A causal mapping approach for the analysis of construction disputes

Thesis Type: Postgraduate

Institution Of The Thesis: Middle East Technical University, Graduate School of Natural and Applied Sciences, Turkey

Approval Date: 2019

Thesis Language: English


Principal Supervisor (For Co-Supervisor Theses): İrem Dikmen Toker

Co-Supervisor: Mustafa Talat Birgönül


Containing various work disciplines, numerous stakeholders, and relatively extensive procedures due to its nature, disputes are frequently encountered in construction projects. The fact that disputes can have devastating effects on success of projects in terms of both time and cost to both parties involved when not dealt with care, makes a clear understanding of how and why disputes occur in construction projects an important research topic. Previous studies on this subject has mostly yielded only exhaustive lists of possible causes (sources) for disputes so far, and thus they are far from providing satisfactory explanations on the dynamics that bring these causes together to form a dispute. In order to attend to this research gap, this study aims at providing an alternative approach to understanding of underlying causes of disputes, their interactions with each other, and their overall effect on the occurrence of disputes through causal map analysis. For this purpose, a causal map was drawn as a result of a workshop attended by domain experts and analysed to understand alternative paths for dispute occurrence. Although the technique can be applied to any type of project or industry, for the purpose of this study, disputes in projects contracted through FIDIC Yellow Book (1999 Edition) are considered only. Findings of the study can be useful both for the academia to uncover a better understanding of construction disputes, and for the professional practitioners in the field to be able to take proactive measures in an effort to avoid disputes, or to be used as a post-mortem analysis tool.