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The book collects the latest research on both contractual and conceptual collaborative practices in construction. It identifies common problems faced by the industry and draws out practical implications. Construction projects are increasingly run in ways that undermine the traditional boundary of the firm and sometimes also the definition of the project coalition. This poses challenges for construction firms whose clients demand ever increasing performance improvements as well as those firms who want to improve their strategies for greater collaboration to give themselves competitive advantage.
The editors identify three main themes: collaborative relationships, operating both in frameworks and within networks of contacts, e.g. relational contracting in partnering, supply chain management and other procurement-driven initiatives. The second theme is frameworks, both contractual frameworks binding parties together over a series of contracts, and conceptual frameworks used to develop future performance improvement arising from the proactive strategies of firms. The third theme is the network of relationships that supports individuals and firms within the project coalition in delivering services and adding value to improve performance. These networks define the investment and incentives supporting the inter-firm and intra-firm relationships, as well as the formal contractual conditions through which such incentives flow. Networks of information exchange define the structure of the activity and help predict organisational configurations for successful project outcomes.