Communications in Hybrid Arrangements: Case of Australian Construction Project Teams
Hybrid team arrangements or partially virtual teams are increasingly being utilised as the structure for construction project teams. However, little research has been conducted on the quality of the communications of these teams. To address the identified research gap, this study adopted a sequential mixed-methods approach. In the first phase, a multidisciplinary literature review identified 7 major indicators of the quality of communications. After conducting 17 interviews with construction experts, the study customised these indicators for the construction context, in form of a list that comprised 12 indicators. Based on the indicators in this list, a questionnaire survey was then designed to elicit construction practitioners’ perceptions on changes in the quality of communications in hybrid team arrangements compared to teams that were fully collocated. Data from the 285 completed questionnaires in Australia then underwent confirmatory factor analysis (CFA). In the findings, the move to hybrid working arrangements was shown to create changes in 10 of the 12 indicators. The identified list of indicators is a significant contribution to the literature, and provides construction practitioners with guidance in assessing the quality of communications in these teams. The findings also shed light on the primary changes in the quality of communications resulting from the increasing use of hybrid team arrangements.