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Identifying and prioritizing delay factors in Iran’s oil construction projects

Aliyeh Kazemi (Department of Industrial Management, Faculty of Management, University of Tehran, Tehran, Iran)
Eun-Seok Kim (Department of Business Analytics and Applied Economics, School of Business and Management, Queen Mary University of London, London, UK)
Mohammad-Hossein Kazemi (Department of Civil Engineering, Engineering Faculty, Kharazmi University, Tehran, Iran)

International Journal of Energy Sector Management

ISSN: 1750-6220

Article publication date: 7 December 2020

Issue publication date: 12 May 2021




Successful implementation of construction projects is one of the crucial factors for the economic development of every country. The main part of the countries’ capital is allocated to civil and infrastructure projects annually, most of which are accomplished with delay. Construction projects are often criticized for overrunning time and budgets. Analyzing the factors causing delay is essential for omitting them and timely implementation of these projects. Due to the importance of oil projects, this study aims to investigate and analyze the factors causing a delay in Iran’s oil construction projects.


In this research, after a broad literature review, using the fuzzy Delphi method, a total of 75 delay factors were identified under 11 major categories of owner, contractor, consultant, equipment, labor, materials, design, contract and contractual relations, laws and regulations, environmental factors, and managerial factors. Then, by using the best-worst method, the factors were prioritized.


The results showed that sanction, governmental management systems, weak project management by the contractor, technical and managerial weaknesses of the consultant, financial problems and delay in payment by the owner, low efficiency of the equipment, low productivity of the workforce, changes in laws and regulations, inappropriate organizational structure linking to the project, changes in the design, and changes in the price of materials are the most crucial factors causing a delay in Iran’s oil construction projects.

Research limitations/implications

These findings are expected to have significant contributions to Iran’s oil construction industry in controlling the time overruns in construction contracts.


The main contribution of this study is to develop a comprehensive framework in which, causes of delay in Iran’s oil construction projects are addressed and prioritized.



This research was supported by the National Iranian Oil Engineering and Construction Company (NIOEC).


Kazemi, A., Kim, E.-S. and Kazemi, M.-H. (2021), "Identifying and prioritizing delay factors in Iran’s oil construction projects", International Journal of Energy Sector Management, Vol. 15 No. 3, pp. 476-495.



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