Using Pajek and centrality analysis to identify a social network of construction trades

Brad W. Wambeke, Min Liu, Simon M. Hsiang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

84 Scopus citations


Construction project managers are often faced with the challenge of managing a complex construction process consisting of multiple trades working on a large number of interdependent tasks. A social network is a pattern of ties that exist between different entities (i.e., people, organizations, countries). There is an underlying social network of trades that exists with a construction project and recognizing it can help a management team succeed in this challenging environment. A $50 million project involving 43 trades was studied over a 28-week period. Pajek, a social network analysis program, was used to generate a series of 14 social networks for the trades involved. Both degree and eigenvector centrality were analyzed to reflect the distribution of relationships through the network and to identify the key trades. This research is useful to project managers and is significant as it outlines and illustrates a method of identifying the underlying network and associated key trades of a construction project based on spatial proximity. While this research is based upon an individual case study, the apsects of this research are repeatable. The methods presented in this paper will enable others to develop a social network that is tailored for a specific aspect of a project, ranging from contract development teams to the individual trades using a critical path method (CPM) schedule.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1192-1201
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Construction Engineering and Management
Issue number10
StatePublished - Oct 2012
Externally publishedYes


  • Construction
  • Degree centrality
  • Eigenvector centrality
  • Pajek
  • Social network

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Civil and Structural Engineering
  • Building and Construction
  • Industrial relations
  • Strategy and Management


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