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Traditional performance monitoring techniques in project management are based on classical measures – costs, schedule and scope ofwork. But focusing our view on these indices and their derivatives we can overlook one ofthe most important elements of project management – project participants. Degrees of their coordination, cohesion and collaboration directly influence on the extent to which project goals could be achieved. Communications and relations between participants play a vital role of special glue holding project parts together. Besides, communication environment integrate within itself information about all aspects of a project – successes, failures and conflicts. Character ofinterpersonal relations and structure ofcommunications between participants are proposed as indicators of successfulness or failures. In present report project participants are considered as a social network. Using social network analysis (SNA) techniques provides opportunities to examine links between structural characteristics of interproject communication networks and project performance.
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access to success
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Study the Efficiency of Interproject Communication
Study the Efficiency of Interproject Communication
with Social Network Analysis
with Social Network Analysis
Dmitry PLOKHOV*, Ilya V. OSIPOV**, Sergei TITOV***, Evgeny NIKULCHEV****
Traditional performance monitoring techniques in project management are based on classical measures – costs,
schedule and scope of work. But focusing our view on these indices and their derivatives we can overlook one of the
most important elements of project management – project participants. Degrees of their coordination, cohesion and
collaboration directly influence on the extent to which project goals could be achieved. Communications and relations
between participants play a vital role of special glue holding project parts together. Besides, communication
environment integrate within itself information about all aspects of a project – successes, failures and conflicts.
Character of interpersonal relations and structure of communications between participants are proposed as indicators
of successfulness or failures. In present report project participants are considered as a social network. Using social
network analysis (SNA) techniques provides opportunities to examine links between structural characteristics of
interproject communication networks and project performance.
Keywords: social network, interproject communication, project performance.
*Moscow Institute of Physics and Technology, 141700 Dolgoprudny Moscow reg., Russia; E-mail:
** i2istudy, Inc., 94123 San Francisco CA, USA; E-mail:
*** Moscow Technological Institute, 119334 Moscow, Russia; E-mail:
**** Moscow State University of Technology and Management, 109004 Moscow, Russia & Moscow Technological Institute, 119334 Moscow,
Russia; E-mail:
1. Introduction
A project can be viewed as a temporal organization formed
within an enterprise for achieving unique goals [1]. In addition, to
create a unique product, service or result, particular characters
of projects are dynamic environment in which a project is ma-
naged and high level of uncertainty. Of course, traditional project
management tools, processes improvement instruments, agile
management techniques, and other management optimization
frameworks are of high importance for the project success.
However, as it was rightly pointed out in the article of T. Cooke-
Davies [2], project results are delivered by people and through
the interaction between people, not by and through processes,
procedures and systems. Through the interaction with each
other and the environment, project participants constantly adopt
their work to new conditions and challenges in order to even-
tually achieve the major strategic goals, to meet customer needs
and project constraints. Hence, communications and relations
between people determine the quality of the processes, and
thereby the quality of project management and projects’ perfor-
mance in general [3].
The most common approach for evaluating project manage-
ment performance is based on comparison of actual project
measures with approved constraints on costs, time and specifi-
cation of work. This approach, that can be called classical,
makes possible to get bird-eye view on the situation through a
set of formal metrics. Though the analysis with classical metrics
and their derivatives is clear and well-formalized, it seems ex-
tremely difficult to use such metrics to evaluate impact of major
social factors – communications and social relations that can
significantly impact on the project team productivity and creati-
vity [4].
A communication environment acts not only as a data trans-
fer system, but it also integrates all information in broad terms.
Project initiation proceeds in parallel with forming of a social and
information network, the members of which are the project par-
ticipants. The communication structure is inevitably interwoven
with informal relations that also have great impact on the work
environment and complement relations based on formal admi-
nistrative interactions [5].
The social nature of project management is also reflected in
a link between emerging mismatches or contradictions and
conflicts between participants. There are two opposing view-
points on the role of conflict in project management. Traditional
views supporters consider conflicts as a threat to a project and
its environment. So conflicts should be avoided. Given the mo-
dern behavioral framework in management, conflicts are inevita-
ble parts of the human organization, and with proper approach
they can bring benefits and give right clues to resolve contra-
dictions [6]. Thamhain and Wilemon [7] focused their research
on identifying the main causes of conflict in projects and covered
almost all aspects of project management. The general con-
sensus of proponents of traditional and behavioral viewpoints is
that conflicts can be symptoms of problems in project mana-
gement and, not being solved, potentially lead to damages [8].
