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Methods to Resolve Construction Disputes

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How long did you spend managing conflicts at work this week? A study conducted reveals that employees spend 2.8 hours managing dispute in just a week. Now imagine that you are running a major construction project, with an exorbitant level of technical complexity, which requires the collaboration of multiple stakeholders. If you are a manager of such a project, you will probably spend a lot of your time solving all kinds of conflicts. Construction disputes may arise:

  • Site conditions other than those which you had anticipated at the time of the call for tenders;
  • Contractual ambiguities that give rise to diverse interpretations between different parties;
  • Significant changes to the contract or the accumulation of swarm of late or late changes in the implementation.
  • Costs and delays caused by construction disputes are detrimental to project success1.

Employ Preventive Measures to Avoid Construction Disputes

There are few major projects that go off without a snag. From the planning stage, it is essential to identify the aspects of the project that could lead to a dispute, likewise the steps that will then be needed to resolve it. All risks can’t be eliminated, hence the significance of identifying, sharing and managing them. Also, a fair and realistic assessment of timelines and budgets will prevent many disputes.

Know how to Adapt your Negotiation Style

Negotiation should be the initial step in any conflict resolution stratagem, as long as a potential dispute is identified — this aid to maintain an excellent business relationship and will be less costly. An effective bargaining style is essential because it often determines the outcome. Rahim-II’s Organizational Conflict Inventory accurately correlates the outcomes of the negotiations according to the style used: the “integration” style (problem identification, information exchange, joint search for a mutually admissible solution) is the most effectual in achieving a functional outcome, and the style of “compromise” (seeking compromise, exchange of good practices) is also useful in case of deadlock; these are the skills to be sought by stakeholders (project managers, expert consultants, etc.) who will have to find remedies/solutions to disputes.

Know the Legal Methods of Conflict Resolution

As regards to the provisions of the contract between involved parties, the parties generally have the right to arbitration in the event of litigation or claim, or to legalize the file using an experienced lawyer like the construction lawyers NYC. The issue is then settled by the enforceable decision of an arbitrator or judge, who must often decide on complex construction problems while referring to expert opinions. In one case as in the other, the process leading to this decision is expensive and can take months or even years. However, the best way to obtain a favorable option is to act in uprightness and to respect

the contracts, especially the conditions precedent (compliance with deadlines for communication, documentation processes, etc.).