Transparency and Cooperation—Essential Factors of Lean Contracting

Bengt Toolanen1, Thomas Olofsson2 & Jan Johansson3

1PhD candidate, Tech Lic., Div of Structural Engineering, Luleå University of Technology, SE-971 87 Luleå, Sweden
2Professor, Div of Structural Engineering, Luleå University of Technology, SE-971 87 Luleå, Sweden
3Professor, Div of Industrial Environment, Luleå University of Technology, SE-971 87 Luleå, Sweden


Managing the growing extent of fast, complex and uncertain construction projects is in many ways the focus within prevalent Lean Construction theories. An essential prerequisite to get a more effective and lean construction process is to use adequate procurement models to promote innovation and cooperation. This paper presents a study of how different project related prerequisites affect the choice of performance, remuneration and cooperation models when contracting. The results are based on a field survey among professional construction clients with the purpose to investigate how different factors such as short lead time, market competition, different kinds of uncertainties and strategic considerations are affecting the contracting process. Choosing the performance model is mainly connected to the distribution of responsibility of the design between the client and the contractor. However, project oriented and external factors can also impact this decision, e.g. lead time for project execution, technical complexity and lack of interested bidders increases the usage of design and build types of contracts. Decisions of remuneration and cooperation models are highly connected to the risk management of projects where short lead time, poor competition and different kinds of uncertainties are present. Under these circumstances and when the client wants to participate strategically in the construction process, transparent models of remuneration and cooperation during a partnership are favoured.


Procurement models, Project types, Lean contracting, Relational contracting, Field survey.



Toolanen, B. , Olofsson, T. & Johansson, J. 2005, 'Transparency and Cooperation—Essential Factors of Lean Contracting' In:, 13th Annual Conference of the International Group for Lean Construction. Sydney, Australia, 19-21 Jul 2005. pp 127-133

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