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Mutual objective setting for partnering projects in the public sector

Will Swan (Centre for Construction Innovation, Manchester, UK)
Malik M.A. Khalfan (SCRI Research Center in the Built and Human Environment Research Institute (BuHu), University of Salford, Salford, UK)

Engineering, Construction and Architectural Management

ISSN: 0969-9988

Article publication date: 6 March 2007




The use of partnering has grown within the public sector of the UK construction industry. Central to partnering is the use of the partnering charter. The charter establishes the mutual objectives of the project team. The purpose of this paper is to investigate the types of objectives that are identified and the potential reasons for them.


A number of partnering workshops have been undertaken through one of the University of Salford's Enterprise Units, the Centre for Construction Innovation. Each of these generated a workshop report, which captured the discussions during the day. These have been analysed in order to establish the different mutual objectives that have been identified for different projects.


The results show that while the key issues of time, cost, quality and safety are still central to what teams identify as successful project delivery, issues surrounding management of relationships including external stakeholders, such as the public, are also prevalent. In addition, there is an increase in identified objectives surrounding sustainable development issues, covering social and environmental goals.


The findings provide strong indications that construction is moving towards a more complex regime of objectives in the context of value procurement and partnering arrangements. The objectives identified by the different project teams show that construction projects are now considering both soft management issues and sustainable development as central to the successful delivery of projects.



Swan, W. and Khalfan, M.M.A. (2007), "Mutual objective setting for partnering projects in the public sector", Engineering, Construction and Architectural Management, Vol. 14 No. 2, pp. 119-130.



Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2007, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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