Social Network Pespective of Construction Project Resilience: History
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Subjects: Engineering, Civil
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对于建设项目而言,韧性是抵御逆境和从逆境中恢复的过程。随着全球经济社会环境的不断变化,提高建设项目的抗灾能力已成为项目管理领域的研究热点。社会网络分析 (SNA) 提供了一种衡量社会资本的工具,这种社会资本源自嵌入在社会网络中的主体之间的联系。 

  • project resilience
  • organization behavior
  • social network

一、简介

受难以预测或提前准备的不利事件的影响,例如 COVID-19 的爆发以及随之而来的全球政治和经济动荡,组织经常遭受业务流程中断和绩效损失等破坏性冲击 [ 1 , 2 ]。这些成果很快促使人们努力了解组织更有效地应对逆境并从逆境中恢复的趋势,即表现出弹性[ 3、4 ]。在不确定性日益增加的时期,了解基于项目的组织在复杂多变的内部和外部环境中的弹性已成为项目管理的核心问题 [ 5]。本研究重点关注以建设项目为代表的临时项目的组织弹性,这些项目极易受到外部事件的影响,对社会经济发展具有重要意义[ 6,7,8 ]
在管理领域,对韧性的研究一般分为三个层次:个人韧性、团队韧性和组织韧性[ 9,10,11 ]。在更加规律和稳定的环境中,已观察到不同级别的复原力有助于提高自己的绩效,促进协作,增强凝聚力,并实现绩效恢复和维护[ 12]。然而,我们对它在基于项目的环境中如何运作以及哪些机制可能有助于形成如此有价值的项目状态知之甚少。这是因为不能将建设项目简单地视为一个工作团队或组织;它往往涉及多个参与者的协作,是由多个团队或组织针对特定建设任务组成的临时系统,具有异构性和松耦合的特点[ 13、14]。尽管如此,建设项目的弹性研究仍需进一步扩大。充分考虑项目体系本身的特点,既要考虑项目体系的完整性,又要考虑项目内各参与单位的协调性。因此,本研究的任务之一是在综合理论框架内探索项目系统遇到危机时弹性如何变化。
社会资本理论使得研究建设项目背景下的复原力成为可能 [ 15 ]。社会资本是指个人或社会单位在组织结构中的地位价值[ 16 ]。它是指使群体成员相互支持的行为和规范的积累。在项目中,社会资本存在于项目生命周期的人际关系结构中[ 17 ]。它通过成员之间持续的、积极的互动为项目带来额外的好处[ 18]。因此,了解项目系统社会资本有助于我们更好地定义和讨论弹性。当然,凝聚力、信任等社会资本并不完全等同于韧性,但肯定是韧性的一些表现。如 [ 19 ] 的研究中所述],弹性在很大程度上是一个社会过程,从根本上由组织组成部分之间的关​​系塑造。因此,根据社会资本理论,我们提出建设项目的韧性是基于项目社会资本积累所反映的抵抗不利影响并实现恢复的过程,可以通过社会资本的测度来描述。在这个概念下,项目韧性被分解为社会资本的不同影响。因此,在本研究中,我们希望通过调查几个关键的社会资本来解释项目韧性的机制,并在社会资本的理论框架下建立项目韧性测量体系。

2. 建设项目弹性

随着 COVID-19 带来全球经济、政治和社会不稳定的持续发展,关于各种社会系统复原力的研究越来越受欢迎和关注 [ 24 ]。现有的概念化研究表明,弹性可以通过采用过程或能力视角来定义 [ 25 , 26 ],分别侧重于弹性相关的协调活动或弹性组织可以开发的状态和资源。同样,学者们区分了复原力的不同表现,包括预测不良事件、减少不良事件的扰动或从失败中恢复 [ 27 , 28]。因此,对弹性的全面理解应包括使组织能够预测和管理逆境的过程和能力,可以将其组合成四个互补的维度:危机预测、危机管理、反弹恢复和逆向改进[ 29 ]。
At present, a systematic research system on resilience has been formed, which can be divided into individual resilience, team resilience, and organizational resilience at the research level. The research objects include the antecedents, processes, and results of resilience [30]. However, project resilience is still a relatively new concept, and although publications on it are increasing, there is still conceptual debate as to whether project resilience should be considered as a capacity or a process [31].
From the perspective of capacity, Turner and Kutsch [32] proposed an interpretation of project resilience, defining it as the art of detecting changes in the project environment, understanding these changes, planning answers, minimizing damage when changes occur, and adapting to new realities. Giezen [33] put forward the concepts of prevention, response, and adaptation in their definition of project resilience, and also mentioned two types of project resilience: Passive resilience and active resilience. In all of these studies, project resilience takes a capacity perspective.
The process perspective sees project resilience as a long-term strategy to deal with complexity and risk. Williams et al. [26] believed that resilience is a process in which individuals or groups avoid the tendency to react negatively to challenging situations and maintain positive adjustment or coping. Similarly, Crosby [34] points out that resilience is the process of managing risk, crisis, or contingencies. Another group of studies, starting with project teams, views resilience as a collective construct, including “an interactive, coordinated, and collaborative team interaction process that describes the actual behavior of teams in coping with adversity” [35,36].
Due to different research objects and focuses, and different research methods [37], empirical studies rarely integrate the process perspective and capacity perspective into the same research. Researchers select one of the perspectives according to the research purpose and the theoretical contribution they are trying to make [38]. In this study, we use a process perspective (i.e., project resilience as the whole process of recovery from disaster) to construct meaningful theories and conduct reasonable in-depth research. As Kahn’s research shows, resilience stems from the relationships between the components of a system and is a social process. Therefore, we define project resilience as the whole process in which the positive interaction between component units enables the project collective to withstand shocks, cope with challenges, and recover.

