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Chan, A P C and Yeong, C M (1995) A comparison of strategies for reducing variations. Construction Management and Economics, 13(06), 467-73.
- Type: Journal Article
- Keywords: claim; concordance analysis; survey research; variations
- ISBN/ISSN: 0144-6193
- URL: https://doi.org/10.1080/01446199500000054
Most building contracts make provisions of the contract administrator to issue orders for variations from the original design. Often, these changes involve additional cost and disruption to work already under way, leading to cost and time overruns. Thus, reducing variations is one of the prerequisites of keeping the cost within budget and completing the project on time. The main objective of this paper is to investigate methods of reducing variations. A series of structured interviews were carried out with the practitioners in the construction industry to identify the prevailing strategies of variation reduction. The identified strategies then formed the basis of a questionnaire which was sent randomly to 100 construction firms in Australia and Malaysia, respectively. The respondents were asked to rank the relative usefulness of the identified strategies for variation reduction. Thirty-two sets of questionnaires from Australia and 33 sets from Malaysia were returned, respectively, which represented an overall response rate of more than 32%. Concordance analysis was used to provide some evidence of any abnormal data source. When applied to the study data, a significant amount agreement was found on the ranking strategies for the reduction of variations amongst the respondents in each country. Respondents from both countries considered clear and thorough brief as the most useful strategy for reducing variations and avoiding the use of nominated sub-contractors as the least effective measure. However, when the rankings of the two countries were compared using the Spearman correlation coefficient, it was found that there was significant disagreement between the two sets of ranking. The significant difference might be attributable to the difference between the countries in terms of culture, politics, regulations, economic conditions and construction practice. These differences could also be reflected in their attitude towards contract claims.