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Article
Publication date: 28 February 2019

Guangdong Wu, Xianbo Zhao, Jian Zuo and George Zillante

The purpose of this paper is fourfold: first, to investigate the effect of team diversity on different types of conflicts; second, to determine if team diversity is…

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Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is fourfold: first, to investigate the effect of team diversity on different types of conflicts; second, to determine if team diversity is significantly correlated with project performance; third, to investigate the mediating effect of project conflicts on the relationship between team diversity and project performance and fourth, to examine the relationship between different types of conflicts and project performance in construction projects.

Design/methodology/approach

A theoretical model was developed and a questionnaire survey was conducted with 246 professionals. The structural equation modeling technique was applied to analyze the data.

Findings

The results showed that: team diversity was positively associated with project performance; the introduction of conflicts significantly weakened the effect of diversity on performance; conflicts have both constructive and destructive effects on project performance; and team diversity affected project performance through the mediating effects of task conflict and relationship conflict, thus adding both positive and negative effects on performance.

Research limitations/implications

There are other factors which may affect conflicts and project performance such as communication, trust and contract. Future research could be conducted to determine the role of these variables in determining the effects of team diversity on performance.

Practical implications

It is necessary to reduce the relationship conflict whereas maintaining a “healthy” level of task conflict. In light of this, the conclusions of this study highlight practical implications as follows: project teams should attach importance to diverse partner selection and select cooperative partners whose value orientations are similar; when implementing a construction project, the structure of diverse project teams should keep relatively stable, avoiding too many teams entering or exiting the project in a short period; project teams should make greater efforts to deal with destructive conflicts via relational governance such as trust and communication.

Originality/value

This study contributes to the literature in three areas. First, this study investigated the dynamic mechanism between team diversity, conflicts and performance in construction projects. Second, this study contributes to the body of knowledge on validating the mediating effects of conflicts on the relationship between team diversity and performance. Third, this study validated the positive and negative effects of team diversity on performance with different types of conflicts as mediation variables in construction projects.

Details

Engineering, Construction and Architectural Management, vol. 26 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0969-9988

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 4 July 2016

Zhen-Yu Zhao, Xiao-Jing Zhao, Jian Zuo and George Zillante

Corporate social responsibility (CSR) practice and research regarding construction contractors are comparatively limited. The purpose of this research is to identify a…

Abstract

Purpose

Corporate social responsibility (CSR) practice and research regarding construction contractors are comparatively limited. The purpose of this research is to identify a series of CSR issues that reflect the major components of CSR, and to determine the perceived importance of these factors in the context of construction contractors.

Design/methodology/approach

A CSR indicator framework was developed based on stakeholder theory. CSR stakeholders and their corresponding CSR performance issues in construction contractors are classified into two levels, i.e. project level and organizational level. This is followed by a questionnaire survey to investigate the perceptions on relative importance of CSR issues of four key stakeholders in typical construction projects in China, i.e. construction contractors, clients, design and engineering consultancy and supervision firms.

Findings

The study highlighted a number of factors, e.g. “quality and safety of construction”, “occupational health and safety” and “supplier/partner relationship” were highly regarded; however, their relative importance varied according to the type of responding organization.

Research limitations/implications

The findings indicated the major concerns of the different parties in construction projects, thereby providing a pathway for construction contractors to improve their CSR practice.

Originality/value

The priorities of various stakeholders described in this paper provide a useful reference for construction contractors in the selection and adoption of criteria for CSR performance. A better understanding of perceived priorities of CSR factors from different participating parties also serves useful inputs to construction contractors in their stakeholder management process.

Details

Journal of Engineering, Design and Technology, vol. 14 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1726-0531

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 24 October 2021

Cheng Gong, Hongyu Xu, Feng Xiong, Jian Zuo and Na Dong

Some papers have investigated the complex factors impacting building information modeling (BIM) application in prefabricated buildings (PBs), but few paid attention to…

Abstract

Purpose

Some papers have investigated the complex factors impacting building information modeling (BIM) application in prefabricated buildings (PBs), but few paid attention to their interaction relationships. Ignoring the fact that different factors are not isolated may lead to some key factors being overlooked without appropriate improvement strategies being proposed. This paper aims to analyze those factors and their inter-relationships, with the view to identify the critical factors and their interaction relationships so as to derive constructive strategies that would effectively facilitate BIM adoption in Chinese prefabrication.

