Title: Ethical challenges during construction project handovers

Authors: Jardar Lohne; Atle Engebø; Ola Lædre

Addresses: Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, N-7491 Trondheim, Norway ' Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, N-7491 Trondheim, Norway ' Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, N-7491 Trondheim, Norway

Abstract: The paper reports on case studies of handovers in medium-large and large Norwegian construction projects. It outlines an understanding of the ethical challenges experienced during this handover as part of a wider enquiry into the ethical field in the context of the Norwegian construction industry. In addition to a literature review and document study, 41 semi-structured interviews have been carried out in accordance with a qualitative approach. Four of these were general in nature (with policy makers) and 37 case-specific (with clients, contractors and user representatives). The paper establishes a descriptive picture of significant ethical challenges at handover experienced within the Norwegian construction industry. The most prominent of these stems from the participants' own hidden agendas and power plays. Clients, contractors and subcontractors alike tend to be systematically suspicious of one another. Signs of participants repetitively utilising the complexity involved for their own benefit at the expense of others are identified. The main costs involved seem to reinforce these challenges. Further research is needed to clarify challenges and develop appropriate measures to address these issues on both operational and policy levels.

Keywords: handover; commissioning; construction; contract strategies; ethics; hidden agenda; project delivery.

DOI: 10.1504/IJPOM.2020.10027459

International Journal of Project Organisation and Management, 2020 Vol.12 No.1, pp.31 - 53

Received: 21 Dec 2018
Accepted: 02 Aug 2019

Published online: 06 Mar 2020 *

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