Critical Review of Social Network Analysis Applications in Complex Project Management

C.-Y. Lee, H.-Y. Chong, P.-C. Liao*, X. Wang

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

104 Citations (Scopus)


Social network analysis (SNA) is a significant tool for analyzing networks in complex project management that examines the actors' interdependence in iterative and interactive social structures. It can also be used for nonsocial structure analysis. The potential of SNA might be extended significantly if the application of it to complex project management is clarified. The objectives of the present review are threefold: (1) to clarify the interpretation of SNA metrics, (2) to identify SNA applications to complex-project-management knowledge areas, and (3) to reveal the uses of SNA in nonsocial structures of complex networks. The authors conducted a qualitative systematic review on the basis of 65 peer-reviewed publications to identify 38 SNA metrics and concepts in nine complex-project-management knowledge areas. The findings show that SNA is a useful tool for application to the analysis of nonhuman resource networks and can be used for strategic planning and the improvement of project transmission efficiency and interdisciplinary interactions. The authors also delineate future studies and potential applications of SNA to provide new insights into advancing the use of SNA for analyzing and mitigating complex-project-management issues.

Original languageEnglish
Article number04017061
Pages (from-to)1-15
Number of pages15
JournalJournal of Management in Engineering
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 18 Dec 2017
Externally publishedYes


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