Model for assessment of trust within virtual project teams of construction sector in the Middle East

Sagar, SK 2017, Model for assessment of trust within virtual project teams of construction sector in the Middle East , PhD thesis, University of Salford.

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The globalisation and changing customer needs in the Middle East required many construction companies to adopt virtual project teams for their business activities and is facing number of challenges. The Middle East is a multicultural region and hence, it’s very important to understand the phenomenon of these virtual project teams who relate across multiple cultures. A great deal of literature has pointed on the importance of trust as a facilitator of positive relationships among project stakeholders and affecting the performance of the virtual project teams. It has been found through comprehensive literature review that lack of trust among team members greatly affects the performance of the team. The studies also revealed that not much has been explored on trust building among virtual team members especially in the context of the Middle East.

This research work aimed to identify key factors affecting trust in virtual project teams of construction sector and to develop a model to analyse the impact of these factors on trust of virtual teams in the context of Middle East. The comprehensive literature review of virtual project teams and existing models of trust, though not in context of the Middle East, helped in identifying various variables of trust. Both the quantitative and qualitative techniques are used in this research. The development of online questionnaire provided inputs from 403 professionals (team members and team leaders) from the virtual project teams of the Middle East. The analysis of this data through various statistical software such as IBM SPSS and AMOSv22 contributed to the identification of factors (drivers and barriers) of trust and testing of hypothesis. The model of trust evolved was validated through the semi-structured interviews of project managers and team members of virtual project teams of the construction sector of the Middle East. The ISM methodology was used to understand the relationships between various factors of trust. The IRP technique helped to identify four benefits of trust and helped to rank the various factors of trust according to the benefits of trust with respect to the construction projects of the Middle East.

The key findings resulted from this research was that the degree of communication among virtual project teams, characteristics of team members, organizational culture of the company and cohesion among team members enhances the building of trust among virtual project teams and hence better performance of the team. Further especially in context of the Middle East, the research concluded that the diversity of the team members - functional or cultural- does not affect negatively in the development of trust. Further to this, the task- based and process based conflicts actually help the team to fulfil the organizational goals whereas the relationship based conflicts results in ego issues which creates distrust among the virtual project team members. It has been found that the leadership skills of superior and task- technology fit does not have any affect in the building of trust. Also the results showed that the teams should be mix of experienced and fresh team members.

Therefore, this model of trust offered practical guidelines to senior management and project managers of Architectural/ Engineering / Construction Companies for managing the virtual project teams in construction sector and enhancing their performance in the virtual projects. This model definitely added value to the existing knowledge on virtual project teams.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Schools: Schools > School of the Built Environment
Depositing User: Sukhwant Sagar
Date Deposited: 15 Jan 2018 11:27
Last Modified: 27 Aug 2021 23:33

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