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Title: Partnering for dispute resolution and mitigation - a reality or myth?
Authors: Chan, DWM 
Chan, APC 
Lam, PTI 
Lam, EWM
Chan, EYK
Keywords: Project partnering
Construction disputes
Construction conflicts
Hong Kong
Issue Date: 2010
Source: Proceedings of the CIB World Congress 2010, Building a Better World : Working Commission W092 Procurement Systems : The Lowry, Salford Quays, United Kingdom, 10-13 May 2010, paper ID: 1115, p. 65-77 (USB) How to cite?
Abstract: Partnering is a process of establishing good working relationships based on mutual trust and dedication to common goals between project team members for the purpose of achieving specific business objectives. It is a proactive approach to conflict and dispute resolution that provides a way for project partners to anticipate potential problems with mutually satisfactory solutions. However, traditional dispute resolution techniques such as mediation, arbitration and litigation, which can be both expensive and time-consuming, tend to be confrontational and fail to reach a win-win situation, hence ultimately posing a threat for the industry in the long term. Unlike many western countries,partnering was not adopted within the Hong Kong construction industry until 1994 for a public hospital project, yet has proved to be no less an effective procurement means in improving the traditional adversarial working culture and reducing intractable construction disputes and conflicts over the past 16 years. This paper presents a timely and in-depth review of the implementation and effectiveness of project partnering in reducing disputes within the Hong Kong construction industry through planned structured interviews, case studies and an empirical questionnaire survey, and seeks further improvements to the application of partnering and dispute resolution. The research study will identify the causes of construction disputes and analyze their importance; examine whether and how partnering can minimize the occurrence of construction disputes; evaluate the satisfaction level of various project team members on dispute resolution via partnering; and conclude by suggesting recommendations for avoiding and mitigating construction disputes and claims using the partnering approach.
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