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Cheung, S O and Pang, K H Y (2013) Anatomy of Construction Disputes. Journal of Construction Engineering and Management, 139(01), 15–23.
- Type: Journal Article
- Keywords: Construction industry; Dispute resolution; Risk management; Construction dispute; Fuzzy occurrence likelihood; Web technology;
- ISBN/ISSN: 0733-9364
- URL: https://doi.org/10.1061/(ASCE)CO.1943-7862.0000532
Disputes have been identified as one of the epidemics of the construction industry. Many studies have found that risks, uncertainties, inadequate contract documentation, and behavioral factors are notable dispute sources. Many have described disputes with reference to the subject matter. This approach is pragmatic but has not yet lead to any form of conceptualization. The study contributes to the construction dispute research domain in (1) proposing an anatomy of construction disputes, (2) identifying the key factors contributing to the happening of construction disputes, and (3) providing an example on the use of the anatomy through a dispute occurrence likelihood evaluation exercise. The proposed anatomy distinguishes two types of construction dispute: contractual and speculative. Contract incompleteness is the root cause and underpins both types of construction disputes. In addition, task and people factors fuel contractual and speculative disputes, respectively. The proposed anatomy is arranged under a fault-tree framework whereby the events are linked by logic gates. In this format, construction participants could understand how these events contribute to the occurrence likelihood of disputes. As an illustration, a web-based assessment tool was developed to collect occurrence likelihood assessments of dispute artifacts. The fuzzy occurrence likelihood of construction disputes was then computed. The dispute occurrence likelihood evaluation exercise supports the observation that construction disputes are inevitable.