The impact of client characteristics on the time and cost performance of collaborative infrastructure projects

Manley, Karen & Chen, Le (2016) The impact of client characteristics on the time and cost performance of collaborative infrastructure projects. Engineering, Construction and Architectural Management, 23(4), pp. 511-532.

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Purpose – Collaboration is thought to offer significant benefits over traditional contracts, however there is little existing research concerning how these benefits can be optimized. To address this gap, a survey investigated the impact of client characteristics on the time and cost efficiency of collaborative infrastructure projects. The paper aims to discuss these issues.

Design/methodology/approach – The survey of experienced senior practitioners of Australian collaborative infrastructure projects yielded 320 valid responses. Cluster analysis, one-way between group ANOVA tests and independent sample t-tests were used to confirm that three client characteristics are critical to time and cost performance: client sector (public/private); client experience with asset procurement; and client approach to price competition.

Findings – Projects procured by experienced private sector clients were found to meet targeted levels of performance, regardless of their approach to team selection. Among projects procured by experienced public sector clients, groups of relatively low and high performing projects could be distinguished, regardless of their approach to team selection. Projects run by teams selected competitively on non-price criteria prior to the pricing stage exhibited significantly better performance than those run by teams that competed on the price of the project to win the work.

Research limitations/implications – This study focussed only on analysis of three client characteristics. Future research may consider a broader range of contextual variables. Results are based on perceptual data rather than objective data.

Practical implications – The findings show collaborative infrastructure clients in the construction sector should be less concerned about inexperience than they might have been, and more interested in single-team selection approaches than they might have been.

Originality/value – The results indicate significant performance differences between client types. In particular, experienced public sector clients had more polarized performance outcomes, compared to the private sector.

Impact and interest:

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ID Code: 96274
Item Type: Journal Article
Refereed: Yes
Keywords: Collaborative projects, time efficiency, cost efficiency, price competitiveness, client characteristics, procurement, infrastructure, Australia
DOI: 10.1108/ECAM-06-2015-0084
ISSN: 0969-9988
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > BUILT ENVIRONMENT AND DESIGN (120000) > BUILDING (120200) > Building Construction Management and Project Planning (120201)
Divisions: Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Science & Engineering Faculty
Copyright Owner: Copyright 2016 Emerald Group Publishing Limited
Copyright Statement: This article is (c) Emerald Group Publishing and permission has been granted for this version to appear here ( Emerald does not grant permission for this article to be further copied/distributed or hosted elsewhere without the express permission from Emerald Group Publishing Limited.
Deposited On: 10 Jul 2016 23:45
Last Modified: 23 Jun 2017 15:09

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