3. Social Capital: A Theoretical Framework

Consistent with previous studies based on organizational relationships and structure [39], we propose the use of social capital theory to study the resilience of building projects. Social capital has been studied in different areas of social, economic, and political science, creating a wealth of definitions and characterizations of its characteristics [40]. Different researchers distinguish social capital by the context, form, possible use, and group of interactions. Bourdieu [41] proposed the most widely accepted and applied concept of social capital, believing that social capital is the total amount of actual or potential resources obtained through the relationship network, that is, social network is social capital. Coleman [42] defined social capital as a kind of social structural resource from a macroperspective, which is the relationship of responsibility, expectation, trust, and power between individuals or groups. He believed that various exchanges based on the interests of different actors in the social network form a continuous social relationship, which is social resource and social capital. Portes [43] also proposed that social capital is a special connection attached to social relations and an expression of ability. Burt [44] believes that structural hole is social capital and the ultimate competitive advantage of enterprises and other economic activity subjects. Finally, Lin’s [45] discussion on social capital represents the general consensus of theoretical research on social capital. In his view, social capital is the investment of rewarding resources embedded in social networks.
In addition, there are many research angles on social capital theory. In sociology, Carrillo et al. [46] argue that social capital is the most important indicator of family health. In terms of enterprise management, Harris et al. [47] tested the effect of coordination between human capital and social capital on enterprise performance. In the field of policy research, Muringani et al. [48] found that different types of social capital have different incentive effects on European economic development, thus adjusting economic policies.
Of course, there are contradictions between different schools of study on social capital theory. One of the principal contradictions is that between the individual and the collective. Burt and Lin regard social capital as individual capital, which is acquired based on people’s action network. However, in Bourdieu and Coleman’s study, social capital can be acquired in groups. The two views are not completely opposite fundamentally. The individual is embedded in the collective, and the collective is embedded in the larger social network. Therefore, this study is based on Bourdieu’s view to identify collective social capital at the project level but also combines Burt’s network-based analysis method. Based on the view that resilience emerges due to the interaction of each unit of the system, we believe that the process of project resilience can be represented by the change in social capital, and try to summarize the process of project resilience by measuring the change in social capital in each phase of the project network under adversity.

4. Social Network Analysis: A Computing System

Social network analysis (SNA) is a quantitative analysis method based on graph theory and mathematical symbols [49]. In SNA, a social network is a collection of social actors as nodes and relationships between nodes as edges [50]. Its essence provides a mathematical method to evaluate the impact of the embeddedness of nodes and related actors in the social network on their behavior and decision-making results [51,52].
The social capital available to actors of a group is integrated into their social networks [53]. In other words, social capital lies in actors’ social relationships and network positions. Therefore, using SNA to research social capital is a feasible method. One dominant view is that the connections made between network actors form the basis of social capital [54]. This view is strongly influenced by network theory.
Some progress has been made in the measurement of social capital based on SNA [53]. On the one hand, some researchers have constructed social network capital measurement scales and considered the measurement results as social capital [55]. These scales have been used in a large number of surveys, using surveys or questionnaires as data collection tools. On the other hand, some researchers use SNA to measure social capital, which is measured by the description of network genus [22]. These studies provide us with the possibility to review the resilience capital of construction projects.
长期以来,建设项目一直被认为是涉及多个参与者的临时组织[ 56 ]。在建设中使用 SNA 的一个理论桥梁是将建设项目视为一组网络 [ 57 ]。以建设项目中的关键参与者为节点,以参与者之间的关系为联系,定量分析项目组织的合作能力,实施有效的项目网络管理[ 58,59,60 ]

This entry is adapted from the peer-reviewed paper 10.3390/buildings12060822

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