The nature of qualitative construction partnering research: Literature review

Marieke Venselaar, Hans Wamelink

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)


Purpose - The purpose of this paper is to investigate the nature of qualitative construction partnering research. Design/methodology/approach - In total, 20 qualitative peer-reviewed papers about construction partnering research are reviewed. Findings - The results show four methodological gaps. All identified gaps have in common that specific time and place dependent details that may have influenced understanding of studied individuals are underexposed. Research limitations/implications - The main limitation of this study is that empirical-based papers are divided into either qualitative or quantitative research, but the boundary between those categories is not as black and white as it may look like in first instance. Practical implications - The identified gaps are translated to recommendations for further study. This will help the reader to become more aware of the difficulties and decisions encountered by the researcher, and in that way the reader is more aware and gains more understanding of the context-related character of the study. Applying the recommendations will lead to different conclusions and recommendations to improve construction partnering in working practice. Social implications - More focus on local time- and place-dependent factors of the studied individuals as well as the process of studying it, inevitably leads to encountering (and becoming more aware of) personal, subjective and unexplainable decisions and behavior. Describing and analyzing these personal, subjective and unexplainable points in the research process will improve the quality of the research. Originality/value - This study contributes to the further development of academic research on this topic and increase effectiveness of partnering in the construction sector.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1092-1118
JournalEngineering, Construction and Architectural Management
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 2017


  • Collaboration
  • Construction management
  • Partnership
  • Research methods
  • Supply chain management


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