Managing information flow in self-organising networks of communication between construction project participants
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Publication date: 2019-06-30
Archives of Civil Engineering 2019;65(2):133-148
Construction projects are characterised by complexity in the technical, organisational and environmental sphere. The organisational complexity of such projects makes it necessary to manage relationships between actors who fulfil various functions. Formal organisational structures that have been developed for this purpose do not always reflect the actual relationships between construction project participants. In literature, scholars more and more often point to the need to identify and monitor such informal relationships and attempt to manage them in order to effectively carry out projects. Structural analysis of so-called self-organising networks of relationships between project participants is carried out on the basis of established structural measures by performing Social Network Analysis (SNA). In a situation when inappropriate communication between project participants relative to management staff expectations is detected, interventions meant to improve communication in such networks are possible. The goal of the article is proposing an optimisation-oriented approach to planning such interventions while taking various constraints, such as communication costs, into consideration. As a part of this optimisation, the authors proposed a method from the heuristic methods group. This solution will support decision-making in terms of intervening within an informal relationship structure. The method was presented on the example of an actual construction project involving the construction of a complex of housing buildings. the self-organising network structure was defined on the basis of a survey carried out among the project's participants and concerned communication between them over a four-week period. As a result of the structural network analysis, abnormalities in communication between project participants were detected. The optimisation method developed by the authors pointed to possibilities of improving communication effectiveness within this network. The effects of the analysis confirmed the application potential of the method that was presented.
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