Project Management Institute

Contractual Complexity in Construction Projects

Conceptualizations, Operationalization, and Validation

Building on the multifunctional perspective from current contract theory, we conceptualize contractual complexity as a three-dimensional construct to depict the explicitness and elaborateness of control, coordination, and adaptation provisions in a construction project contract. A 13-item scale with construction project features is developed for measuring the different aspects of contractual complexity following rigorous scale development procedures. Using the structural equation modeling technique, empirical testing results demonstrate that all of the three components contribute significantly to contractual complexity. Further analysis indicated that treating contractual complexity in the three-functional way outperforms the unidimensional one regarding power to explain satisfaction and strong-form opportunism.
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