An Investigation of the Development of Mediation in the UK Construction Industry

  • Mohammad Aminuddin Bin Haji Abdullah

Student thesis: Phd


Mediation has been regarded as one of the effective dispute resolving techniques. However, the issues pertaining to the development of mediation have been overlooked and are therefore less well known. There has been limited discussion about mediation and some of the theoretical explanations about its development in the construction industry were not well investigated or documented. The main purpose of this research was to investigate the development of mediation by focusing on investigating the barriers which impede the use of mediation in resolving construction industry disputes in the UK. Gaps in the literature were identified in the research but no hypothesis was generated. The interpretive research model was an ideal paradigm for this research as it assisted in structuring the whole process of the investigation. A grounded theory strategy was adopted as it helped to capture the overall mediation phenomenon in a construction environment. Semi-structured interviews, with sixteen leading mediators from around the UK, were used for this study. The interviews were recorded and transcribed. The interview transcripts were analysed using grounded theory analysis, through manual coding techniques. From the findings, two categories of barriers were identified: barriers arising from the public (lack of social awareness, disputatious culture, process barrier, insufficient planning, security and the introduction of adjudication) and barriers caused by the disputants' legal advisors (ignorance, personal agendas and the conventional method of resolution). The study also explores some information on the mediation system such as financial issue was the main dispute in construction industry; facilitative mediation is the most appropriate mediation process and in appointing the mediator, excellence in mediating skills is more important than his or her professional background; also it is inappropriate/ counterproductive to impose mandatory mediation on construction disputes. The limited amount of literature dealing with mediation in the UK construction industry is one of the limitations of the research, as it complicated the process of designing the interview questions. Some potential sources of bias for the research are identified through the areas of data presentation and data interpretation. This research has provided theoretical and practical contributions to mediation development within the context of the UK's construction industry. Further research is suggested to validate the research findings and to evaluate the quality of the mediation process, based on the gender and professional background of the mediator.
Date of Award31 Dec 2015
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • The University of Manchester
SupervisorFrancis Fenn (Supervisor)


  • Construction, Dispute, Mediation, Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR), United Kingdom (UK).

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