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af Hällström, A and Bosch-Sijtsema, P (2019) Early contractor involvement in the construction industry: a literature review. In: Gorse, C and Neilson, C J (Eds.), Proceedings 35th Annual ARCOM Conference, 2-4 September 2019, Leeds Beckett University, Leeds, UK Association of Researchers in Construction Management, 314-323.

  • Type: Conference Proceedings
  • Keywords: early contractor involvement; relationship contracting; literature review; contracting; procurement
  • URL: http://www.arcom.ac.uk/-docs/proceedings/f041131222b761fe471c40820e1fb4d8.pdf
  • Abstract:

    The Early Contractor Involvement (ECI) concept has become more popular in recent years and focuses on increasing efficiency in the construction process by involving the contractor in the design phase. The concept is not new, and the main body of literature applies a relatively unified theoretical understanding of the concept. There are however differences in how ECI is applied and organized. The goal of this paper is to analyse the ECI literature and examine the current ECI approaches. ECI is placed in the wider umbrella framework of relationship contracting, together with partnering and alliancing. The similarities and differences will be briefly touched upon. The literature review is based on a database query in Scopus and Web of Science. A total of 1 657 articles were identified initially, focusing on key words of ‘early contractor involvement’ or ‘ECI’. The search was further refined by adding the key-words ‘construction’ an ‘building’, forming a core list of 228 articles. Further refining by comparing abstracts and key-words resulted in a curated list of 48 articles. The articles were then compared on type, method, theory, contribution and context/country. The review reveals a unified theoretical definition of ECI, but contractor involvement early in the design can be found in multiple concepts. The review also finds that multiple types of methods are applied in ECI studies from conceptual, reviews and empirical data but few studies apply a particular theoretical lens. Furthermore, there is a difference in how the concept of ECI is applied in different countries. The literature focuses on the contractual aspects and incentive structures of ECI, while less focus is on how ECI is organized in the project, the division of responsibility and sharing of amongst the partners. The article discusses the literature in-depth as well as future research topics like the organization of ECI.