Interpretive Structural Model of Trust Factors in Construction Virtual Project Teams

Sukhwant Sagar, Olugbenga Oladinrin, Mohammed Arif, Muhammad Rana

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Purpose: Organisational dependence on virtual project teams (VPTs) is growing dramatically due to the substantial benefits they offer, such as efficiently achieving objectives and improving organisational performance. One of the major issues that influence the effectiveness of VPTs is trust building. This study aims to determine the key factors of trust in VPTs and design a model by identifying the interrelationships among the trust factors. Design/methodology/approach: Focus group discussion was used to gather data on factors affecting trust in VPTs and their interrelationships. Interpretive structural modelling (ISM) was used to establish the relationship among the factors. Cross-impact matrix multiplication applied to classification analysis was conducted to identify the driving power and the dependence power towards effective VPTs in the construction sector. Findings: The finding revealed that “characteristics of team members” (such as ability, integrity, benevolence, competence, reliability and professionalism) is the most significant factor for building trust in virtual team members. Some factors were further identified as having high driving power, while others were defined as having high dependence variables. Practical implications: The findings will assist construction managers and practitioners dealing with VPTs identify the factors influencing trust among team members. Taking cognisance of the factors that influence trust will enable them to design more effective virtual team arrangements. Originality/value: As the first research of its kind using ISM technique, the study offers insights into interrelationships between trust factors in the construction VPTs. It provides guides for construction managers on the effective management of trustworthy VPTs.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)248-264
Number of pages17
JournalConstruction Innovation: Information, Process, Management
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 17 Jan 2022


  • Focus group
  • Interpretive structural modelling
  • Middle east
  • Team working
  • Trust
  • Virtual project teams


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