Achieving partnering success through an incentive agreement: Lessons learned from an underground railway extension project in Hong Kong

Ping Chuen Chan, Wai Ming Chan, Linda C.N. Fan, Tsun Ip Lam, John F.Y. Yeung

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

55 Citations (Scopus)


Over the years, it has been observed that partnering has been ineffectively implemented in the public sector of Hong Kong. Contributing factors to this lack of success are nature and the large size of bureaucratic organizations and commercial pressure compromising the partnering attitude. The Mass Transit Railway Corporation Limited (MTRCL), one of the prominent pioneers in adopting project partnering in the infrastructure sector of Hong Kong since 1999, however, implemented the partnering principle with significant success. This paper, based on a recently completed research project funded by the Construction Industry Institute Hong Kong in late 2004 and a followup in-depth interview meeting with senior executives of MTRCL in early June 2005, analyzes the rationale behind the successful development of partnering culture in the infrastructure sector of Hong Kong through a case study-the Tseung Kwan O Railway Extension (TKE) Contract 654-platform screen doors. The project comprises the supply and installation of platform screen doors along the whole MTRCL's TKE with five stations. This project was analyzed by means of the project documentation and face-to-face interviews with the project representatives, comparisons with another five partnering case studies, and a followup in-depth interview meeting with another two senior executives of MTRCL. After the analysis, it was found that the implementation of partnering together with an incentive agreement (IA), a kind of target cost (TC) contract, underpinned the partnering success of this project. Therefore, it is recommended that partnering together with TC contracts, such as IA, greatly assists in the achievement of construction excellence, and can provide a workable model for enhancing overall project performance in electrical and mechanical projects.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)128-137
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Management in Engineering
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 30 Jun 2008


  • Construction management
  • Hong Kong
  • Incentives
  • Partnerships
  • Procurement

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Industrial relations
  • Engineering(all)
  • Strategy and Management
  • Management Science and Operations Research

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