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Revisiting the construction project failure factors in Vietnam

Tan Phat Nguyen (Viet Tan Trading Service and Construction Company Pleiku, Gia Lai Province, Vietnam.)
Nicholas Chileshe (School of Natural and Built Environments, University of South Australia, Adelaide, Australia.)

Built Environment Project and Asset Management

ISSN: 2044-124X

Article publication date: 7 September 2015



The Vietnam construction industry has considerably developed since 1986 as a result of “Doi Moi” or all-round renovation process. However, despite the pace of economic reforms, a number of challenges continue to plague the construction industry. The purpose of this paper is to revisit the factors causing construction project failure in Vietnam. Some of the selected best practices from Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa (BRICS) and China, Indonesia, Vietnam, Egypt, Turkey, South Africa (CIVETS) are discussed.


Using a mixed method approach, data were collected from construction stakeholders in Vietnam using a postal survey questionnaire and semi-structured interviews. The quantitative data were subjected to descriptive statistics using ranking and frequencies analysis, and qualitative data employed content analysis.


Despite the lack of systematic approach to managing projects risks, there is a high level of acknowledgement regarding the importance of risk management practices. The highly ranked critical factors still causing construction project failure in Vietnam are: disregard of the significance of project planning process and project planning; lack of experience in executing complicated project; poor design capacity and frequent design changes; lack of knowledge and ability in managing construction projects; lack of financial capacity of owner; poor performance of contractors; lack of a systematic approach to managing the project and entire organisation; corruption and bribery in construction projects; the delays in payment; and economic volatility and high inflation.

Practical implications

The identified and revisited project failure factors could be used as a “road map” for the revaluation, and development of appropriate project management practices.


The construction sector has undergone through significant structural changes following “Doi Moi”. This study provides the opportunity to realign the strategies for addressing project failure factors and learning from comparative studies in BRICS and CIVETS countries.



Nguyen, T.P. and Chileshe, N. (2015), "Revisiting the construction project failure factors in Vietnam", Built Environment Project and Asset Management, Vol. 5 No. 4, pp. 398-416.



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