The Impact of the Recent Economic Recession on the operation of the NEC Contract in Northern Ireland

Tara Brooks, John Spillane, Paul Tansey, Caroline Hendron

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)
771 Downloads (Pure)


In May 2006, the NEC contract was introduced as the preferred contract for Northern Ireland public sector works. This was subsequently followed by the 2007 economic crash and ensuing recession, which continues to affect the Northern Ireland Construction Industry, to a greater extent than the remainder of the United Kingdom (UK). However, use of the NEC contract has increased during this period, particularly in the public sector. There has been debate in the literature regarding the impact of the NEC contract on adversarial behaviour, but little consideration of the impact of external economic factors on the use of the NEC contract. Using a sequential mixed method approach, the study aims to fill this gap in knowledge, through examination of the impact the economic downturn has had on the operation of the NEC contract in Northern Ireland. Qualitative and quantitative findings show that the demands placed by the NEC contract, and the effects of the economic recession, have exerted opposing forces contract implementation, thus hindering its execution. The findings can lead to a deeper understanding, in the context of both industry and academia, of situations where a lack of resources may negatively impact the operation of the NEC contract.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)393-417
JournalConstruction Management Economics
Issue number6
Early online date10 Jun 2016
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2016


  • Contract administration
  • contractual relations
  • Northern Ireland
  • recession.


Dive into the research topics of 'The Impact of the Recent Economic Recession on the operation of the NEC Contract in Northern Ireland'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this