In the presented article, we investigate a communication
structures and their impact on the flow of conflict and on the
projects’ performance with the help of social network analysis
techniques. In theoretical part of the article we analyze the role
of communications in project management. Then, we describe
the application of social network analysis techniques for stu-
dying interproject communications. In the empirical analysis, we
investigate three projects, their communication network struc-
tures and analyze the potential links between communications
structures and the project success.
2. Role of communications
in project management
Many researchers highlighted the critical role of communica-
tions for the success of projects. For instance, Gupta and Wile-
mon analyzed the interaction between marketing and research
departments in a project-based company and found out that the
quality and the structure of the communications between these
two types of departments notably effected the effectiveness of
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the innovation projects [9]. Pinto and Pinto ascertained that the
high level of cooperation between the project teams accompa-
nied by the higher probability of the project success [10]. Allen,
Lee and Tushman showed that the performance of projects
connected with the styles and quality of communications within
the project teams [11]. Jagdev and Müller [12] and Henderson
[13] determined the connection between communication compe-
tencies of project team members and success of projects.
Ryynanen emphasized that effective communications are
especially important for knowledge-intensive engineering pro-
jects [14]. Though many authors investigated the role of commu-
nications in projects of different types, these studies were largely
of conceptual rather than of empirical nature. Yet another defi-
ciency of the current body of research on communications in
project management is the insufficient number of quantitative
findings. The article presented is trying to compensate for the
lack of empirical quantitative research in the field of communi-
cation management in project management context. The key
research technique in the article is the social network analysis.
3. Social network analysis
techniques for studying
interproject communication
Techniques of social network analysis (SNA) are used exten-
sively for studying of relations within organizations and between
them. The main part of such research is based on analysis of
corporate communications and information from the participants
obtained through surveys and interviews. In relation to the pro-
ject management, researches interests are targeted on features
of interaction within virtual teams and the evaluation of their per-
formance [15,16], the issues of building effective communica-
tion between organization/project members [17], optimal condi-
tions for spreading of practices and knowledge [18].
Communication issues were the central topics of the signifi-
cant number of researches in the context of studying project ma-
nagement practices in construction and engineering industries.
In [19–23] the authors considered the possibility of applying the
social networks concept and analysis techniques to improve the
efficiency of construction projects. The analysis of the links bet-
ween the structure of teams’ communications and innovative
projects effectiveness was undertaken by S. Titov [24].
The growth of interest in SNA methods results from their
flexibility that allows possibility to explore the communities and
organizations of all sizes, to identify and visualize the formal and
informal networks, to evaluate the quantitative parameters of
communication structures and conduct a comparative analysis
on their basis. In addition, several powerful software products,
including free, were developed for supporting researchers to use
SNA methods. These user-friendly products allow building and
analyzing networks of various sizes. All this makes the use of
social network analysis methods is very promising for the
studies of organization and project communication networks.
3.1. Research methods
Earlier it was noted that communication structures and their
character are the essential success factors on projects. From
the full variety of project communication issues this study consi-
dered links between the structural balance of the project network
and the project success rate by the end of the conflict. According
to [25], there is structural balance in a social network when in do
not contain relations – “positive attitudes (friendship, coope-
ration) between A and B and between B and C, but negative
attitudes (hostility, rivalry) between B and C”. It is supposed that
balanced networks are more comfortable for participants and
more stable than unbalanced. Thus, the conflict should split a
network into balanced sub-groups (conflict parties) consisting of
like-minded people who share similar points of view.
The studied project networks were built information by using
data about communications between the participants by formal
and informal ways, directly related to the certain project. Also in-
tensity (evaluated in the form of a numeric attribute) and charac-
ter (attitude) of communications are taken into account.
The authors distinguished three levels of communication in-
tensity: low, medium and high, which were associated with the
values 0, 1 and 2 respectively. Consideration was given to mu-
tual directed communication, i.e. the intensity of the evaluated
communications between the certain participants pair was the
same from the point of view of each of them.
Character (attitude) of communication communications
associated with the “+” sign, if the communications were friendly,
i.e. participants had mutual sympathy or common ground, or “–”
sign in case of antipathy or difference in views. In each of the
projects previously mentioned regarding the subject matter of
the conflict. The positions conditionally designated as “Agree”,
“Disagree” or “Neutral”.
The basis for the study was the information about the follo-
wing three projects:
The project A. 14 participants. The main object: deve-
lopment of the online educational games [26]. The con-
flict subject: disagreements about the final versions of the
game concept and scenarios. Summary of the conflict:
disagreements were finally overcome by harmonizing the
wishes of all parties, but time was substantially out of
schedule. Overall assessment of project results given by
the participants is positive.
