What Can Be Learned From Studies on Delay in Construction?

Abdullah AlSehaimi1 & Lauri Koskela2

1Civil Engineer, MSc, PhD Student, School of the Built Environment, University of Salford, 4th Floor, Maxwell Building, Salford, M5 4WT, UK. [email protected]
2Professor of Theory Based Lean Project and Production Management, SCRI, University of Salford, School of the Built Environment, Salford, M5 4WT, UK, [email protected]


Over many years, delay has emerged one of the most significant problems in the construction industry, so much so that the causes have been investigated in numerous studies in different developing countries. Poor project management has been cited by a number of investigators as the main reason. However, despite such consensus, there are usually no clear recommendations demonstrating how project management practice could be improved. Moreover, the majority of recommendations made in the existing studies are general in nature and do not lead to a focus on a specific area. None of them are devoted to solving the difficulties associated with particular causes. It is further argued that delays do not arise purely because of tangible causes, as usually assumed in delay studies, but rather the underlying theory of project management may play a role in this regard. Finally, the paper argues that the utility of further traditional studies on delay is limited.


delay, construction industry, project management, project management theory



AlSehaimi, A. & Koskela, L. 2008. What Can Be Learned From Studies on Delay in Construction?, 16th Annual Conference of the International Group for Lean Construction , 95-106. doi.org/

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