Journal Article

Mapping the knowledge flow in sustainable construction project teams using social network analysis


Purpose Knowledge transfer (KT) practices in five construction projects delivering sustainable office buildings in Germany and the UK are examined using Social Network Analysis (SNA). Anchor Design/methodology/approach Case studies were adopted as research strategy, with one construction project representing one case study. A combination of quantitative data, social network data and some qualitative data on perceptions of the sustainable construction process and its KT were collected through questionnaires. The data was analysed using a combination of descriptive statistics, cross tabulations, content analysis and SNA. This resulted in a KT map of each sustainable construction project. Anchor Findings The findings resulted in a better understanding of how knowledge on sustainable construction is transferred and adopted. They show that large amounts of tacit knowledge were transferred through strong ties in sparse networks. Anchor Research limitations/implications The findings could offer a solution to secure a certain standard of sustainable building quality through improved KT. The findings indicate a need for further research and discussion on network density, tie strength and tacit KT. Anchor Originality/value This paper contributes to the literature on KT from a social network perspective. It provides a novel approach through combining concepts of network structure and relatedness in tie contents regarding specialised knowledge, i.e. sustainable construction knowledge. Thereby it provides a robust approach to mapping knowledge flows in office building projects that aim to achieve high levels of sustainability standards.

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Schropfer, V
Tah, J
Kurul, E

Oxford Brookes departments

Faculty of Technology, Design and Environment\School of the Built Environment


Year of publication: 2017
Date of RADAR deposit: 2017-02-08

Creative Commons License This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License

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