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Effects of structure characteristics of project network on conflicts and project success
journal contributionposted on 22.09.2020, 00:00 by G Wu, Z Hu, J Zheng, Xianbo ZhaoXianbo Zhao, J Zuo
Purpose - The purpose of this paper is to investigate the relationships between structure characteristics of project network, types of conflicts and project success. Design/methodology/approach - Network density and centrality were used to reflect the structure characteristics of project network. This study collected 254 valid responses from construction professionals (including project managers, department managers and project engineers) via a questionnaire survey and analyzed the data using structural equation modeling and bootstrapping techniques. Findings - The results showed that network centrality of project stakeholders negatively affected project success, whereas the effect of network density on project success was non-significant. The network density was positively related to task conflict, whereas negatively related to process and relationship conflict. Network centrality was positively related to relationship conflict and had negative effects on task and process conflict. Project conflicts served as the mediator, weakening the relationship between network structure characteristics and project success. Research limitations/implications - This study provides direction for project managers and other stakeholders (e.g. owners, contractors and subcontractors) to appropriately establish social ties and manage conflicts to achieve project success. However, the potential influence of conflict transformation on project success, the dynamic nature of project networks and the network diagram were not addressed in the context of diverse culture. The future research should cover different stakeholders in order to get an integrative understanding of project networks and collect data from different cultural and industrial characteristics, extending and verifying the results. Originality/value - The outcomes of the study provide evidence in regard to social network ties governance, which is comprised by the important or representative stakeholders, being a part of the effective strategy in improving project success. This study also contributes to the knowledge of conflict management in the project context, revealing the positive and negative of project conflicts and enriching the current understandings of the underlying mechanism of the project network characteristics on project success.