The growing usage of NEC contracts around the world has also attracted increasing interest from academia. Dozens of research projects and case studies on NEC implementation have been or are being written, either as part of degree submissions or for publication in peer-reviewed journals.
The NEC Users' Group supports such studies wherever possible, either by encouraging members to take part in questionnaire surveys or through publishing the results on the NEC website.
One the latest studies to be posted on the website is entitled 'An analysis of the use and implementation of NEC vs traditional forms of contract in the HK construction industry'. The study was written last year by Robert Dickson as part of a dissertation for an international construction management degree at Bath University in the UK.
Bearing in mind the report was written nearly 12 months ago, Dickson concluded rather presciently, “NEC has potential to provide significant benefits to the industry and there is a lot of enthusiasm surrounding its growing stature in the region. However, there are fundamental issues and barriers to change, predominantly the existing culture and change in mind-set that is required.
“The government needs to continue to drive the changes and ensure that it administers the contract in its intended form. To be wholly successful, it will eventually require the buy-in of the majority of the industry, which it currently does not have. Much of this seems to be due to a lack of awareness, so the industry must work hard to educate professionals into understanding the processes and benefits of NEC”.