Systematic representation of relationship quality in conflict and dispute: For construction projects

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Copyright: Construction Economics and Building 2015. © 2015 Mostafa Babaeian Jelodar, Tak Wing Yiu and Suzanne Wilkinson. This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 Unported (CC BY 4.0) License (, allowing third parties to copy and redistribute the material in any medium or format and to remix, transform, and build upon the material for any purpose, even commercially, provided the original work is properly cited and states its license.
The construction industry needs to move towards more relational procurement procedures to reduce extensive losses of value and avoid conflicts and disputes. Despite this, the actual conceptualization and assessment of relationships during conflict and dispute incidents seem to be neglected. Via a review of literature, relationship quality is suggested as a systematic framework for construction projects. General system theory is applied and a framework consistent of four layers respectively labelled as triggering, antecedent, moderation and outcome is suggested. Two different case studies are undertaken to represent the systematic framework; which verifies that changes in contracting circumstances and built environment culture can affect the identified layers. Through system reliability theories a fault tree is derived to represent a systematic framework of relationship quality. The combinations of components, causes, and events for two case studies are mapped out through fault tree. By analysing the fault tree the combination of events that lead to relationship deterioration may be identified. Consequently the progression of simple events into failure is formulized and probabilities allocated. Accordingly the importance and the contribution of these events to failure become accessible. The ability to have such indications about relationship quality may help increase performance as well as sustainable procurement.
Construction Economics and Building, 2015, 15 (1), pp. 89 - 103