The project B. 9 participants. The main object: develop-
ment of an enterprise information system. The conflict
subject: different views on technical solutions and disa-
greements about quality assessment of project results.
Summary of the conflict: the parties were not able to
reach a consensus which led fail to meet the project
deadlines, and, subsequently, the project was cancelled.
The project С. 7 participants. The main object: develo-
ping of educational online service [27]. The conflict sub-
ject: reforming of the project organization structure,
attracting new members. Summary of the conflict: the
deadlines were broken; some of the participants were out
of the project. A key problem raised by participants was
an impossibility of compromise on the conflict issue.
Summary data about communications (intensity and charac-
ter) are presented in tables 1-3. These tables indicate the parti-
cipants’ position on the matter of the conflicts (A – “Agree”; D –
“Disagree”; N – “Neutral”).
It should be noted that the projects have been implemented
in different organizations and by different teams, even though
planned times of project duration had roughly the same.
Table 1. The matrix of communications in the project A
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cipant A1 A2 A3 A4 A5 A6 A7 A8 A9 A10 A11 A12 A13 A14
A1 2 -1 1 1
A2 1 1 2 1 1
A3 2 1 2 -1 1
A4 1 1 1 2
A5 1 2 1
A6 2 2 1 1 1 1 2
A7 2 1 2 1
A8 2 1 2
A9 1
A10 1
A12 2 2
A13 2
tion D N D D A N A A N A N N N N
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Table 2. The matrix of communications in the project B
Table 3. The matrix of communications in the project C
3.2. Analysis of result
The data about the structure of project communications were
investigated using the freeware Pajek [28], presented by its
authors to open access.
Visualization models of networks’ structure are illustrated by
graphs whose vertices correspond to the project participants
and edges reflects meaningful communication between them.
Since initially it was assumed that existed communications were
mutual directed, undirected graphs was used for building the
models. The models of communication networks for the investi-
gated projects are shown in the figures 1, 3, 5. The communica-
tions with positive character are shown by solid line and with
positive character – by dashed. The participants’ positions in the
conflicts are illustrated by color of its vertices: white color is
corresponding “Agree”, black – “Disagree”, gray – “Neutral”.
The rule of finding a balanced solution for a particular net-
work can be formulated as follows: the balanced solution should
contain that partition of the network into subgroups (clusters) in
which all positive ties are within clusters and negative are loca-
ted between them. It should be given that the formulated rule
describes an ideal situation, in which positive and negative ties
between network members are placed respectively strictly
inside the clusters or outside. It do not occurs always in real life,
so researchers using the error weight factor a can control the
program threshold for penalizing of erroneous negative ties
within subgroups (valid values range from 0 to 1). The error
weight factor for erroneous positive ties between subgroups
counts automatically as (1–a). For the present study it is used
a=0.5. This factor can be explained from a socio-psychological
point of view. Before selecting a value of a researcher should
assess participants’ tolerance to those with whom they have a
negative attitude. If, in the opinion of the researcher, project mem-
bers exist in an atmosphere of strong rejection of the opposite
point of view, a should be defined close to 1. On the contrary, in
the case where someone’s disagreement does not prevent to
consider him part of the team, a can be lowered closer to 0.
Figure 1. The communication network in the project A
Figure 2. The balanced clustering in the project A network
Figure 3. The communication network in the project B
Figure 4. The balanced clustering in the project B network
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Participant B1 B2 B3 B4 B5 B6 B7 B8 B9
B1 1 1 1
B2 1 2 2 1 1 2 -1
B3 1 1
B4 2 2 2 -2 -2
B5 2 -1 -2
B6 -1 -1
B7 2 2
B8 2
Position A A A D D N N A A
Participant C1 C2 C3 C4 C5 C6 C7
C1 2 2 -2 1 -1 2
C2 1 1
C3 -1 1 1
C4 2 -1
Position A A A D D N N
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Figure 5. The communication network in the project С
Figure 6. The balanced clustering in the project С network
Found balanced solutions are presented in the Figures 2, 4,
6. In this case used color coding are corresponding its member-
ship of a new subgroup and not to the initial participant’s position
in the conflict. For example, in the project A the participant A3
initially demonstrated position “Agree” (its vertex in the figure 1
is white), but in the balanced network he joined the main
subgroups (the black vertices in the figure 2). In the figure 3 the
participant B1 was also marked with “Agree” position, but this
project B member is the only participant in the grey-colored
subgroup separated from the rest.
