Indicators of Failing Projects: The Case of Public Construction

C. E. Coleman, E. M. Mwanaumo, Rahimi A. Rahman

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contributionpeer-review


Construction contract activity is very important in the project execution process. However, construction contract termination has not been far from it. In recent times, contract termination cases have been reported on high-profile public construction projects in developing countries with expensive debts. A considerable number of researchers have found the major factors affecting contract termination of local projects. However, the existing literature knowledge lacks information on indicators of failing projects resulting in construction contract termination. This research aims to identify the indicators of failing projects for public construction projects. To achieve that objective, interview data with quantity surveyors and contract managers of public projects were analyzed. A total of fifteen indicators of failing projects for public projects were identified. The indicators are: sole proprietor ownership, procurement fraud, possible jail terms, refusing to follow project manager instruction, project manager suspends work for more than 28 days, no program of works, lack of experience and unskilled labor, lack of materials and essential logistics, poor quality of work, performance deficiency, project delay and abandonment, insolvency and poor cash flow issues, workers resignation and industrial actions, change of government, and series of change orders. This research contributes to the current body of knowledge by providing researchers and industry practitioners with a list of indicators to identify failing projects in practice.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationWorld Sustainable Construction Conference Series 2021
EditorsRamadhansyah Putra Jaya, Khairil Azman Masri, Putri Zulaiha Razi, Rahimah Embong
PublisherAmerican Institute of Physics Inc.
ISBN (Electronic)9780735444836
Publication statusPublished - 12 May 2023
Externally publishedYes
Event2021 World Sustainable Construction Conference, WSCC 2021 - Kuantan, Pahang, Virtual, Malaysia
Duration: 15 Oct 202116 Oct 2021

Publication series

NameAIP Conference Proceedings
ISSN (Print)0094-243X
ISSN (Electronic)1551-7616


Conference2021 World Sustainable Construction Conference, WSCC 2021
CityKuantan, Pahang, Virtual


  • Contract termination
  • indicators
  • late payment
  • nonperformance
  • public projects

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Physics and Astronomy


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