Barriers to alternative dispute resolution in the construction industry: the Kuwaiti experience

Litigation as a formal way of dispute resolution is time consuming, costly, adversarial and damages, if not destroys, relationships and reputations. There are many alternative forms to litigation and arbitration, also in Kuwait different organisations prepared regulations for different forms of alternative dispute resolution. These forms have been rarely used due to cultural difficulties and to lack of awareness of these forms of dispute resolution. In addition to exploring the advantages of using the alternative dispute resolution forms with construction projects disputes, this paper presents the findings of what alternative dispute resolution strategies are currently been implemented by different organisations in Kuwait. These finding are reinforced by interviews conducted in Kuwait, with workers in the construction industry, to identify the main reasons, in terms of culture and awareness aspects, for not adopting ADR in construction disputes. The barriers to use mediation are found to be, mainly, lack of awareness and another six cultural aspects. However, elimination instruments to the barriers were revealed in this study.