How relational contract theory influence management strategies and project outcomes: a systematic literature review
Peer reviewed, Journal article
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OriginalversjonNwajei, U.O.K. (2021) How relational contract theory influence management strategies and project outcomes: a systematic literature review. Construction Management and Economics, 39(5), 432-457. https://doi.org/10.1080/01446193.2021.1913285
Despite growing interest in Relational Contracting (RC), few studies have comprehensively investigated the qualities required for a successful RC project. Macneil’s ten norms are principles of behaviour in contracts based on the application of relational contract theory and play an essential role in the formation and agreement of parties and their commitment to means and objectives. In contributing a missing dimension to the RC approach in construction, the purpose of this research is to conduct a systematic review of studies of relational contracting to answer the question: In what ways can the influence of RC theory be observed in the management strategies and outcomes of relational projects? Macneil's norms are used to provide a link between strategies and outcomes as a way of understanding RC and its influence on collaboration between the project actors in determining project outcomes. The results provide new insights with a view of consolidating extant literature and contributing through mapping practice back to theory. Findings show that the norms are evident in projects but with varied application and realisation in practice. This paper offers managerial implications and future research directions to investigate and capture the part played by the norms as mechanisms in construction projects.