Collaborative Relationships in Supply Chain Management: A Case of Project Management Social Network Analysis

Carlos Meisel Donoso

Research output: ThesisDoctoral Thesis

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The globalization of markets coupled with rapid and revolutionary advances in technology-based communication have been allowed many global organizations to work across corporate boundaries to undertake, manage, and succeed in their supply chain efforts. Under this new scenario the traditional project management has begun to change in favour of more collaborative project management, focused on tracking project work processes, with geographically dispersed project team members not belonging to the same organization, and efficient and effective sharing of information and knowledge among its project team members. Many academics and practitioners have studied different aspects of this new collaborative project management scenario. However, it appears clear that empirical studies have not paid much attention to the contributory factors that enable collaborative relationships in the Supply Chain Distributed Project domain. The Collaboration Characterization Project Management model proposed in this study constitutes a practical tool that can be used to both characterize and understand collaborative relationships among Project Team Roles and to appraise the influence of the contributory factors into the shaping of the overall structure of the Collaboration Intensity Network. To validate the postulates proposed in this contribution, three empirical case studies by means of a Social Network Analysis were conducted. Two approaches were used: first, visual and descriptive analyses were conducted to depict and describe the main properties and characteristics of the network formed by Project Team Roles in a Supply Chain Distributed Project, as well as to recognize subgroups of actors working together in those networks. Second, Exponential Random Graph Models were used both to test inferences from certain network sub-structures (endogenous factors) and to test positive influence of the contributory attributes (exogenous factors) on the Intensity of Collaboration dimension. The visual and descriptive analysis results shows that Project Managers in the three networks analysed were the main source of relationships coming into and leading out of the node. Moreover, they were the most active, the closest to other actors, had the greatest authority, as well as being the most intermediate and nearest to all actors in the network. The Exponential Random Graph Models results provide a line of empirical evidence that indicate that the set of attributes proposed in this research (except Employee’s Seniority) perform well in capturing the heterogeneity of the actor through the nodal attributes, as well as in capturing the local forces gave rise to the formation of edges in the Collaboration Intensity Network. Moreover, the modelling results indicate that actors matching on exogenous attributes, as well as actors forming partnerships on the basis of existing shared partners, can be associated with greater-than-chance probabilities to exhibit collaborative behaviours. It is worth noting that the results indicate that the longer the duration of the project, the higher the likelihood that complex collaborative behaviours will be exhibited in a network.
Translated title of the contributionKooperative Beziehungen im Lieferkette - Management: Eine Fallstudie der Sozialen Netzwerkanalyse im Bereich Projekt Management
Original languageEnglish
  • Seifter, Norbert, Assessor B (internal)
  • Zsifkovits, Helmut, Assessor A (internal)
Publication statusPublished - 2016

Bibliographical note

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  • Collaborative Relationships
  • Supply Chain Distributed Projects
  • Collaboration Characterization Project Management Model
  • Social Network Analysis
  • Visual Descriptive Analysis
  • Exponential Random Graph Models

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