Unveiling complex relational behavior in megaprojects : A qualitative-quantitative network approach

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

6 Scopus Citations
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Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)738-749
Number of pages12
Journal / PublicationInternational Journal of Project Management
Issue number7
Online published24 Jul 2021
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2021


Although relational behavior plays a vital role on improving project performance in megaprojects, the intricate relational behavior among stakeholders has not been fully explored. Based on social exchange theory, this study presents a novel approach extended from stakeholder value network (SVN) to identify the critical relational behavior and unveil the reciprocal multi-type relational behavior exchanges among the main stakeholders in megaprojects. Built upon six relational behavior types and 110 relational behavior flows, a qualitative relational behavior SVN (RB-SVN) model was first constructed. Questionnaire surveys from 224 megaproject managers were then used to quantify the RB-SVN model. By analyzing critical relational behavior types, flows, and cycles, we found that effective communication is the most significant relational behavior type for stakeholders. Owner–designer cooperation could create the largest relationship value through reciprocal relational behavior. The top 10 restricted (dyadic) and general exchanges were also identified to help promote stakeholders to engage in critical relational behavior cycles. This research contributes to the broad literature on relationship management, and more specifically, furthers the understanding of relational behavior networks that strengthen the relationship value of multiple stakeholders in megaprojects.

Research Area(s)

  • Megaprojects, Relationship management, Relational behavior, Stakeholder value network