Longitudinal analysis of interorganizational collaborative networks of cross-laminated timber (CLT) construction

Hisham Said, Aswathy Rajagopalan, Daniel M. Hall

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review


Cross-laminated timber (CLT) is an innovative construction material that provides a balanced mix of structural stiffness, fabrication flexibility and sustainability. CLT development and innovation diffusion require close collaborations between its supply chain architectural, engineering, construction and manufacturing (AECM) stakeholders. As such, the purpose of this study is to provide a preliminary understanding of the knowledge diffusion and innovation process of CLT construction.

The study implemented a longitudinal social network analysis of the AECM companies involved in 100 CLT projects in the UK. The project data were acquired from an industry publication and decoded in the form of a multimode project-company network, which was projected into a single-mode company collaborative network. This complete network was filtered into a four-phase network to allow the longitudinal analysis of the CLT collaborations over time. A set of network and node social network analysis metrics was used to characterize the topology patters of the network and the centrality of the companies.

The study highlighted the scale-free structure of the CLT collaborative network that depends on the influential hubs of timber manufacturers, engineers and contractors to accelerate the innovation diffusion. However, such CLT supply collaborative network structure is more vulnerable to disruptions due to its dependence on these few prominent hubs. Also, the industry collaborative network’s decreased modularity confirms the maturity of the CLT technology and the formation of cohesive clusters of innovation partners. The macro analysis approach of the study highlighted the critical role of supply chain upstream stakeholders due to their higher centralities in the collaborative network. Stronger collaborations were found between the supply chain upstream stakeholders (timber manufacturers) and downstream stakeholders (architects and main contractors).

The study contributes to the field of industrialized and CLT construction by characterizing the collaborative networks between CLT supply chain stakeholders that are critical to propose governmental policies and industry initiatives to advance this sustainable construction material.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages25
JournalConstruction Innovation
Publication statusPublished - 2024

Bibliographical note

Green Open Access added to TU Delft Institutional Repository 'You share, we take care!' - Taverne project https://www.openaccess.nl/en/you-share-we-take-care
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  • knowledge management
  • innovation
  • social network analysis
  • supply chain management
  • organizational learning
  • construction technology


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