The antecedents of construction project change: an analysis of design and build procurement application

Jessica Smith, David John Edwards, Igor Martek, Nicholas Chileshe, Susan Hayhow, Chris J. Roberts

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

25 Citations (Scopus)


Purpose: This study aims to excoriate, define and delineate the main drivers of “change” in commercial construction projects and generate guidelines on how to minimise exposure to the associated adverse effects upon project stakeholders. Design/methodology/approach: The research adopts mixed doctrines through a combination of epistemological lenses, embracing two primary philosophical stances: interpretivism, to identify the primary drivers of change based on a systematic literature review and a post-positivist, inductive approach to analyse the results of change within a Joint Contracts Tribunal (JCT) Design and Build (D&B) construction project case study. Findings: The causal nexus of change during the construction phase is assessed and delineated; the key affecting factors are thematically grouped under headings: extent and severity; time in relation to implementing; instigating party; individual(s) responsible for managing the change; reason for the change; available resource; recoverable or non-recoverable; contract/project type; and type of client. Following this, the effects of change on key elements of the project are encapsulated and recommendations for adaptations which may provide improved experiences are offered. Originality/value: The study tackles the common issue of managing the deleterious effects of change on commercial construction projects, defining management techniques to minimise stakeholder tribulation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)655-689
Number of pages35
JournalJournal of Engineering, Design and Technology
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2 May 2023
Externally publishedYes


  • Change management
  • Commercial construction
  • Construction industry
  • Design and build
  • Joint contract tribunal
  • Project rework

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Building and Construction
  • General Engineering


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