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Practical Difficulties Encountered in Attempting to Implement a Partnering Approach

Authors: Aarseth, Wenche, Andersen, Bjørn, Ahola, Tuomas, Jergeas, George

International Journal of Managing Projects in Business

vol. 5, no. 2



Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to present practical difficulties in attempting to implement a partnering approach.

Design/methodology/approach – The paper comprises empirical evidence from case studies in Norway and Canada and an extensive literature review on partnering.

Findings – The authors identified a lack of shared understanding of key partnering concepts, missing initial effort to establish shared ground rules, communication difficulties in inter-organizational relationships and unclear (perceived) roles and responsibilities. In existing partnering literature, a large number of construction studies have identified conceptual partnering models. However, studies that describe partnering models to take these practical difficulties into account have not been found and the paper develops a practical model that outlines the phases of a typical partnering effort.

Research limitations/implications – Partnering has both a legal/contractual side and a management/collaboration side. This paper looks at the management and collaboration aspects of partnering only.

Practical implications – The paper will be a very useful source of information and advice for project managers who are attempting to implement partnering in projects.

Originality/value – The paper presents organizational challenges and difficulties in attempting to implement partnering and a practical model which takes these difficulties into account.


link to the journal