E-tendering in construction: time for a change?

Derek Lavelle, Andrew Bardon

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


E-tendering is one of the information technology tools that has been highlighted by construction industry experts to assist in changing the industry’s culture and improving its processes. However the emergence of e-tendering in construction in the UK has been slow. This paper documents a questionnaire survey of quantity surveyors in northern England, identifying their views on different aspects of e-tendering, and providing an analysis of the perceived drivers and barriers to its implementation. Using a relative importance index, time and cost are confirmed as the two most significant perceived drivers in implementing e-tendering, while sustainability benefits are also recognised as important. The lack of experience and precedence in the legal realm is one of the main perceived barriers. The paper explores the impact of personal characteristics on attitudes towards e-tendering. Age and experience are particularly significant, with older and more experienced surveyors being more critical and negative than younger surveyors towards e-tendering. The analysis also identifies that the size and type of company affects attitudes with regard to electronic sharing of information and the related aspects of infrastructure and security. Smaller companies have more concerns with regard to security, while contractors’ quantity surveyors have much more concern over sharing information than clients’ consultants. Prior use also affects attitudes, with inexperienced users expressing more concerns over the use of e-tendering. The conclusion is that, amongst quantity surveyors, there is recognition of the benefits that e-tendering can bring about but that there are a number of barriers currently acting as a brake on the uptake of e-tendering.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)104-112
JournalNorthumbria Working Paper Series: Interdisciplinary Studies in the Built and Virtual Environment
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2009


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