Purpose – Early involvement of the project team with the construction resources seems to be gaining popularity as it aims to improve the cost efficiency of a project as there is significantly more potential to influence the project solution at that point in time. The missing price during early involvement/selection and the principal-agent setting, however, tend to leave the project owner in doubt of the reasonableness of pricing when it is fixed only later after the joint design phase involving the service provider and the owner. The purpose of this paper is to find a solution for this challenge. Design/methodology/approach – A two-stage target-cost (2STC) arrangement has been proposed as the solution. In this model the service provider earns a bonus by suggesting a lower target cost than the reference set at the time of the involvement of the provider. The amount of bonus also impacts the cost over-run risk transferred to the service provider to avoid overly optimistic promises. The proposition encompassed just the basic idea, and did not really delve into actual model formulations and their functioning under practical realities. Therefore, the required work is presented here in the form of a conceptual, discursive study focusing on relevant theories and empirical findings from major investment projects. Findings – The study produces a requirement framework for the 2STC model to allow functioning models to be formulated and tested. The framework incorporates numerous requirements, constraints and a suggested path forward. For instance, while the model may not be manipulatable, it must incentivise the service provider to seek more cost-effective project solutions, be feasible also from the view of the project owner and adapt to various project risk profiles and ranges of efficiency improvements. Research limitations/implications – The study suggests more concrete model formulations to be provided under the guidance of the presented framework. Originality/value – The 2STC model is a unique concept and no comparable construct is known to exist. Besides the requirement framework, the study also strengthens the foundation of and need for the 2STC model by a thorough survey of its theoretical linkages. Accordingly, the study presented in this paper forms the second stage in the overall 2STC development process focused on benefiting project owners and the industry.
International Journal of Managing Projects in Business – Emerald Publishing
Published: Jan 4, 2016