Nigel Aqui, PHD Student - UWE Bristol

PHD Synopsis

The construction industry continues to contribute significantly to the global economy, but the industry is fraught with disputes. These disputes can negatively impact the project causing delays and increased financial implications. The triggers to the dispute emanating from the contract, risk allocation, competing interest and uncontrollable external factors but are not limited to factors. In isolation, some of these triggers may have little impact but in combination with other triggers, they may have a catastrophic consequence on the project

The aim of the project is the development of a conceptual model that can be utilised for dispute avoidance in the construction industry. This is based on the identification of dispute triggers that can occur during the life of a project, determine the likely impact of the dispute in isolation and in combination with other factors and offer possible solutions. The anticipated result of the model will be the early identification of the triggers and solutions resulting in less disputes, less waste and less cost to the industry.

The research will incorporate a mixed method approach, beginning with the quantitative research. A  survey will be conducted to identify the triggers and variables such as the probability, the impact, mitigation and the intractability of the triggers. These variables will assist in developing the robustness of the model thereby when considered in isolation or combination with the trigger, they will create relationships between the trigger and the likely effect on the project which can be scaled. The findings will be utilised to form the basis of follow up interviews which is the qualitative research to fill in gaps in information. The qualitative research will be utilised to expand and explain the quantitative results but also offer possible solutions from lived experiences. 

Once the model is developed, it can be utilised to form an App or Computer Model for generating the probability of a dispute and its impact once certain triggers have been activated and what corrective action can be taken to avert the dispute.

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