Dynamic Conflict Management in Large-Scale Design and Construction Projects

The construction industry plays a major role in both the economy and infrastructure project delivery worldwide. However, one major critical characteristic of the construction industry is the high cost incurred by the resolution of arising conflicts in projects. As a result, project managers are seeking ways to avoid conflicts and resolve them effectively and equitably when they happen. This paper discusses the dynamic nature of conflicts in terms of their evolution and escalation within a project and the interaction between conflicts and dispute avoidance and resolution techniques (DART). The paper also presents the background and development of a conflict management system, entitled the DART Simulator (DART-S). The intent of the DART-S is to provide project managers with a comprehensive and integrated approach to evaluate the impact of a DART implementation on the reduction of conflicts. The simulator was built using a system dynamic modeling within a visual simulation environment. The core of the simulator was developed by using data from literature on the nature of conflicts, dispute resolution processes, and the potential effectiveness of 46 different DART-S on conflict avoidance and resolution. The simulator was then tested and verified with a case study comparing the traditional two-step dispute resolution process with a five-step dispute resolution process. The results of this comparison clearly show that the five-step dispute resolution process is able to decrease the initial number of conflicts of a project, reduce the number of conflicts which may escalate to a higher step in the resolution process, and provide resolutions of conflicts before they reach litigation. By quantifying the amount of conflicts, evaluating the evolution of conflicts, and assessing the impact of DART implementation on conflict escalation, the DART-S provides project managers with an integrated strategy for conflict management.

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  • Authors:
    • Ng, Helen S
    • Pena-Mora, Feniosky
    • Tamaki, Tadatsugu
  • Publication Date: 2007-4


  • English

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  • Accession Number: 01051530
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Files: TRIS
  • Created Date: Jun 5 2007 7:10PM