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Research

29 APR 2018

Factors influencing contractor relationships in Melbourne

The Construction Industry in Australia is plagued by mistrust and deception and the biggest feeder to this environment is the volatile relationship between the projects’ main contractor and its subcontractors. This research investigates the importance of subcontractors to industry and the influencing factors that promote the lack of collaboration and distrust.

To date the majority of the research inquiry has largely centred on the main contractor’s perspective with little consideration given to the views and opinions of subcontractors. This is a working paper and is part of a wider research project which aims to provide academics and practitioners with factors influencing distrust within the contractual relationship.

The initial findings are presented based on literature review and a structured questionnaire distributed to 30 randomly selected Australian contractors working in the commercial construction industry operating in Melbourne, Victoria.

The findings suggest that the contractual obligations of a standard form contract such as overtime, retention payments, unclear scope of works, unsigned variation dockets, variation works, hidden clauses in contracts, withholding drawing revisions and extension of time were to blame, as well as deceptive measures which have now become standard practice and occur on-site daily.

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