Construction Dispute Resolution in Ireland during Recession: Best Practice for Small-to-Medium Enterprises

John P. Spillane, David Treacy, Ashwini Konanahalli, Lukumon O. Oyedele

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


    The purpose of this paper is to identify best practice construction dispute resolution in small-to-medium enterprises (SMEs) within Ireland during the recent economic recession. A sequential mixed methodology encompassing a detailed literature review, case studies, and questionnaire survey is adopted, with results analyzed using both exploratory (data reduction) and confirmatory (structural equation modelling) factor analysis. The results show that four core aspects should be adopted by SMEs to achieve best practice construction dispute resolution in recession: third-party intervention, adoption of a streamlined process, proactive party characteristics, and the use of legal professionals. Numerous studies of this subject have been conducted; however, no research has been done to date documenting best practice in construction dispute resolution within SMEs, particularly in light of the economic recession in Ireland. It is clear that dispute resolution in Ireland is currently undergoing fundamental changes, and time is necessary to see if the new Construction Contracts Act 2013 will help this practice. Therefore, it is a fundamental requirement for project management and legal professionals to acknowledge the changing environment attributable to the economic downturn and the resultant SME best practices in dispute resolution. This paper fulfills a gap in knowledge with the emergence of the economic recession and the evolution of best practice in dispute resolution within SMEs in the Irish construction sector.

    Original languageEnglish
    Article number04515004
    Number of pages13
    JournalJournal of Legal Affairs and Dispute Resolution in Engineering and Construction
    Issue number2
    Early online date30 Sep 2015
    Publication statusPublished - May 2016


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