A critical review and analysis of decision-support processes and tools for project delivery method selection

Vassiliki Demetracopoulou, William J. O'Brien, Nabeel Khwaja, Jeffrey Feghaly, Mounir El Asmar

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


Purpose: Over the last three decades, construction projects have increasingly been delivered through alternative delivery methods. As a result, many owners have a range of delivery methods to choose from and aim to use the right one for each of their projects. Researchers have developed several tools and decision-support processes to facilitate this selection procedure. The purpose of this study is to review and discuss differences and common themes across selection tools developed by academic researchers and project owners. Design/methodology/approach: The study reviews prominent selection processes and tools used for infrastructure projects by conducting an in-depth literature review and using the content analysis method to elicit findings on the methodologies and criteria presented in the literature. Findings: This study presents three principal findings. First, findings show three common themes emerge within the selection criteria—characteristics, goals and risks. Second, while academic studies most commonly suggest employing multi-attribute analysis, this study reveals that, in practice, selection tools most frequently employ a staged or gated evaluation based on the type of criteria and their importance to the decision. Finally, this review further highlights the importance of institutional context in decision-making. Originality/value: This work contributes to the body of knowledge by providing guidance to practitioners and opening new directions for researchers around the way selection criteria are categorized in the relevant literature and the institutional context considerations when structuring or evaluating a selection process or tool.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)487-505
Number of pages19
JournalEngineering, Construction and Architectural Management
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2 2024


  • Alternative project delivery
  • Criteria
  • Decision-support processes
  • Delivery method selection
  • Methodologies
  • Tools

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Civil and Structural Engineering
  • Architecture
  • Building and Construction
  • Business, Management and Accounting(all)


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