Comparing the found solutions with factual information about
the projects it can be come to the following conclusions. In the
project A there were 7 members in the open contradiction that is
half of the total number of participants. The rest showed neu-
trality. It should be noted that the project A network contain only
two negative ties in the communication structure. The balance
analysis revealed that the 12 members belonged to the common
subgroup. This fact shows about high emotional and psycholo-
gical stability and cohesion of the project team, which is not
influenced by differences of opinion, and therefore, about the
high efficiency of communications management. Apparently, it
was a significant factor contributing to overcoming conflict stage.
Comparing with project A, there is a big share of negative
relations in the communication structure of the project B. It can
be assumed that in the situation with project B the conflict this
project proceeded in a more critical stage adversely affecting the
people relations. It is noteworthy that participants with the
“Agree” position more than their opponents (5 vs. 2). But the
figure 4 with balanced network is showing the presence of 2
subgroups, almost the same number of participants. The nature
of the relations between the parties became a potential cause of
a more radical separation, and therefore it reduced the level of
mutual cooperation. So the negative attitude in the communica-
tions of participants B6 with B8 and B9 contributes to transition
B6 from the neutral position to the opposition to them. For the
participants B2 and B3 who shared the “Agree” position the
results are more interesting because next these persons joined
to subgroup with one’s opponents B4 and B5. Such situation
when a network member has better relations with opponents
than with supporters is reinforcing the dissociation. Divergent
views, the lack of sympathy in relationships with peers have a
negative impact on decision making. The participants of the pro-
ject B pointed to the lack of coherence in the goals understan-
ding. The analysis of the balanced network showed that the
participants, among whom there was the nominal consent could
turn out to be opponents.
The project C network divided clearly into 3 subgroups, bet-
ween which negative attitudes are dominated. It can be noted
that the participants C4 and С6 have only one positive link with
the other that is blocking effective cooperation. Observing the
pattern of the balanced network in the project C, the withdrawal
of the several team members from the project seems to be in a
predictable step. Communications and relationships between
the participants are not contributing to the conflict resolution,
and therefore, in this case it is hardly to expect achieving the
project goals.
In the project A the communication network was stable when
a conflict occurred. Its members had opposing points of view but
could maintain positive attitudes with their opponents. Conse-
quently, the team remained cohesive and kept the common
goals and vision. In contrast, separate subgroups, in opposition
to each other were clearly distinguished. Prevailing negative re-
lationships between subgroups hindered information exchange
and reduced the overall productivity of the teams. The lack of
situation analysis in which the projects B and C were and insuffi-
cient efforts in relation to communication management became
possible causes of disunity and the project failures.
4. Conclusions
Interproject communications are the integration environment
for the participants, transforming them from individual actors into
a united team. Using modern approaches in the organization
theory, project teams can be classified as specific social net-
works. Formal and informal communications taken together
constitute the project communication environment. Relations
characters and their structure depend on project management
effectiveness, and, therefore, can serve as indicators of project
Using the social network concept as a basis, the authors
present the study communication characters and structure in the
several projects that were in a conflict state. SNA techniques
were chosen in order to examine structural balance of the pro-
ject network. The analysis results gave opportunities to advance
explanations regarding outcomes for each project taking into
account social ties and member partitioning in the conflicts.
The use of SNA methods seems promising as a tool for ana-
lyzing of communication management effectiveness in addition
to traditional methods for assessing quality of project manage-
ment. This would pay more attention on human and social fac-
tors because project participants are the essential elements
which deliver project results. Q-as
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... The communications with customers are traditionally depicted as dyadic interactions (Williams and Spiro, 1985). Although in project management customer communications usually occur within the more complicated communication network (Plokhov et al., 2016), the main information flows connecting the customer and the project are the dyads 'customer -project/ account manager/ coordinator' and 'customerproject team'. Some researchers pay attention to the fact that many companies prefer to interact with customers through one contact person (project or account manager) willingly limiting the links between customers and project teams (Moller, 2003). ...
Customer focus and communications with clients have been in the center of the modern quality management for a long time. Whilst much has been written about qualitative aspects of client communication in the quality management systems only few researchers attempted to investigate empirically and quantitatively the potential interplay between client communication and quality. This article examines the possible correlation between the intensity of communications with clients at different stages of the turnkey furniture and interior projects, on one hand, and the client satisfaction with quality and non-quality costs, on the other hand. The findings indicate that many client interaction frequency metrics correlate with the client quality satisfaction and non-quality costs. Moreover, it can be stated with some caution that the high frequency of client interaction at the early stage of the project has a positive impact on the quality satisfaction and non-quality costs. Based on the findings, this study discusses managerial implications concerning the importance of the early involvement of the client and intense communications with the project team.