Design/methodology/approach

First, factors influencing BIM application in prefabrication are extracted and collated by literature review, expert interview and analysis of PBs characteristics. Thereafter, an evaluation laboratory (decision-making trial and evaluation laboratory) and interpretive structural modeling are used to explore the relationships and hierarchy among the factors. Based on the degree of cause and centrality, critical factors are extracted and the interaction relationship are investigated.

Findings

The results show that BIM policies and standards for PBs are the main causal factors. The maturity of BIM software and BIM data interface for PBs, willingness to share data, the strategic goals of the enterprise, BIM law and BIM input and benefit are the main transitional factors while BIM staff and workflow, enterprise attitude, distribution of BIM liability and cooperation of participants are the main direct factors.

Originality/value

Based on the above findings, corresponding improvement strategies are proposed so as to promote BIM application in prefabrication and the rapid development of China’s PBs efficiently.

Details

Construction Innovation , vol. ahead-of-print no. ahead-of-print
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1471-4175

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 21 December 2021

Bocun Tu, Jian Zuo, Rui-Dong Chang, Ronald J. Webber, Feng Xiong and Na Dong

Building information modeling (BIM) is recognized as one of the technologies to upgrade the informatization level of the architecture engineering and construction (AEC…

Abstract

Purpose

Building information modeling (BIM) is recognized as one of the technologies to upgrade the informatization level of the architecture engineering and construction (AEC) industry. However, the level of BIM implementation in the construction phase lags behind other phases of the project. Assessing the level of BIM implementation in the construction phase from a system dynamics (SD) perspective can comprehensively understand the interrelationship of factors in the BIM implementation system, thereby developing effective strategies to enhance BIM implementation during the construction phase. This study aims to develop a model to investigate the level of BIM implementation in the construction phase.

Design/methodology/approach

An SD model which covered technical subsystem, organizational subsystem, economic subsystem and environmental subsystem was developed based on questionnaire survey data and literature review. Data from China were used for model validation and simulation.

Findings

The simulation results highlight that, in China, from 2021 to 2035, the ratio of BIM implementation in the construction phase will rise from 48.8% to 83.8%, BIM model quality will be improved from 27.6% to 77.2%. The values for variables “BIM platform”, “organizational structure of BIM” and “workflow of BIM” at 2035 will reach 65.6%, 72.9% and 72.8%, respectively. And the total benefits will reach 336.5 billion yuan in 2035. Furthermore, the findings reveal five factors to effectively promote the level of BIM implementation in the construction phase, including: policy support, number of BIM standards, owners demand for BIM, investment in BIM and strategic support for BIM.

Originality/value

This study provides beneficial insights to effectively enhance the implementation level of BIM in the construction phase. Meanwhile, the model developed in this study can be used to dynamically and quantitatively assess the changes in the level of BIM implementation caused by a measure.

Details

Engineering, Construction and Architectural Management, vol. ahead-of-print no. ahead-of-print
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0969-9988

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 9 December 2019

Guangdong Wu, Zhibin Hu, Junwei Zheng, Xianbo Zhao and Jian Zuo

The purpose of this paper is to investigate the relationships between structure characteristics of project network, types of conflicts and project success.

Abstract

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.

Details

Engineering, Construction and Architectural Management, vol. 28 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0969-9988

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 19 August 2020

Nilupa Udawatta, Jian Zuo, Keri Chiveralls and George Zillante

There is an increasing level of recognition of the pressing issues associated with climate change and resource depletion. As a result, it is well recognised that higher…

Abstract

Purpose

There is an increasing level of recognition of the pressing issues associated with climate change and resource depletion. As a result, it is well recognised that higher education institutions bear responsibilities to promote “sustainable development”. Many universities have adopted green building practices in the construction of their building infrastructure. A variety of Green Building Rating Tools (GBRTs) have been designed to facilitate green building developments. Thus, the aim of this research is to identify mechanisms to improve current GBRTs in terms of waste management (WM) practices by using green star accredited educational buildings in Australia.

