The survey, conducted by the Rethinking Construction body, underlines industry concerns that the take-up of ideas in the 1998 Egan report has yet to penetrate the whole of the industry.
The research, which was published this week, questioned 1771 industry organisations, including contractors, consultants, manufacturers and clients. It found that only 12% of firms, representing 32% of industry turnover, were using partnering.
The biggest hurdle faced by Rethinking Construction is the belief among respondents that their businesses are performing well already, according to the report.
It found that 80% of businesses believed their productivity was better than average and 43% were happy with their performance and claimed they did not need to change or did not have time to implement changes.
Unprompted, the Egan report was recognised by a mere 8% of the industry
Rethinking Construction survey
Other gloomy findings were that only 10% of organisations quizzed used construction key performance indicators, and a mere 9% had been accredited to Investors in People.
The survey did find a higher take-up of ideas such as integrated teams (40% of respondents), defect and retention-free principles (35%) and whole-team insurance (30%).
The report said awareness of the Egan movement was highest among public-sector clients and consultants, and lowest among contractors and manufacturers.
Martin Jaques, contract manager at Hertfordshire council, said the public sector was more likely to implement Egan principles because local authorities were more likely to be hit by best-value audits.