The influence of owner power in fostering contractor cooperation : Evidence from China

Research output: Journal Publications and Reviews (RGC: 21, 22, 62)21_Publication in refereed journalpeer-review

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Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)522-531
Journal / PublicationInternational Journal of Project Management
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - May 2013


Trust and power are considered to be two necessary mechanisms for promoting cooperation among construction partners. In this paper, trust is regarded as a mediator between power and cooperative performance. A model of the relationship between trust and power is developed and tested using the results of an empirical study based on a sample of Chinese contractors. The results show that an owner's expert power can influence a contractor's cognition- and affect-based trust in the owner and that coercive power has little direct impact on the formation of trust. However, coercive power is found to moderate the relationship between expert power and cognition-based trust, in that the relationship is more positive when the level of coercive power is lower. Moreover, affect-based trust has a significantly greater positive influence on cooperative performance than cognition-based trust. These findings are interpreted in light of Chinese culture, and provide some suggestions for how owners can exercise power to foster cooperation with their contractors. © 2012 Published by Elsevier Ltd. APM and IPMA.

Research Area(s)

  • Affect-based trust, Cognition-based trust, Cooperative performance, Power