Design/methodology/approach

A qualitative approach was adopted in this study to achieve the research aim by conducting three case studies of educational buildings in South Australia. Thirty three interviews were carried out in a face-to-face, semi-structured manner and project documentations were reviewed. The participants were asked to provide their expert opinions on the GS initiative and its ability to minimise waste generation, the impact of the GS initiative on solid WM practices and problems associated with the implementation process of the GS initiative. Data was analysed using code-based content analysis using the NVivo software package. Tables and figures were used as the visualization technique to present an expedient understanding in a holistic manner.

Findings

Findings showed that the Green Star (GS) initiative drives change in the way current practices are performed in the Australian construction industry. However, this study revealed that WM targets outlined in the GS initiative are not challenging enough. Thus, suggestions are provided in this research to improve the WM aspects of GS initiatives by looking beyond a focus on “sustainability” and “waste minimisation” towards a focus on regenerative environments.

Originality/value

These findings are valuable for practitioners and policymakers seeking to improve WM practices and to address issues associated with climate change and resource depletion.

Details

Engineering, Construction and Architectural Management, vol. 28 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0969-9988

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 1 March 2021

Zhibin Hu, Guangdong Wu, Xianbo Zhao, Jian Zuo and Shicong Wen

This study aims to explore the influence of the strength of ties (strong ties and weak ties) on contractual flexibility (term flexibility and process flexibility) and…

Abstract

Purpose

This study aims to explore the influence of the strength of ties (strong ties and weak ties) on contractual flexibility (term flexibility and process flexibility) and relationship quality among stakeholders in a megaproject network.

Design/methodology/approach

This study, via a questionnaire survey, collected 380 valid responses from megaproject professionals (including project managers, department managers and project engineers). The data were analyzed using least squares structural equation modeling.

Findings

The results show that both strong ties and weak ties have positive effects on relationship quality. The introduction of contractual flexibility can help improve relationship quality by combining the positive effects of the strength of ties. Interestingly, the indirect influence of strong ties on relationship quality is mainly due to term flexibility. However, the influence of process flexibility is not significant, while weak ties have an indirect influence through term flexibility and process flexibility.

Research limitations/implications

This study, while helpful to megaproject management both in theory and practice, is nevertheless subject to several limitations. First, this study only considers the impact of the strength of ties on contractual flexibility and relationship quality; other factors, such as environmental uncertainty, are not explored. Second, the sample data are limited to just a few regions of China. Future research should cover other influencing factors, in order to make the model more substantial; data should also be collected from different cultural and industrial sources, thereby extending and further verifying the results.

Originality/value

This study makes three contributions to extant megaproject literature. First, this study provides a deep and nuanced understanding of the strength of ties. With the distinction between strong ties and weak ties clearly explained, this research furnishes a subtler understanding of relationship governance than has previously been achieved. Second, by precisely identifying the mechanism of how contract flexibility improves contract control and coordination functions, this research offers a complementary view of how contractual flexibility positively contributes to cooperation and relationship quality. Third, this study identifies which dimension of the strength of ties is more influential. This brings a new explanation for the previous controversy and offers some insight into the determinants of how to improve relationship quality in Chinese megaprojects.

Details

Baltic Journal of Management, vol. 16 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1746-5265

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 28 April 2020

Jingru Li, Jian Zuo, Weiping Jiang, Xizeng Zhong, Jinggang Li and Yulun Pan

This study aims to identify and quantitatively evaluate the factors that influence the construction and demolition waste (CDW) policy instrument choice, and provide a…

Abstract

Purpose

This study aims to identify and quantitatively evaluate the factors that influence the construction and demolition waste (CDW) policy instrument choice, and provide a systematic framework for local governments to select the appropriate policy instruments with a consideration of their specific situations.

