Managing Risk and Uncertainty in Sustainable Construction Innovation: The Role of the Partnering Contract

Kjell Tryggestad, Mårten Hugosson, Per Søberg

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingArticle in proceedingsResearchpeer-review


Drawing upon actor-network theory and the related concepts framing/overflowing by Michel Callon, the present work aims to explore the role of the partnering contract in construction. The method used is a case study of the design and construction of an innovative cross-laminated timber campus building in Inland Norway. The contract unexpectedly became a conduit of overflow as it delimited the action space for joint exploration, undermined trust and collaboration, shaped and triggered guarding behaviors, self-interest, controversy and prolonged negotiations over construction design, responsibility and distribution of unexpected costs. This, in turn, spilled over and challenged the project's innovative sustainability ambition. The conclusion is that the partnering contract did not stay faithful to its expected collaborative and innovative role. When used in practice, the contract also played a more hybrid, surprising and unfaithful role because it added new unexpected uncertainties, risks and costs.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceeding of the 34th Annual ARCOM Conference 2018
EditorsChris Gorse, Christopher J. Neilson
Number of pages10
Place of PublicationManchester
PublisherARCOM, Association of Researchers in Construction Management
Publication date2018
ISBN (Electronic)9780995546325
Publication statusPublished - 2018
Externally publishedYes
Event34th Annual Association of Researchers in Construction Management Conference - Belfast, United Kingdom
Duration: 3 Sept 20185 Sept 2018
Conference number: 34


Conference34th Annual Association of Researchers in Construction Management Conference
Country/TerritoryUnited Kingdom


  • Partnering contract
  • Trust
  • Risk management
  • Actor-network theory

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