Last edited 18 Jan 2018

Conflict avoidance

A combination of environmental and behavioural factors can lead to conflicts. Projects are usually long-term transactions with high uncertainty and complexity, and it is impossible to resolve every detail and foresee every contingency at the outset. As a result, situations often arise that are not clearly addressed by the contract. The basic factors that drive the development of construction disputes are uncertainty, contractual problems, and behaviour.

In order to prevent disputes from developing, conflict avoidance is a necessary strategy for managing risks and executing a project. Some of the most typical conflict avoidance approaches include:

  • Effective management

Potential problems can be analysed and managed by proactively planning future work. Conflict can be avoided by raising issues of concern early.

Conflicts can arise from ambiguities in contract documents.

Closer co-operation between project stakeholders can increase the value of teamworking.

A proper and full understanding of the client’s objectives as well as liaising with the client regularly can help avoid conflict.

  • Progress assessment

Regularly assessing project progress and costs, and liaising with the main contractor to deal with any problems.

Ensuring good provision of information both within the design team and from them to the contractor.

  • Maintaining records

Conflict can often be avoided by keeping proper and detailed records of labour, plant, materials, and so on.

Establishing and adhering to proper payment practices.

  • Regular reporting

Keeping all stakeholders up to date with regular reports on cost, progress and quality.

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