Reasons for delay in civil engineering projects - the case of Hong Kong

Wai Ming Chan, Mohan M. Kumaraswamy

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review


Project delays are a conspicuous and common problem in the international construction industry of today. Investigating the reasons for delay has become an important contribution to improved construction industry performance; and has been recognised as such in many countries. This paper reports upon the findings of a questionnaire survey into the causes of delay as part of a research programme regarding the principal factors influencing construction durations of projects in Hong Kong. The questionnaire was based on 83 delay factors, which were further grouped into 8 major factor categories. A detailed analysis of the 69 completed questionnaires indicates differing perceptions between groups of clients, consultants and contractors as to the individual factors and factor categories causing delays in civil engineering projects and their relative importance. The degrees of agreement disagreement on both the individual factors and the factor categories between various groups of respondents are also determined and presented herein. The results reveal that delays can be minimised by improved planning and control throughout the project. It is also envisaged that the significant delay ('negative') factors as identified in this survey would be incorporated into developing a 'construction time' prediction model for local civil engineering works, along with 'positive' factors which are found to contribute to reduced project durations as will be determined from another survey.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-8
Number of pages8
JournalTransactions Hong Kong Institution of Engineers
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1 Mar 1996
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Engineering(all)


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