Mitarbeiter in Saudi-Arabien
Anlagenbau in Saudi-Arabien
Staudamm- & Kraftwerksbau in Nepal
Tunnelbau/-sanierung in Indien

Prof. Dr.-Ing. Dipl.-Wirt.-Ing. (FH) Laurenz Görres

Construction projects as a source of conflicts

"When parties sign a (construction) contract, this implies a legal and moral obligation to get along with each other, ... However, today this implicit obligation is no longer a guideline for the behaviour of the parties of such a contract."

stated by Remmer (2014)


Even minor incidents can result in a conflict. It is therefore important to understand how conflicts can escalate and how to formulate a contract which includes ways to minimize conflict potential. To illustrate this, let me ask you to look at the following pictures one after the other:

Click first: Picture No. 1

Click second: Picture No. 2




Click third: Comparison of Picture No. 1 and No. 2


What you are seeing is the same picture from different angles. This demonstrates that a different perspective leads to a perception of different image content. Try to transfer this to a construction project and you will understand how a "simple aspect" of a construction contract can lead to different opinions and neither one of these opinions may be wrong. It just depends on the way you look at it. The perspective or point of view is the reason for misunderstandings, differences of opinion ... and causes – if they are not clarified and solved immediately – conflicts and disputes. Each party of a project reads, interprets and understands the various aspects of such a project from a different point of view and in a different way.

This is the reason why the parties, when signing a contract, should try to reach a similar point of view on the content of the contract. The parties will never achieve exactly the same perspective with such content but at least it should be similar. If, during the construction phase, the perspectives of each party differ too much from each other in terms of how they view the contents of the contract and a conflict or a dispute arises, it is of utmost importance that the contract includes a passage on how to deal with such situations. The contract must therefore contain various methods of alternative dispute resolution.


Date of last edit webpage: August 2018

back to top