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Increasingly, construction lawyers and professionals earn their living working internationally. In so doing, they not only transition legal systems and encounter different approaches to their practice, they also become exposed to the challenges of working with stakeholders from different national cultures.
National culture is seen as a contentious, intangible and immutable phenomenon, particularly in the international construction sector, and is often only considered at a superficial level and very often consigned to the “too difficult tray”. This subject provides an in-depth understanding of the influence of national culture in the context of a number of troublesome issues that repeatedly manifest themselves on construction projects whether in relation to procurement strategies, commercial risk management, time and money claims or dispute resolution.
The subject explores the necessity for national culture (and culture more broadly) to be considered in the adoption of potential solutions to these troublesome issues. The subject will explore the hegemonic theories relating to national culture and explain why these theories are of limited efficacy in relation to many of the troublesome issues on international construction projects.
The subject will unravel the tangle of national culture complexity that industry practitioners often experience on international construction projects and will provide students with a theoretical construct to enable them to manage these troublesome issues more effectively.
The subject sets out a theory, grounded in industry, that enables students to understand whether or not national culture is the root cause of the problem and, if not, what the potential solutions to the problem might be.
Using award winning innovative teaching and learning interventions (including Object Based Learning and Rich Pictures in Construction Law), this subject explores the troublesome issues that manifest themselves on international construction projects from an industry-focused global perspective.
Paul Tracey is a dual-qualified chartered quantity surveyor with a degree in law. He has over 35 years of international experience acting as a commercial manager and expert witness and is the Programme Leader of the LLM / MSc in Construction Law and Practice Masters at the University of Salford.
The subject will draw extensively upon authentic research and industry experience that captures global perspectives on the subject matter including the use of live case studies from projects in Asia, Europe, the Middle East and South America.
Principal topics include:
- National culture and the tribal nature of the international construction industry.
- The critical analysis of different procurement strategies and contractual arrangements on international construction projects and the potential for a more collaborative approach.
- Commercial risk management on international construction projects, including: choice of law, unforeseen or latent conditions, liquidated damages, caps on liability, consequential loss and dispute resolution mechanisms.
- More effective approaches to the preparation and evaluation of time and money claims on international construction projects including forensic delay analyses.
- The potential of 5D BIM in the international construction industry in a construction law and practice context and how BIM can be utilised to avoid and resolve disputes.
- The influence of national culture on the commercial and legal aspects of international construction projects and the application of a constructivist grounded theory approach to enable practitioners to manage the perceived challenges of national culture more effectively.
Intended learning outcomes
A student who has successfully completed this subject should be able to:
- Examine, compare and contrast the aims and methods of the law as it applies to the delivery of international construction projects,
- Identify and explain cultural, economic, legal, physical, political and technical issues that commonly affect international construction projects,
- Discriminate between some various approaches to construction law and practice in different jurisdictions,
- Appraise the effectiveness of comparative legal and non-legal approaches to time and money claims on international construction projects,
- Examine, research and analyse comparative approaches to construction law and practice,
- Contribute meaningfully to ongoing debates about optimal ways of dealing with all of these matters at a policy level.
Last updated: 10 November 2023