Design/methodology/approach

Literature review and expert interviews were conducted to identify the key factors. These factors were quantitatively evaluated via a questionnaire survey. Exploratory factor analysis (EFA) was employed to explore the underlying structure of these variables and organize the factors into a systematic framework.

Findings

Resource, clarity of policy problem and goal, legitimacy, acceptance of targeted group and environmental concern of public are the five top variables, which should be emphasized in the selection of CDW policy. The respondents with experience in policymaking and those without experience had slightly different views on the importance of these variables. A total of six latent factors were identified and organized into a framework.

Research limitations/implications

The questionnaire survey was conducted with government staff via a snowball sampling method, which may affect the representativeness of conclusions to a certain extent.

Practical implications

This study provides a useful reference for local government to choose appropriate policies to address the CDW problem. Matching attributes of policy instruments with the policy goal and the problem is the starting point in choice of the CDW policy. The matched instruments will be further narrowed by social context, i.e. environmental concern and socioeconomic situation. The final selection must undergo bargaining between policymakers and targeted groups.

Originality/value

Policy instruments choice is a complicated process, which is shaped by the interaction of many influential factors. However, the impact of these factors on CDW policy choice is largely overlooked. This study will contribute to the knowledge body pertaining to policy selection in the CDW field.

Details

Engineering, Construction and Architectural Management, vol. 27 no. 6
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0969-9988

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 16 April 2018

Jian Zuo, Xianbo Zhao, Quan Bui Minh Nguyen, Tony Ma and Shang Gao

The purpose of this paper is twofold: first, to identify the soft skills of construction project management; and second, to investigate the influence of these soft skills…

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Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is twofold: first, to identify the soft skills of construction project management; and second, to investigate the influence of these soft skills on project success factors in the Vietnamese construction industry.

Design/methodology/approach

A questionnaire survey was conducted with 108 project management professionals from the Vietnamese construction industry. Partial least square structural equation modelling was employed in data analysis.

Findings

Four-dimensional structure of project success factors was confirmed in this study. Results also showed that soft skills of project managers significantly contributed to project success factors and hence the project success.

Research limitations/implications

There may be geographical limitation on the conclusions drawn from the findings. Similarly, the sample size was still small, despite a relatively high response rate. In addition, the majority of the respondents were contractors and clients as other project players were reluctant to respond to the survey.

Practical implications

This study provides an understanding of the relationship between soft skills and project success factors.

Originality/value

Although there have been studies focused on soft skills of project management and project success factors, few have attempted to analyse the effects of these soft skills on critical success factors. Thus, this study adds significantly to the existing research on both project management skills and project success factors.

Details

Engineering, Construction and Architectural Management, vol. 25 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0969-9988

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 3 April 2017

Raufdeen Rameezdeen, Jian Zuo and Jack Stevens

This paper aims to investigate the practices, drivers and barriers which influence the implementation of green leases in South Australia. Despite some efforts on legal…

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to investigate the practices, drivers and barriers which influence the implementation of green leases in South Australia. Despite some efforts on legal aspects of green leases, only a few studies have examined these aspects from an operational perspective. In addition, very little empirical evidence was presented in previous studies to show how green leases work in real-life settings.

Design/methodology/approach

Data were collected using semi-structured interviews with landlord and tenant representatives who have considerable experience in green leases. These interviewees were selected via a purposive sampling technique that identified buildings which use green leases in South Australia. The concept of interface management (IM) was used to operationalize this research.

Findings

The green leases were found to be mainly initiated by tenants while government involvement, economic and environmental benefits are the main drivers in South Australia. Drivers such as staff retention, well-being and corporate social responsibility are found to be more relevant to tenants. Lack of awareness and transaction costs are the main barriers to the implementation of green leases.

Research limitations/implications

This study focuses on the South Australian context and mainly covers dark green leases. There are implications for the government’s continued involvement and the promotion of lighter shades of green leases to overcome operational issues and barriers identified in this study.

Originality/value

This study contributes to the body of knowledge on the subject of green lease implementation from an operational perspective. In addition, the study introduces a conceptual framework via IM that could be used in future research endeavours.

Details

Journal of Corporate Real Estate, vol. 19 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1463-001X

Keywords

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