Incentive structures in multi-partner project teams

Jiaojie Han, Amnon Rapoport, Patrick S.W. Fong

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

7 Citations (Scopus)


Purpose: The purpose of this paper is to investigate the impact of incentive contracts in multi-partner project teams (MPPTs) on the agents’ effort expenditure and project performance, analyze how the agents allocate their efforts between production and cooperation and offer suggestions for project managers on how to design incentive contracts. Design/methodology/approach: The paper proposes a model of MPPT in which agents are inequity-averse and their effort expenditures are exogenously bounded. An extensive numerical example is presented in online Appendix 2 to illustrate the theoretical results. Findings: The paper suggests that if the potential benefit of the agents’ cooperation in MPPT is high or if both agents exhibit inequity aversion and the efforts’ marginal costs are low, then group-based incentive contracts outperform individual-based incentive contracts. It also shows that the impact of the incentive contract on the agents’ effort expenditure and project team performance is correlated with several critical project attributes. Originality/value: Fulfilling a need to study the design of incentive structures in MPPTs, the paper complements the existing literature in three ways. First, in contrast to single-partner project teams, it considers projects with multiple partners where cooperation between them enhances the project outcome. Second, rather than focusing on individual production problems, it considers multi-task projects with constrained efforts that must be allocated between production and cooperation. Third, it analyzes the effects of changes in the project attributes, incentive intensities and information transparency on the effectiveness of the contract.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)49-65
Number of pages17
JournalEngineering, Construction and Architectural Management
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2020


  • Decision support systems
  • Methodology
  • Optimization
  • Project management

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Civil and Structural Engineering
  • Architecture
  • Building and Construction
  • Business, Management and Accounting(all)


Dive into the research topics of 'Incentive structures in multi-partner project teams'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this