Explaining the Ineffectiveness of Construction Arbitration

Allan A. Abwunza*, Titus K. Peter, Kariuki Muigua

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)


The ineffectiveness of dispute resolution remains a major concern to many users of construction arbitration. Despite several complaints regarding high costs, delays, and rejected awards, there is no evidence that any studies have systematically investigated and explained the ineffectiveness of construction arbitration. This multiple qualitative case study aimed at addressing this research gap. Rich qualitative data based on 13 semistructured interviews and documentary analysis in five exemplifying cases indicated that all five cases were ineffective because of poor-quality awards, time inefficiencies, and cost ineffectiveness. Such ineffectiveness was attributed to unfavorable outcomes, which were perceived to be unfair in cases in which tribunals did not exercise their powers in balancing process control that was skewed in favor of the winning parties. The findings also pointed toward mismatches between case complexity and the competence of the tribunals, whose limited functional skills restricted their ability to properly guide the disputants on efficient approaches to the presentation of evidence. These findings provide a nuanced understanding of how these factors collectively interact in explaining the ineffectiveness of construction arbitration.
Original languageEnglish
Article number04522009
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of Legal Affairs and Dispute Resolution in Engineering and Construction
Issue number2
Early online date10 Mar 2022
Publication statusPublished - 1 May 2022
Externally publishedYes


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