Contracting plays a dominant role mostly in large scale and complex projects. Its use in construction projects takes the role of risk transference and governance. Despite the developments taking place in the discipline of project management in general and contracting in specific, projects are still failing. Literature attributes various reasons to these failures; however, a significant body of literature on project seems to attribute failure to poor contracting practice. Contractual failures give rise to situations of litigation and long-running disputes that recursively cause various problems within projects. The effect of poor contracting has often been observed in the various components of the project management triangle (that is, scope, quality, cost, and time). Contracts are pervasive and contractual agreements exist between the project principal and contractors as well as between contractors and sub-contractors; the review of literature presented in this work, however, is focused on the former. This paper presents a discussion from the perspective of the literature pertaining to the softer issues in contracts and provides discussion on how trust and partnering act within the contracts of construction projects.
Key words: Contracting, trust, partnering, construction projects.
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