycle costs and shorter delivery time, and in enhanced long-term project performance. This thesis examines the notion that the innovation potential of a project is a function of delivery mode, and describes findings from case studies to identify evidence that supports / contradicts such a viewpoint. Identified and defined here are 22 factors or conditions and their states that can act as drivers or inhibitors of innovation for infrastructure projects as a function of procurement mode and project context (e.g. project type, project scale, nature of competition). The thesis, thus presents a framework to assist with the selection and structuring of procurement mode to maximise innovation/efficiency potential for a specific project from the perspective of a government agency making decision to procure an infrastructure facility. The product, process, organizational / contractual, and financial / revenue innovations achieved on 3 major transportation projects are reviewed to test the concepts developed in the framework. The factors and conditions influencing the choice of procurement mode for a large-scale student housing facility are also discussed.

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