Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: https://scholarbank.nus.edu.sg/handle/10635/221641
Title: INFORMAL AGREEMENTS AND TACIT CODES OF CONDUCT BETWEEN MAIN CONTRACTORS AND THEIR SUBCONTRACTORS
Authors: KOH HOW KWANG SAMUEL
Keywords: Building
Project and Facilities Management
Ling Yean Yng Florence
2010/2011 PFM
Codes of conduct
Informal agreements
Main contractors
Singapore
Subcontractors
Issue Date: 19-May-2011
Citation: KOH HOW KWANG SAMUEL (2011-05-19). INFORMAL AGREEMENTS AND TACIT CODES OF CONDUCT BETWEEN MAIN CONTRACTORS AND THEIR SUBCONTRACTORS. ScholarBank@NUS Repository.
Abstract: Getting a sub-contract signed and fully carried out are significant milestones in every construction project, which main contractors and subcontractors try their best to work synergistically with each other towards completion of the project. Previous studies have found that having weak ties, utilization of informal (unofficial) agreements and intricate social actions; play a part in the formation of trust and relationship between the contracting parties. The underlying assumption is that it is important to have a wide network of relationships as this may help in getting work done easier and faster. This study aims to uncover the business practices carried out by main contractors towards their subcontractors in various projects. The specific objectives are to determine how main contractors perceive the strength of relationship before and after their cooperation with subcontractors. It also investigates the extent of cooperation between main contractors and subcontractors, and the steps to take in order to minimize relationship failures between main contractors and subcontractors. The data collection instrument was a specially designed questionnaire for this study. Data were collected via email and face-to-face interviews with main contractors. The results show that when selecting their subcontractors, main contractors have a tendency to go for the best price-quality combination, followed by the lowest price, then the best quality. Qualitative results show that the need as to whether having a wide network of weak ties would be useful to the company, depends on the size and influence of the company in the industry. Such relational ties could benefit main contractors the most as it encourages subcontractors to provide competitive pricing, and increased quality and time performance in order to expand their reputation. It might also be able to deter subcontractors from defaulting, though such ties will not necessarily prevent defaults from happening. Strong ties on the other hand, are seen as a hindrance to achieving best pricing for subcontracts. Quantitative results show that the top two enablers for subcontract success are subcontractors’ willingness to make adjustments to meet main contractors’ needs and subcontractors’ level of commitment to goals/rules set down by main contractors. The findings suggest that it is generally beneficial for main contractors to utilise weak ties to better understand subcontractors’ style of work, efficiency, quality, and even temperament, before contracting with them. Weak ties can also potentially speed up work processes for both main contractors and subcontractors.
URI: https://scholarbank.nus.edu.sg/handle/10635/221641
Appears in Collections:Bachelor's Theses

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