Specialist contractors and partnering
Mason, J. (2008) Specialist contractors and partnering. In: Smyth, H. and Pryke, S., eds. (2008) Collaborative Relationships in Construction. Wiley-Blackwell, pp. 27-42. ISBN 978-1-4051-8041-2
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This chapter presents and analyses data gathered on specialist contractors’ experiences and views on partnering in the United Kingdom through questionnaires and semi-structured interviews. The purpose of carrying out the work was to raise awareness of the position of specialists to inform the wider discussion about whether further steps towards partnering the supply chain are possible and/or desirable. The findings partially support the existing perceived cynical view of partnering in practice. However, more often than not this was found to be a view held by specialists without direct experience of partnering. Other findings are more positive such as the healthy level of understanding of partnering concepts. There are examples of successful collaborations and evidence of informal partnering being continued downstream of the specialist contractors, often irrespective of whether upstream partnering is occurring or not. The discussion recommends that greater emphasis should be placed on the role of the clients and their involvement in successful partnering. Despite these positive developments little has changed in the ten years since partnering was introduced to improve the lot of the specialist contractor in terms of the levels of disputes and the incidence of long-term collaboration.
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