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Evolution of construction risk management research: historiography and keyword co-occurrence analysis

Xianbo Zhao (School of Engineering and Technology, Central Queensland University, Sydney, Australia)

Engineering, Construction and Architectural Management

ISSN: 0969-9988

Article publication date: 24 November 2022




This study collected the bibliographic data of 2034 journal articles published in 2000–2021 from Web of Science (WoS) core collection database and adopted two bibliometric analysis methods, namely historiography and keyword co-occurrence, to identify the evolution trend of construction risk management (CRM) research topics.


CRM has been a key issue in construction management research, producing a big number of publications. This study aims to undertake a review of the global CRM research published from 2000 to 2021 and identify the evolution of the research topics relating to CRM.


This study found that risk analysis methods have shifted from simply ranking risks in terms of their relative importance or significance toward examining the interrelationships among risks, and that the objects of CRM research have shifted from generic construction projects toward specified types of construction projects (e.g. small projects, underground construction projects, green buildings and prefabricated projects). In addition, researchers tend to pay more attention to an individual risk category (e.g. political risk, safety risk and social risk) and integrate CRM into cost, time, quality, safety and environment management functions with the increasing adoption of various information and communication technologies.

Research limitations/implications

This study focused on the journal articles in English in WoS core collection database only, thus excluding the publications in other languages, not indexed by WoS and conference proceedings. In addition, the historiography focused on the top documents in terms of document strength and thus ignored the role of the documents whose strengths were a little lower than the threshold.


This review study is more inclusive than any prior reviews on CRM and overcomes the drawbacks of mere reliance on either bibliometric analysis results or subjective opinions. Revealing the evolution process of the CRM knowledge domain, this study provides an in-depth understanding of the CRM research and benefits industry practitioners and researchers.



Zhao, X. (2022), "Evolution of construction risk management research: historiography and keyword co-occurrence analysis", Engineering, Construction and Architectural Management, Vol. ahead-of-print No. ahead-of-print.



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