Project delays and cost: stakeholder perceptions of traditional v. PPP procurement

Hampton, Gerard, Baldwin, Andrew N. and Holt, Gary David (2012) Project delays and cost: stakeholder perceptions of traditional v. PPP procurement. Journal of Financial Management of Property and Construction, 17 (1). pp. 73-91. ISSN 1366-4387

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Purpose – This paper aims to investigate the impacts on project delay from the perspective of construction stakeholders. Specifically, it aims to make a comparison between traditional procurement based on standard contract forms and private/public partnerships (PPPs), for the procurement of public sector projects in Scotland.

Design/methodology/approach – A structured questionnaire survey was used to elicit perceptions of seven delay impact groupings. Response data were analysed using hypothesis tests to observe perceived differences among these groupings, in respect of each procurement method. Follow-up semi-structured telephone interviews further explored stakeholders' views and broader issues.

Findings – Significant differences of perception were identified between the impacts of: client, contractor, designer, financial, labour and material related delay factors. These were felt to have greater “delay potential” under traditional vis-à-vis PPP procured projects. There was no significant difference among plant-related factors. Preference for traditional procurement in achieving “project quality” and “value for money” was observed; but at the perceived risk of potentially encountering more delays. PPP was preferred for achieving best “time performance” and was the favoured procurement option “overall”.

Research limitations/implications – Findings add to the existing body of procurement-choice knowledge generally and their relationship to project delays and associated costs, specifically.

Practical implications – Practitioners may wish to consider the perceived benefits of PPP procurement in better dealing with potential delay impacts.

Social implications – Reduction in delay and construction cost holds potential benefit to all who procure constructed facilities.

Originality/value – The work is novel in the specific contexts of public sector stakeholders surveyed and their geographical location.

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