The role of the project manager in relationship management

Xianhai Meng, Paul Boyd

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

35 Citations (Scopus)
610 Downloads (Pure)


Relationship management is recognized as a focus of the next generation of project management. As a major sector, the construction industry has increasingly embraced the concept of project-based relationship management. On the other hand, project managers have grown steadily in prominence. This research explores the contribution of construction project managers to relationship management through a combination of qualitative and quantitative methodologies. Project-based relationship management can be either internal or external. This research identifies 18 roles of project managers in internal relationship management (IRM) and 18 roles in external relationship management (ERM). As a result of data analysis, they are categorized into six internal role groups and five external role groups, respectively. In addition to role identification and categorization, this research provides evidence for the change in construction from traditional project management that concentrates on planning and control to new project management that highlights the importance of people and working relationships.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)717-728
Number of pages12
JournalInternational Journal of Project Management
Issue number5
Early online date17 Mar 2017
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2017


  • Relationship management
  • Project manager
  • Role
  • Awareness
  • Knowledge
  • Effort
  • Construction industry

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