CIVIL ENGINEERING 365 ALL ABOUT CIVIL ENGINEERING



AbstractInformal learning plays a major role in how knowledge, experience, and skills in off-site construction penetrate on-site and off-site processes. Although prior research has indicated that informal learning relies heavily on team members’ embeddedness in advice networks, how and when advice network embeddedness affects the effectiveness of informal learning remain largely unexplored. Drawing on the opportunity–motivation–ability framework, a theoretical model was developed to examine the link between intra- and interteam advice network embeddedness (bonding and bridging) and team members’ informal learning effectiveness in off-site construction projects settings, as well as the joint moderating effect of knowledge acquisition motivation and absorptive capacity. The data analysis was based on survey responses from 263 individuals from 14 teams in 5 off-site construction projects using a mixed approach of social network analysis and hierarchical regression analysis. The results indicate that both bonding and bridging are positively related to team members’ informal learning effectiveness in acquiring off-site construction knowledge. This main effect is positively moderated by controlled motivation and absorptive capacity. The interaction between bonding and bridging is found to positively affect the effectiveness of informal learning. However, autonomous motivation did not significantly moderate the relationship between bridging and informal learning effectiveness. The three-way interaction model effectively explains the effectiveness of informal learning. Knowledge acquisition motivation and absorptive capacity play substitutable and complementary roles in moderating the main effect of bonding and bridging, respectively. This study underlines the need for interteam and interdisciplinary knowledge interaction and improved absorptive capacity if off-site construction knowledge acquisition is to increase, dynamics which may not be as significant in construction using mature technologies. This study enriches the body of knowledge of informal learning effectiveness in project teams from a network embeddedness lens, thereby providing managerial implications for improving team members’ knowledge, experience, and skills to adapt to the modern method of construction.



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