Date Published: Jun 30, 2004
Source: 
Journal of Management in Engineering
Authors: 
Cheung, S., Suen, H. C., Ng, S. T., & Leung, M.
Volume: 
20
Issue: 
3
Page Numbers: 
88-96

The success or failure of alternative dispute resolution (ADR) depends heavily on effective implementation, which in turn is founded on a good understanding of the principles and features of ADR. This paper reports a study on the features of ADR based on interviews with practitioners who have experience with using ADR in construction projects with a contract sum in excess of $HK10 million. The interviews were conducted with 20 accredited mediators/arbitrators of the Hong Kong International Arbitration Center (representing the neutrals) and 42 construction practitioners (representing the users). A total of 19 key features, identified and categorized in four categories—nature, neutral, settlement, and benefits—were prioritized according to their relative importance by using the analytical hierarchy process (AHP). The inconsistency ratio of the AHP helped ensure the reliability of the ranking scores mathematically. Six of the top eight features as ranked by the neutrals and the users are common to both groups. These are preservation of business relationship, enforceability, neutrality, cost to obtain, speed to obtain, and fairness. These suggest that the neutrals and users have similar expectations from ADR processes. The ranking also assists ADR process designers to focus on the fundamentals and avoid overly complicated processes. (Abstract from author)