Validating a Model of Cooperative Procurement in the Construction Industry

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Project management in the construction industry involves coordination of many tasks and individuals, affected by complexity and uncertainty, which increases the need for efficient cooperation. Procurement is crucial since it sets the basis for cooperation between clients and contractors. This is true whether the project is local, regional or global in scope. Traditionally, procurement procedures are competitive, resulting in conflicts, adversarial relationships and less desirable project results. The purpose of this paper is to propose and empirically test an alternative procurement model based on cooperative procurement procedures that facilitates cooperation between clients and contractors in construction projects. The model is based on four multi-item constructs – incentive-based compensation, limited bidding options, partner selection and cooperation. Based on a sample of 87 client organisations, the model was empirically tested and exhibited strong support, including content, nomological, convergent and discriminant validity, as well as reliability. Our findings indicate that partner selection based on task related attributes mediates the relationship between two important pre-selection processes (incentive-based compensation and limited bid invitation) and preferred outcome of cooperation. The contribution of the paper is identifying valid and reliable measurement constructs and confirming a unique sequential order for achieving cooperation. Moreover, the findings are applicable for many types of construction projects because of the similarities in the construction industry worldwide.