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One early, high-impact decision that owners must make is the selection of their procurement method. Traditionally, the public sector prefers low-bid selection; however, projects initiated based on the lowest price may not meet quality requirements or—more importantly—may lead to adversarial relationships between stakeholders. Thus, some owners have begun to use best-value selection. Although previous studies indicated that best-value selection can provide significant benefits for some projects in terms of cost, time, and quality, no study specifically sought to understand the details of what happens during the project in terms of interactions among team members. To address this knowledge gap, this qualitative study explores the behavioral changes of stakeholders in best-value projects in the U.S. construction industry. Our research asks: How does best-value procurement influence stakeholder behavior in the design and construction industry? What challenges have owners/designers-builders/contractors faced through the best-value process? Which steps improve best-value implementation in the construction industry? What did the stakeholders learn from being involved in a best-value-procured project? By addressing these questions, this study helps practitioners and researchers explore team behavior in best-value projects.
Disputes are common in the construction industry and lead to unnecessary cost and schedule overruns in projects. It is commonly believed that owners’ early decisions regarding the selection of delivery methods, procurement methods, and contract types impact the frequency and severity of project disputes; however, no previous study has empirically tested this hypothesis, particularly in highway public projects. Therefore, this study empirically investigated the impact of owners’ early decisions regarding project organization (i.e., delivery methods, procurement, and contract types) on performance measures (e.g., cost and schedule growth), specifically dispute performance metrics (e.g., frequency and severity of disputes), in public highway projects. A comprehensive literature review was conducted to identify factors that impact disputes in construction projects. This review was used to develop a survey instrument capturing both independent factors, including type of delivery methods (e.g., design-bid-build [DBB]), procurement methods (e.g., open bid), and contract types (e.g., lump sum), and dependent factors, including the frequency and severity of disputes as well as other project performance metrics (e.g., cost, time, and satisfaction measures). Then, the survey was distributed to procurement personnel in state departments of transportation (DOTs) across the United States. Data on 60 projects from 22 DOTs were received. The data obtained were analyzed to find any statistically significant differences between dispute frequency and severity; relevant performance metrics; and the various types of delivery methods, procurement methods, and contract types. Appropriate team selection can ensure a smooth project delivery process, provide more a collaborative environment, and help achieve success. Finally, based on the study results, it can be inferred that contract types significantly impact schedule growth in highway projects. The impact of project organization decisions is presented to assist DOTs in selecting the appropriate project delivery methods, procurement methods, and contract type for their project goals and expected performance.