Dynamics of Project-Based Collaborative Networks for BIM Implementation: Analysis Based on Stochastic Actor-Oriented Models

Dongping Cao, Heng Li, Guangbin Wang, Xiaochun Luo, Xincong Yang, Dan Tan

Research output: Journal article publicationReview articleAcademic researchpeer-review

39 Citations (Scopus)


In the project-based construction industry, organizations are coupled with each other largely through project-specific collaborative relationships, and the industry-level networks of these project-based relationships closely relate to how knowledge and innovations diffuse among organizations to reshape traditional design and construction activities. Using the method of stochastic actor-oriented models and longitudinal data on registered building information modeling (BIM)-based construction projects in Shanghai, this study examines how the macro structure of the project-based collaborative network for BIM implementation in the regional construction industry evolves over time and how related micromechanisms collectively underpin the evolution of the network. The results provide evidence that the network becomes increasingly dense over time but persistently exhibits small-world properties and the core-periphery structure with a small number of super-connected star organizations. The results further reveal that these macrolevel characteristics of network dynamics significantly relate to the structure-based preferential attachment effect and the attribute-based ownership similarity effect operating at the microlevel. This study contributes to a deepened understanding of how industry organizations interact with each other in BIM implementation practices across projects within the project-based construction industry. As an exploratory effort of using network dynamics models to investigate the microfoundations of interorganizational relationships in the construction domain, this study also reinforces the need to regard the networks of these relationships as complex adaptive systems whose dynamics are closely associated with a collection of structure-based and attribute-based self-organizing mechanisms.
Original languageEnglish
Article number04016055
JournalJournal of Management in Engineering
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1 May 2017


  • Building information modeling (BIM)
  • Collaborative relationships
  • Construction projects
  • Social network analysis
  • Stochastic actor-oriented models

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Industrial relations
  • Engineering(all)
  • Strategy and Management
  • Management Science and Operations Research


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