... There are works that suggest evaluating the competence of specialists (including knowledge workers) on the basis of an expert evaluation based on objective data, for example, identifying trends in the development of innovative technologies and determining their respective competencies based on the analysis of trends in patent activity (Nikulchev, 2017), or based on the data of professional social networks, analyzing which you can assess the communication competence in the professional field (Plokhov, 2016). ...
Technical Report
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Объектом исследования являются внутрипроектные коммуникации. Предметом исследования являются методы анализа социальных сетей. Цель работы — оценка влияния социальных коммуникаций на примере инжиниринговых проектов для повышения эффективности проектного управления. Задачи исследования: 1. Проведение аналитического обзора исследований, связанных с оценкой влия-ния коммуникаций на успешность проектного менеджмента (на примере инжини-ринговых проектов); 2. Разработка метода формального описания структуры и характера внутрипроектных коммуникаций; 3. Разработка методики мониторинга эффективности проектного управления, учитывающей влияние коммуникаций; 4. Проведение апробации разработанной методики на основе данных реальных проектов; 5. Подготовка рекомендаций по использованию разработанной методики. Актуальность темы исследования. Довольно часто в контексте методологии управления проектами коммуникации рассматриваются только как формальные отношения и сводятся к координации участников, обеспечению информационного обмена между ними, а также интеграции результатов отдельных работ в общий результат. Коммуникационная структура участников проекта выходит за рамки формально-иерархических связей и приобретает черты социальной сети. Вклад неформальных связей отчетливо заметен в проектах, связанных с поиском нестандартных, инновационных решений, поскольку неформальные коммуникации создают условия, в которых участники проще обмениваться идеями, мнениями, знаниями. Коммуникации особенно значимы для инжиниринговых проектов, относящихся к исследовательской, проектно-конструкторской и расчетно-аналитической деятельности, поскольку такие проекты связаны с разработкой новых, часто инновационных технических продуктов или методов, что требует междисциплинарных решений, а, следовательно, взаимодействия целого ряда специалистов из различных подразделений и областей знаний. В этих условиях, разработка специа-лизированных методик управления, направленных на оценку влияния коммуникаций в рамках проектной деятельности является актуальным. Научная новизна Научная новизна проекта состоит в разработанной методике повышения эффективности проектного управления, основанной на оценке влияния социальных коммуникаций на успешность инжиниринговых проектов. Практическая значимость заключается в том, что предложенная методика может быть использована на практике для повышения эффективности управления проектом в целом и для управления коммуникациями в частности. Методы исследования и фактические данные. Теоретическую основу исследования составляет теория графов в приложении к данным о характере коммуникаций между участниками ряда инжиниринговых проектов.
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Communications serve as the environment for integrating project participants, transforming them from individual office players into the cohesive project team. From the perspective of project management practitioners, communications and relations between project participants turn into essential project success factors. Taken together, formal and informal social ties of project network participants compose communication environment of the project. Connections’ character and structure influence project management performance and therefore can be potentially seen as indicators of project success. In the present paper the approach based on social network analysis techniques is applied for assessing possible impact of social communications on performance of engineering projects.
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The paper describes user behavior as a result of introducing monetization in the freemium educational online platform. Monetization resulted in alternative system growth mechanisms causing viral increase in the number of users. System metrics in terms of the $K$-factor was utilized as an indicator of the system user base growth. The weekly $K$-factor doubled as a result of monetization introduction.
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The paper describes gamification, virality and retention in the freemium educational online platform with 40,000 users as an example. Relationships between virality and retention parameters as measurable metrics are calculated and discussed using real examples. Virality and monetization can be both competing and complementary mechanisms for the system growth. The K-growth factor, which combines both virality and retention, is proposed as the metrics of the overall freemium system performance in terms of the user base growth. This approach can be tested using a small number of users to assess the system potential performance. If the K-growth factor is less than one, the product needs further development. If the K-growth factor it is greater than one, the system retains existing and attracts new users, thus a large scale market launch can be successful.
