To read this content please select one of the options below:

Interpretive structural model of trust factors in construction virtual project teams

Sukhwant Kaur Sagar (Durham College, Oshawa, Canada)
Olugbenga Timo Oladinrin (Department of Built Environment, University of Wolverhampton, Wolverhampton, UK)
Mohammed Arif (University of Brighton, Brighton, UK)
Muhammad Qasim Rana (School of Architecture and Built Environment, University of Wolverhampton, Wolverhampton, UK)

Construction Innovation

ISSN: 1471-4175

Article publication date: 17 January 2022

Issue publication date: 3 January 2023




Organisational dependence on virtual project teams (VPTs) is growing dramatically due to the substantial benefits they offer, such as efficiently achieving objectives and improving organisational performance. One of the major issues that influence the effectiveness of VPTs is trust building. This study aims to determine the key factors of trust in VPTs and design a model by identifying the interrelationships among the trust factors.


Focus group discussion was used to gather data on factors affecting trust in VPTs and their interrelationships. Interpretive structural modelling (ISM) was used to establish the relationship among the factors. Cross-impact matrix multiplication applied to classification analysis was conducted to identify the driving power and the dependence power towards effective VPTs in the construction sector.


The finding revealed that “characteristics of team members” (such as ability, integrity, benevolence, competence, reliability and professionalism) is the most significant factor for building trust in virtual team members. Some factors were further identified as having high driving power, while others were defined as having high dependence variables.

Practical implications

The findings will assist construction managers and practitioners dealing with VPTs identify the factors influencing trust among team members. Taking cognisance of the factors that influence trust will enable them to design more effective virtual team arrangements.


As the first research of its kind using ISM technique, the study offers insights into interrelationships between trust factors in the construction VPTs. It provides guides for construction managers on the effective management of trustworthy VPTs.



Sagar, S.K., Oladinrin, O.T., Arif, M. and Rana, M.Q. (2023), "Interpretive structural model of trust factors in construction virtual project teams", Construction Innovation, Vol. 23 No. 1, pp. 248-264.



Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2022, Emerald Publishing Limited

Related articles