The author is the vice president of the AAA 's Denver regional office. He is a past-president of the Colorado Council of Mediators and Mediation Organizations and is an adjunct professor at the University of Denver College of Law and at University College, University of Denver.
Construction contracting exists in a largely adversarial atmosphere where "collective needs and interests are either subordinated to individual needs, or ignored entirely." The result? Closed lines of communication, mistrust and escalating disputes. A growing need to counter this divisiveness has led to the evolution of partnering, a team-building process based upon mutual trust and respect that nips conflict in the bud and fosters harmonious re lationships among owners and contractors.