Best Resolutions for Construction Contractual Disputes



By Jad Karakira

SKEMA Business School

Paris, France



The paper reviews different kinds of alternative dispute resolution processes that would allow more understanding to the reader and develop an understanding on what process to choose when dealing with construction contractual disputes. Dozens of alternative dispute resolution processes has been introduced to the world in the recent years which every player claims his process is the best out there, which shows after research that this is a false claim concerning construction contractual disputes. The paper reviews different kinds of dispute resolution processes out there and compare them to each other after developing the right criteria parties take into account when facing construction contractual disputes. In the first section of the paper the author develop every process by its own giving the advantages and disadvantages of it; after than the author developed a multi attribute table to compare processes to each other and in what cases every process is used for.

Additionally, the paper shows why is a selected process better than others focusing on the important attributes developed and benefits perceived from it. The final results of the paper shows that some processes have way more benefits then others and less disadvantages compared to other processes; on a parallel view there are some process which tend to be the worst to be practiced when dealing with construction contractual disputes. It is hoped that the study will inform readers that mediation is the best dispute resolution process when it comes to construction disputes, and arbitration and litigation are the worst.

Key words: ADR “Alternative Dispute Resolution”, Arbitration , Mediation, Litigation Expert, determination , Adjudication, Conciliation


Construction contracts are one of the highest ones which may form a dispute, at the beginning, during, or at delivery of any project. Costing hundreds of millions of dollars every year, and putting thousands of families at risk who benefit from working for the project. ADR came to sight to solve disputes between each party without going to court, and without going into the extremely high costs with putting time and future work at risk like the traditional way of dispute resolutions.

Alternative dispute resolution (ADR) is one of the ways to deal with disputes claims with the help of a neutral third party, with a lot less time, saving a lot of money, getting a high success and satisfaction rate, keeping disputes private, and preserving relationships by helping people co-operate instead of doing a winner-loser game, and a lot other benefits which keeps construction contract holders choose it over other ways for resolving their claims.

ADR may not be suitable for every dispute though; construction disputes are the subject we’ll talk about and ADR is one of the best practices to resolve disputes in this field. There are many kinds of ADR including mediation, arbitration, and conciliation which will talk about in details later on. So what we’ll do in this project is to understand why ADR is a better choice for construction contractual disputes understanding what’s the benefit of it, and introduce different kinds of ADRs and what is the best to worst (ADR) processes to be practices with construction contractual disputes.

  1. Problem Recognition

Construction projects don’t seem to be strangers to disputes. Payment disputes, workmanship disputes, scope-of-work disputes, and a lot of others will all cause projects (or components of projects) to grind to a halt. Upon many other dispute resolution processes, and with developing specific criteria for grading; we will score the processes to choose which is the best process to choose for construction contractual disputes.

This document aims at, first what an (ADR) is all about and why it is used widely in the whole universe, and then to identify and analyze, what are the best (ADR) practices to be used for construction contractual disputes, how managing request for change can be a challenge.

Considering this, we will be able to answer the following questions:

–        What are the most important criteria for choosing a dispute resolution process?

–        On which basis are the criteria selected and how is the level of importance of each one determined?

–        What are the best/worst dispute resolution processes to be used for construction contractual disputes?

–        Are there better dispute resolution processes than other processes for construction contractual disputes?


To read entire paper, click here


Editor’s note: Student papers are authored by graduate or undergraduate students based on coursework at accredited universities or training programs.  This paper was prepared as a deliverable for the course “International Contract Management” facilitated by Dr Paul D. Giammalvo of PT Mitratata Citragraha, Jakarta, Indonesia as an Adjunct Professor under contract to SKEMA Business School for the program Master of Science in Project and Programme Management and Business Development.  http://www.skema.edu/programmes/masters-of-science. For more information on this global program (Lille and Paris in France; Belo Horizonte in Brazil), contact Dr Paul Gardiner, Global Programme Director [email protected]

About the Author

Jad Karakira

SKEMA Business School
Paris, France


Jad Karakira
is currently in his final year completing a Master of Science in Project Management and Business Development at Skema Business School in Pôle Universitaire Léonard de Vinci La Defense Paris area. He previously acquired a Bachelor in Business Marketing at the American University of Science and Technology in 2016, Beirut, Lebanon. As an undergraduate, he has gained a wealth of knowledge through freelance work and internships that reinforced his pursuit of a career in project management. Consequently, the potent amalgamation of a business background and management skills served as great motive for him to further his education with a masters. During his graduate studies, Jad also partook project management roles in support of start-up contracting companies in Lebanon. His particular interest in the construction field inspired him to write about dispute resolution in construction contracts.