The Bartlett School of Sustainable Construction


Huda Almadhoob

Self-Organised networks in large Construction Projects

School Research Theme: Project-based networks
Research supervisors: Prof Stephen PrykeProf Hedley Smyth
Start date: September 2015

My PhD research project is about establishing a new theoretical framework for managing large construction projects, grounded in complexity theory with reference to social network theory and its analytical techniques. In essence, the research is underlined by the need to move away from the traditional top-down hierarchical and contractually prescribed management approaches to focus on bottom-up approaches. Particularly, the study assumes that “large construction projects to be perceived as complex adaptive systems (CAS) which usually operate at the edge of chaos” and thus has the tendency to self-organise and adapt in a process to balance between order and chaos. This ultimately affects the flexibility and the resilience of project networks.

By taking a CAS perspective and driven by the people-intensive nature of the construction industry, this perspective shifts the unit of analysis from the projects’ economic attributes and organisational effectiveness to examine the relational and social dimensions of projects.  Thus, the focus shifts to the micro/individual interpersonal communicative relationships that are the essence of the emergence of self-organising networks. Employing network theory and social network analysis (SNA) as an investigative lens will offer great insights into the operation of project systems.

Publications and other works
  • Almadhoob, H Pryke, SD; (2017) Self-Organised Networks at the Edge of Chaos: A New Perspective for Managing Complex Construction Projects. In: (Proceedings) INSNA- Washington, D.C.
  • Pryke, SD; Almadhoob, H; Badi, S (2014) The Influence of Social Networks on Firm’s Success, Survival and Growth: A Social Network Analysis investigation of SMEs in the Bahrain Construction Industry. In: (Proceedings) INSNA- Florida.