American Society of Civil Engineers

Conflicts between Owner and Contractors: Proposed Intervention Process

by Kathleen M. J. Harmon, (Pres., Harmon/York Assocs., Secaucus, NJ. E-mail:

Journal of Management in Engineering, Vol. 19, No. 3, July 2003, pp. 121-125, (doi:

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Document type: Journal Paper
Award Title: Journal of Management in Engineering Best Peer Reviewed Paper
Abstract: The parties of a construction contract, the owner and contractor, are a society with a complex set of interrelated relationships requiring cooperation and collaboration to coordinate time, resources, and communication. The main goal of the parties involved in a project’s construction is to have a successful project constructed in accordance with the plans and specifications, within the time and cost originally anticipated. The success of a project depends on a number of variables, not the least of which is how the organizations approach problems and conflicts. However, the adversarial atmosphere that infects the industry can prevent the parties from reaching their goal. This paper proposes an intervention process, a combination of partnership and mediation, to prevent and resolve dispute prior to contract close-out.

ASCE Subject Headings:
Construction industry
Dispute resolution