Construction procurement systems: don’t forget murphy’s law!

Michael Murray, David Langford, Cliff Hardcastle, John Tookey

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaperpeer-review

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What can go wrong will go wrong! The rule of ‘Murphy’ can strike any unsuspecting project team and is best not forgotten. This is especially so if we consider the current UK construction industry agenda for performance improvement through a culture of eliminating waste (time, money, labour, materials) and a desire for ‘zero defects.’ This paper demonstrates (using 11 case study construction projects) that Murphy is alive and well on many projects and may indeed be visiting a site near you today. Design and construction professionals were interviewed on each project and information gathered resulted in the formation of a typology for each project. The typology indicated both project enhancing and detrimental events, which had taken place on each project. The typology allowed for the creation of 11 individual project ‘footprints.’ The footprints are compared and contrasted in this paper and reference is made to the procurement route (traditional, D&B and management) used on each project. The concepts of project risk, uncertainty, procurement systems and project success are also discussed.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages20
Publication statusPublished - 14 Jan 2002
EventProceedings of CIB W92 Symposium - Posrt of Spian, Trinidad and Tobago
Duration: 14 Jan 200217 Jan 2002


ConferenceProceedings of CIB W92 Symposium
Country/TerritoryTrinidad and Tobago
CityPosrt of Spian


  • construction procurement systems
  • murphy’s law


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