Independent thesis Advanced level (degree of Master (Two Years)), 20 credits / 30 HE credits
To meet the challenges created by the increasingly complex and fragmented state of today
construction industry, project actors need to adapt their way of working. The techniques of
adapting to the changing industry are numerous and it can often be difficult to identify the
appropriate method. More complex projects with many actors involve a lot of risk and
partnering can be one way of managing such risks.
According to literature, partnering reduces adversarial relations between project stakeholders, it
increases collaboration, it spreads the risk between stakeholders and it encourages them to align
their goals. With that said, the implementation of partnering has faced some difficulties. The
reasons for these difficulties can be various, some of the explanations might be unclear
definitions of the concept partnering, non-matching expectations and a reluctance of adapting to
new ways of working. Recent studies have revealed that clients are not as satisfied with the
outcome of partnering projects as might be expected. Because of this, the authors felt that a
deeper knowledge about the effects of partnering was needed. In order for the partnering concept
to mature and the industry to understand its implications, more research on specific partnering
cases is needed.
The research discovered three categories of practical implications for partnering. These
categories contain cultural, collaborative and contractual aspects that cover both positive and
negative effects in the projects. The cultural aspects that are affected by partnering are e.g. the
division of responsibility and the atmosphere. The collaborative aspects that are affected are e.g.
communication, involvement of stakeholders, transparency and problem solving. The
contractual aspects that are affected are e.g. flexibility and risk management.
The improved joint problem solving and innovation was perceived as beneficial for time, cost
and quality while other factors such as work environment and environmental impact was
believed to be less affected. In order to improve the project result with the help of partnering the
researchers´ recommend to embrace the openness, encourage new work habits, remove
predefined views, make use of the improved joint problem solving, develop a contractual
framework for partnering and create incentives and bonuses that are S.M.A.R.T (Specific,
Measurable, Achievable, Realistic and Timely).