Coordinating collaboration in contractually different complex construction projects

Rita Lavikka, Riitta Smeds, Miia Jaatinen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

45 Citations (Scopus)


The paper aims to compare the coordination of supply chain networks in contractually different complex construction projects.

A comparative case study of the coordination of collaborative work in two successful hospital construction projects was conducted. One of the projects applied multiple dyadic contracts, whereas the other project applied one multi-party contract between the parties. The projects were located in the USA. Data were collected by observing the coordination on the construction sites for six weeks and by conducting 72 interviews.

The paper shows that depending on the contract type, the timing and extent of complementary procedural coordination differs during projects. Compared with one multi-party contract, the dyadic contracts needed to be complemented during the design phase with three additional procedural coordination mechanisms: organizational design, processes for collaborative work and integrated concurrent engineering sessions. Additionally, common rules of conduct were taken into use during the construction phase. However, regardless of the contract type, procedural coordination mechanisms, such as co-located working, collaborative decision-making in inter-organizational meetings, a liaison role and shared project goals were needed throughout the projects.

Practical implications
If multiple dyadic contracts are applied, procedural coordination mechanisms have to be co-created by all supply chain parties at the beginning of the project.

The paper provides an understanding on successful contractual and complementary procedural coordination mechanisms of supply chain networks in complex construction projects.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)205-217
Number of pages13
JournalSupply Chain Management
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2015
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed


  • Coordination
  • Collaboration
  • Comparative case study
  • Construction supply chain
  • Dyadic contract
  • Multi-party contract


Dive into the research topics of 'Coordinating collaboration in contractually different complex construction projects'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this