Contributors to construction delays

Mohan M. Kumaraswamy, Wai Ming Chan

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

165 Citations (Scopus)


Projects can be delayed for a large number of reasons. The third phase of an investigation into such factors focused on the causes of construction delays in Hong Kong. A questionnaire was based on 83 factors identified in previous phases of the investigation. Analysis of the responses reveals differences in perceptions of the relative significance of factors between clients, consultants and contractors. There was general agreement about the relative importance of delay factors such as unforeseen ground conditions. Improving productivity is a useful approach to controlling delays. Important factors affecting productivity itself are thus examined in more depth, with a view to enhancing productivity and reducing delays. The conclusions of this phase of the investigation include a ranking of factors and factor categories that are perceived by different groups of project participants to contribute to delays. For example, higher-ranking factors, such as unforeseen ground conditions, and factor categories such as project-related factors, are found to merit special management attention in countering construction delays. The high degree of disagreement as discerned between the groups of clients, consultants and contractors is indicative of their experiences, possible prejudices and lack of effec-tive communication. It is also confirmed that productivity and other non-scope factors such as effective communications should supplement the project scope factors incorporated into the construction time prediction models that were proposed in the previous phases of this investigation.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)17-29
Number of pages13
JournalConstruction Management and Economics
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 1998
Externally publishedYes


  • Delay
  • Hong Kong
  • Productivity
  • Project management
  • Time

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Management Information Systems
  • Building and Construction
  • Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering


Dive into the research topics of 'Contributors to construction delays'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this