Degree Type


Date of Award


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy


Civil, Construction, and Environmental Engineering

First Advisor

Jennifer S. Shane


International construction projects provide opportunities for developing countries to advance in the global economy, and for international firms to increase their profit and market share. Despite the attractive opportunities that international construction offers, there are many challenges and difficulties when moving into international markets. These include the many risks associated with differences in culture, economic conditions, specifications/standards, legal frameworks, exchange rates regulations, and productivity levels. All these aspects affect the way contract clauses are drafted, including the dispute resolution clause. Since many risks are associated with international construction, whether external or project-specific risks, the different cultures the company needs to deal with and manage, and the level of trust the international parties share, it becomes necessary to choose an appropriate dispute resolution method (DRM), depending on the conditions for each project. The objectives of this study are to identify factors that have an effect on the choice of DRMs in international construction contracts and to recommend specific DRMs to contractors based in English-speaking countries, who plan to operate in the Middle East or Asia. In this research, a concurrent mixed-method design is employed. Factors affecting the choice of DRMs and the effect of culture, risk, and trust on the current choice of DRMs are investigated, using a quantitative method--surveys. In addition, a Delphi technique is used to obtain the views of experts on factors to consider when choosing a DRM in an international contract and on the effects of culture, risk, and trust. Results from this study show the first two factors affecting the choice of DRMs from both industry and experts' perspectives are related to the country of operation and culture. Both culture and risk, do not have a statistically significant effect on choice of DRMs, while trust does. Arbitration is the most recommended DRM in all project conditions, except in projects with high trust between contracting parties where negotiation is the most recommended. Non-amicable DRMs, such as litigation, mini-trial, and summary jury trial are the least recommended methods. From the results obtained, a DRM-Culture Risk Trust (DRM-CRT) model is developed to assist international contractors from English speaking countries planning to operate in the Middle East or Asia in the choice of the appropriate DRMs during contract formation; given identified culture characteristics, trust levels, and risk factors. 


Copyright Owner

Ghada Moustafa Gad



Date Available


File Format


File Size

291 pages