Assessment of the Role Of Owner’s Representatives on Construction Project Performance
Endres, Tia J.
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The modern construction industry is complex and heterogeneous. Three major players in this industry are: owners, constructors, and architects/engineers. However, there is a fourth party that can also be involved on construction projects, the owner’s representative. Owner’s representatives are individuals or firms hired by an owner to manage the construction project in the owner’s stead. They may provide a range of services between the contracting parties depending on the needs of an owner. Given the important role owner’s representatives can play in this industry, there is a dearth of literature today regarding them, and what exists possesses significant biases and shortcomings regarding authors’ perspectives and lack of data. The objectives of this research are to gain an understanding of when an owner is likely to hire an owner’s representative, and what impact owner’s representatives have on project performance. This study was conducted unbiasedly from the owner’s perspective using data from projects with an owner’s representative and projects without an owner’s representative. In this study, it was found that hiring or not hiring an owner’s representative leads to no significant difference on project performance. However, there are roles, responsibilities, and characteristics of owner’s representatives that do have a significant impact on project performance when an owner decides to hire an owner’s representative. The one circumstance where a project is likely to have improved budget performance when an owner’s representative is hired is on design-build projects. Ultimately each project and owner is unique, so projects should be considered individually such that an owner may determine whether or not an owner’s representative is the correct choice. This research will help owners determine when and how an owner’s representative is needed for improving project performance.