SEEK: Salford Environment for Expertise and Knowledge

Journal Article (Refereed)
April 2005

'Trust' in Construction Projects

McDermott, P & Khalfan, M M & Swan, W 2005, ''Trust' in Construction Projects', Journal of Financial Management of Property and Construction, 10(1), pp.19 - 31.


Trust is described as an elusive concept (Gambetta 1988), difficult to describe, understand and, therefore, manage. The Trust in Construction project undertook 6 exploratory case studies, of which 4 are presented in this paper, in order to understand how trust is formed, and the impact this has on project performance. The authors propose a model of the different forms of trust and the drivers and barriers to its development, derived through the case studies conducted. Through this model different approaches are identified that can either manage trust directly, or mitigate the factors that may cause its breakdown within project teams. The research focuses on the role of the commercial manger, the role of procurement mechanisms and the tools that are available to manage issues of project, commercial and relationship uncertainty, such as open book arrangements or partnering workshops, and sees how they can drive the level of trust within the project team. Based on both literature and experience of the case studies, the model identifies the risks to the development of trust and how they may be addressed. The paper also presents the trust inventory, developed during the case studies.



Publication Details

Journal Name
Journal of Financial Management of Property and Construction


19 - 31.