Developing collaborative contracting - three railway project cases
Paper in proceeding, 2011

Collaborative contracting models are often associated with a set of tools and techniques to manage relationships, but the efficiency of such formalization in changing project culture has been doubted. Further, although many projects are successful, collaboration often is more limited than policies and guidelines suggest. In this paper, we view partnering practice as a learning process related to a management innovation and analyse how collaboration practice develops in three major railway projects, all using the same partnering model. We find that partnering is easy to introduce due to the flexibility and adaptability of the concept, but that practitioners prefer to keep collaboration informal and groups small. Also, tangible benefits can often be reached with basic and common-sense approaches. When ambitions and complexity increase, however, more sophisticated relationship management becomes inevitable, calling also for integration with core project processes. Yet, partnering tools and systems do not seem to provide much guidance when it comes to organizing such complex multiparty collaboration. Findings suggest that shortcomings relating to organizational issues are underestimated as causes of conflicts and inefficiencies.

railway construction

infrastructure projects





Meysam Cordi

Therese Eriksson

Chalmers, Technology Management and Economics, Service Management and Logistics

Anna Kadefors

Chalmers, Technology Management and Economics, Service Management and Logistics

Mathias Petersson

Haugbölle, K., Gottlieb, S.C., Kähkönen, K. E., Klakegg, O. J. Lindahl, G.A. and Widén, K.: Proceedings from the 6th Nordic Conference on Construction Economics and Organisation - Shaping the Construction/Society Nexus, Copenhagen, Denmark, 13-15 April 2011, Volume 2: Transforming practices. Horsholm: Danish Building Research Institute

978-87-563-1517-3 (ISBN)

Subject Categories

Other Mechanical Engineering

Other Social Sciences not elsewhere specified

Driving Forces

Sustainable development

Innovation and entrepreneurship

Areas of Advance

Building Futures (2010-2018)



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