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Identification and assessment of disruption claim management risks in construction projects: a life cycle-based approach

Murat Cevikbas (Department of Civil Engineering, Isparta University of Applied Sciences, Isparta, Turkey)
Ozan Okudan (Department of Civil Engineering, Yıldız Technical University, Istanbul, Turkey)
Zeynep Işık (Department of Civil Engineering, Yıldız Technical University, Istanbul, Turkey)

Engineering, Construction and Architectural Management

ISSN: 0969-9988

Article publication date: 6 September 2022

Issue publication date: 2 January 2024




The purpose of this paper is to propose a disruption claim management (DCM) life cycle and a risk management framework to provide comprehensive guidance to construction practitioners for facilitating effective and efficient DCM.


DCM life cycle was initially developed through a focus group discussion (FGD) with the participation of the construction practitioners who have diverse experiences about DCM. The life cycle is comprised of 6 phases and also includes proper reactions of the owners and contractors. Then, 42 risk factors that can impact the deliverables of DCM were identified through a literature review and an additional FGD session. This was then followed by a Fuzzy Analytical Hierarchy Process (FAHP) which was performed to evaluate the importance of each risk factor in terms of the factor's impact on the success of DCM. Additionally, consistency analysis was performed to further maximize the reliability of the results.


Findings revealed that a proactive and systematic approach should be adopted and DCM practices should be initiated before any disruption event is triggered. Accordingly, the proposed framework recommends DCM practices to be initiated early in the contract development phase since compensation for the disruption might be recovered only to the extent that the contract permits. The contract-related risks were given top priority by the experts so that the results of the fuzzy AHP analysis also verified the significance of the contract development phase. Besides contract-related risks, risks related to insufficient site observation, ignorance of the project team, cognitive bias and conflict of interest were determined as the most significant DCM risks, needing an urgent and sophisticated risk response plan. Lastly, results suggested that “Site observation and record-keeping” is the most formidable phase since the phase's implementation on a continuous basis could create unforeseen organizational challenges such as mismanagement of project records, especially in the dynamic and turbulent environment of the construction projects.


Disruption – which is caused mostly by change – is inevitable in construction projects due to their sophisticated nature. DCM, therefore, becomes crucial to compensate losses of contractors and eliminate or diminish the prolonged dispute resolution process. Existing studies, however, do not provide a comprehensive theoretical basis for the DCM life cycle and DCM life cycle's potential risks so that DCM life cycle's promising benefits can hardly be materialized. Thus, developing a DCM life cycle and associating DCM life cycle with risk management, this study is highly believed to make a promising theoretical contribution to the DCM domain since this is one of the earliest attempts in the literature. Additionally, this research provides construction practitioners with an insight into the effective implementation of DCM practices in construction projects.



Cevikbas, M., Okudan, O. and Işık, Z. (2024), "Identification and assessment of disruption claim management risks in construction projects: a life cycle-based approach", Engineering, Construction and Architectural Management, Vol. 31 No. 1, pp. 1-27.



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