Developing a perceptual distance monitor for client-contractor collaborations

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This study aims to propose a tool for conceptualizing and operationalizing perceptual distance in client-contractor collaborations: the perceptual distance monitor (PDM). This paper explains how this monitor was developed and used to examine the impact of perceptual distance on project outcomes. This paper developed the PDM by gathering quantitative survey data from client and contractor representatives. Structural equation modeling tested the predictive validity of perceptual distance on project outcomes. The PDM enables a valid and reliable assessment of the perceptual distance between client and contractor in projects. Moreover, the PDM shows that project outcomes suffer if parties have different perceptions of project objectives, project managers’ competences and the level of trust in the collaboration. These findings confirm the predictive validity of the PDM. Using the PDM, project managers can concretize, discuss and monitor this perceptual distance over time. The PDM provides project managers with a useful tool to prevent the escalation of conflicts and project failure.
Original languageEnglish
JournalSupply Chain Management : an International Journal
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - Nov 2020


  • Collaboration
  • Project management
  • Supplier relationships

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