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Our views on project success have changed over the years from definitions that were limited to the implementation phase of the project life cycle to definitions that reflect an appreciation of success over the entire project and product life cycle. This paper assesses our evolving understanding of project success over the past 40 years and discusses conditions for success, critical success factors and success frameworks. The paper concludes with a holistic view of project success and its implications for practice. This is an important topic because projects are an increasingly common way of work, and the lines between project and process work are harder to discern. Increasingly, more project managers work in companies using program and portfolio management as a means to organize project-related work. The success of individual projects, therefore, impacts the wider organization in several dimensions and makes the concept of project and project management success that much more relevant. The topic is also important because it has a bearing on the future directions of project management in the strategic context.
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The field of social science has introduced a number of qualitative and quantitative approaches that have been adopted in the engineering project organization research domain. One such approach that is receiving increasing attention is social network analysis (SNA). Introduced in the 1930s and refined in multiple domains since the introduction, SNA has become a fundamental tool for social scientists over the past eight decades. Recently, engineering project organization researchers have begun to explore the application of this tool within the engineering project domain. This paper introduces both the historical development of SNA within the social science community and the recent adoption of this approach within the engineering community. The paper traces the recent trend in papers published by the engineering community to illustrate the increasing attention paid to SNA by researchers and the evolution of its use. This background is used to propose several paths forward for future researchers to expand and mature SNA research in the engineering project organization domain. The paper concludes with a charge to the research community to both widen the application of SNA within the domain and pursue a deeper understanding of its applicability within the field of engineering project organizations.
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High performance teams achieve outcomes that exceed the expectations of the project and often demonstrate unique or innovative approaches within a final solution. The foundation of this high performance is the ability to focus on the success of the team over individual objectives. However, the recognition of this emphasis is based on the establishment of professional trust and strong communications between the team members. The Social Network Model of construction introduced a dual-focused approach to enhancing these elements and creating high performance project teams. The approach emphasizes balancing both a traditional project management emphasis on efficiency of communications with a focus on the social factors that move the project team from efficient to effective. In this paper the model is extended to present the results of four studies of organizations that are full-service engineering companies that also provide construction oversight services. The paper presents the results of these studies in terms of the Social Network Model and the achievement of high performance in the project teams. Analytical and graphical results are presented based on social network analysis techniques to provide a multi-perspective analysis of the project teams.
Conference Paper
In this paper, we firstly create developer networks by affiliation between projects and developers, and then, with respect to social network analysis, take an approach to empirically study the new developers' behavior and the relationship with the centrality measures. We find that most of new developers choose to cooperate with each other initially, but more collaboration are established between new developers and existing developers, and more new collaboration are developed between existing developers who have never collaborated with each other than those have collaborated before. In addition we suggest that new developers prior to cooperate with high between ness centrality or degree centrality and then closeness centrality, discuss that centrality measures can use to guide the preferential collaboration of OSS community.
Empirical studies addressing the internal communication interface between the matrix organisation structures in the context of project business are scarce. In particular, there seem to be no studies on the early phases of project selling, even though those phases have a substantial impact on ultimate project success. This study addresses the gap by researching a well selected project selling case through social network analysis and content analysis of in-depth interview. The study offers an insight into the complexity of internal communication in a matrix organisation in the context of project business. The results indicate that internal communication is imbalanced in the matrix structures at the early phases of project selling. The study proposes that the matrix organisation is a rather inadequate agent for the improvement of internal communication flow in the early phases of project selling.
Effective safety communication between all parties in a construction project is essential for optimal safety performance. Literature suggests that open safety communication across all levels of the organization enhances safety success. Previous studies have found that open communication and frequent interaction between employees and supervisors differentiate construction companies that have low accident rates from companies that have high rates. Through interviews with construction crew members on active construction projects in the Rocky Mountain region of the US, the patterns of safety communication were identified, modelled, and quantified. Social network analysis (SNA) was utilized to obtain measures of safety communication such as centrality, density, and betweenness within small crews and to generate sociograms that visually depicted communication patterns within effective and ineffective safety networks. A cross-case comparison revealed that the frequency and method of communication are important differentiators between project teams with low and high accident rates. Specifically, top performing crews: (1) have formal safety communication from management on at least a weekly basis; (2) have informal safety communication on a weekly basis; (3) undergo formal safety training; and (4) use all proposed safety communication methods on a monthly basis. In addition, typical SNA metrics, including density, centrality and betweenness, are not significant parameters to distinguish high from low performing crews.
Both the amount and value of internal communication vary with the specific R&D function to be performed. Product and process development projects benefit far more than research or technical service projects from good internal communication. Technical service projects show higher performance when the project manager assumes primary responsibility for coupling the project to other parts of the organization.