Campus Units

Civil, Construction and Environmental Engineering

Document Type

Conference Proceeding


Transportation Research Board 96th Annual Meeting

Publication Version

Accepted Manuscript

Publication Date


Journal or Book Title

TRB 96th Annual Meeting Compendium of Papers

First Page


Research Focus Area

Construction Engineering and Management

Conference Title

Transportation Research Board 96th Annual Meeting

Conference Date

January 8-12, 2017


Washington, DC


The benefits that formal partnering on commercial building construction projects regarding the reduction of claims is widely recognized. However, there are no recent formal studies that describe the overall impact of formal partnering in terms of minimizing legal disputes in the transportation sector. A recent American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO) survey found that a number of public agencies have dropped formal partnering because they found that the costs no longer were offset by the value of minimizing the legal conflicts. Using classic organizational management theory as its backdrop, this paper hypothesizes that those agencies that discontinued formal partnering have fully institutionalized the salient principles of partnering, such as increased collaboration, communication, and trust-building and no longer need to invest the resources to perpetuate a formal project-level partnering process. The paper bases this assertion on the analysis of the claims history found in four state departments of transportation. The study compared the mean project claims the cost of the two agencies that formally partner most major projects to the claims record of the two that no longer employ formal partnering. The analysis finds that there is no statistically significant difference in the cost of claims between the two groups. Hence, the paper concludes that the two agencies that stopped using formal partnering had successfully institutionalized the precepts of partnering.


This is a manuscript of a proceeding published as Pinto-Nunez, Milagros, and Douglas D. Gransberg. "Institutionalizing the Principles of Partnering." Paper no. 17-00994. In TRB 96th Annual Meeting Compendium of Papers. Transportation Research Board 96th Annual Meeting. Washington, DC. January 8-12, 2017. Posted with permission.

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The Authors



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