Identifying Effective Project-Based Communication Indicators within Primary and Secondary Stakeholders in Construction Projects

Elnaz Safapour, Sharareh Kermanshachi, Shirin Kamalirad, Dan Tran

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

38 Scopus citations


Effective communication facilitates a project's process and expedites the steps and tasks that are necessary for a successful completion. Ineffective communication acts against the normal project flow, decreases the processing pace of the project, and jeopardizes its ultimate success. Several previous studies have focused on quantifying the effect of communication on project performance and its ultimate success, but the impact of project characteristics on the quality of internal communication within primary stakeholders (owners, designers/engineers, and contractors) and secondary stakeholders (subcontractors and suppliers) has been rarely studied. Therefore, the objectives of this study were to identify, analyze, assess, and prioritize the effective project-based communication indicators (EPCIs) within the primary and secondary stakeholders. To achieve the objectives, a comprehensive literature review was conducted, and 50 potential EPCIs were identified. The indicators were then classified into eight main categories that corresponded to the project's characteristics: legal requirement, authority level, stakeholder management, location, project target, project resources, fiscal planning, and design and technology. A total of 40 construction case study projects were collected, and a structured survey was developed and distributed to the primary and secondary stakeholders of those projects. The results demonstrated that the project management team's interactions during the construction phase seriously affect the quality of the stakeholders' internal communication. The clarity of the project's scope and the owner's goals, as well as the number of required approvals, also affect the quality of internal communication within the owners, designers, contractors, and subcontractors. The results also revealed that the characteristics associated with stakeholder management, project resources, and project targets were the most effective indicators for the quality of internal communication. The findings of this study will help practitioners and project managers evaluate the impacts of a project's characteristics on the quality of internal communication within the primary and secondary stakeholders, and adopt proactive strategies to prevent costly delays that are due to ineffective communication.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number04519028
JournalJournal of Legal Affairs and Dispute Resolution in Engineering and Construction
Issue number4
StatePublished - Nov 1 2019

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Civil and Structural Engineering
  • Safety, Risk, Reliability and Quality
  • Engineering (miscellaneous)
  • Law

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