Conceptual models for selecting and managing Early Contractor Involvement (ECI) delivery system by clients.

Rahmani, F 2016, Conceptual models for selecting and managing Early Contractor Involvement (ECI) delivery system by clients., Doctor of Philosophy (PhD), Property, Construction and Project Management, RMIT University.


Document type: Thesis
Collection: Theses

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Title Conceptual models for selecting and managing Early Contractor Involvement (ECI) delivery system by clients.
Author(s) Rahmani, F
Year 2016
Abstract The traditional procurement methods and contractual models, in which the main contractor and its subcontractors are appointed only for the construction phase, remains the common approach within the construction industry. The use of a traditional procurement method may offer some benefits to the clients such as time and cost certainty, control over the project outcomes, and ability to demonstrate value for money. Nevertheless, it is unlikely to obtain the best contributions of all parties to a successful project due to exclusion of the main contractor and subcontractors from the early design and project planning. Acknowledged by the industry, the emerging project delivery methods increasingly rely on collaboration between the client , designer and contractor. These methods aim to develop longer-term positive relationships.
Early Contractor Involvement procurement system is one of the new delivery methods. Originated in the UK in 1998 and adopted later in Australia in 2005, ECI strives to involve the contractor at the early stage of the project before the statutory procedures have been implemented and when the proposed project may be little more than a line on a plan. Given the growing use of ECI in public project in Australia, it is necessary to conduct more studies about different aspects of this novel procurement option in order to enhance the public sector ability to deliver high-quality capital projects.
This research aims to develop a theoretical methodology for clients to select and manage ECI procurement method for a project. The main objectives of the research are to explore the circumstances when an ECI is suitable for a project and develop strategies to manage the client-contractor relationship effectively once ECI is adopted. The research employs a Grounded Theory methodology to facilitate generation of theory. In particular, from the epistemological and ontological stance, this study deviated from the classic grounded theory principles into a process-driven theory. The analytical procedure of the study,however, follows the original tenets of Straussian interpretation of Grounded Theory.
Four Australian local government organisations and one leading private professional consultant organisation are selected for the purpose of this research. Fourteen professional practitioners at the senior management level who have been involved in ECI projects and played significant roles in the project process in the selected organisation are interviewed.
This results in the development of two models. The first model identifies the ECI selection criteria as well as ECI selection approaches, and the second model formulates a cyclical client-contractor relationship managing process in the ECI.
The outcomes of this research are twofold. The first outcome is to assist the decision making process within the client’s organisations about whether to adopt an ECI method for a specific project by assessing the project conditions and evaluating internal capabilities. The second outcome is to develop a process model for effectively managing the client-contractor relationship in an ECI project. The model also assists the clients to advance their awareness of their strengths and weaknesses from the outset to ensure that the relationship with the contractor is not contaminated by misjudgement of the contractor’s performance.
Degree Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)
Institution RMIT University
School, Department or Centre Property, Construction and Project Management
Subjects Building Construction Management and Project Planning
Keyword(s) ECI
Procurement selection model
Relationship management strategy model
Construction client
Relationship based procurement
Early contractor involvement
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Created: Wed, 27 Jul 2016, 16:48:11 EST by Keely Chapman
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