CIVIL ENGINEERING 365 ALL ABOUT CIVIL ENGINEERING



AbstractNaturally, negotiations can settle any issue between contractual parties, such as one party seeking to terminate a relationship. This study acquires perspectives on the critical components of construction negotiations and effective negotiation skills using a qualitative approach derived from evaluating case study project documents and key informant interviews, covering various perspectives on negotiation skills needed in the Malaysian context. The findings established preparation as a critical component. Negotiation is not necessarily time consuming, but negotiation preparation requires careful attention. A negotiation map was created to demonstrate the perspectives on key negotiation skills and strategies. Construction negotiation is primarily driven by constant soft skills: communication, leadership, and problem solving to deal with the subject of negotiations that are identified as contractual issues, technical issues, design-related issues, and obstacles on the site. Technical competencies are typically teachable, whereas soft skills, such as effective communication, are valuable and should be strengthened. These skills are the foundation for building trust, explaining clear direction, and improving performance in a construction negotiation.Practical ApplicationsIn the case study, the contractor requested to discharge the contract due to the consequences of default by the government, which included land acquisition issues. Several events (including the application for mutual termination) sparked negotiations in resolving project-related issues and agreeing on the project’s execution. The government was determined to succeed in the negotiations to avoid the retendering process, delayed completion, and a negative reputation. The negotiations were successful when the contractor agreed to uphold their contractual duties. This study discusses perspectives on the crucial component of construction negotiations, negotiation skills, and specific skills needed for negotiation in Malaysian construction. The authors believe that acknowledging the value of negotiation skills is an essential context for research. All interviewees gave their perspectives on the skills required for better negotiation outcomes in the case study and the future (not limited to termination issues).



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