Big data innovation and implementation in projects teams: towards a SEM approach to conflict prevention

Lukman Akanbi, Hakeem Owolabi (Corresponding / Lead Author), Azeez Oyedele, Hafiz A. Alaka

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Despite an enormous body of literature on conflict management, intra-group conflicts vis-à-vis team performance, there is currently no study investigating the conflict prevention approach to handling innovation-induced conflicts that may hinder smooth implementation of big data technology in project teams.

This study uses constructs from conflict theory, and team power relations to develop an explanatory framework. The study proceeded to formulate theoretical hypotheses from task-conflict, process-conflict, relationship and team power conflict. The hypotheses were tested using Partial Least Square Structural Equation Model (PLS-SEM) to understand key preventive measures that can encourage conflict prevention in project teams when implementing big data technology.

Results from the structural model validated six out of seven theoretical hypotheses and identified Relationship Conflict Prevention as the most important factor for promoting smooth implementation of Big Data Analytics technology in project teams. This is followed by power-conflict prevention, prevention of task disputes and prevention of Process conflicts respectively. Results also show that relationship and power conflicts interact on the one hand, while task and relationship conflict prevention also interact on the other hand, thus, suggesting the prevention of one of the conflicts could minimise the outbreak of the other.

Research limitations/implications
The study has been conducted within the context of big data adoption in a project-based work environment and the need to prevent innovation-induced conflicts in teams. Similarly, the research participants examined are stakeholders within UK projected-based organisations.

Practical implications
The study urges organisations wishing to embrace big data innovation to evolve a multipronged approach for facilitating smooth implementation through prevention of conflicts among project frontlines. This study urges organisations to anticipate both subtle and overt frictions that can undermine relationships and team dynamics, effective task performance, derail processes and create unhealthy rivalry that undermines cooperation and collaboration in the team.

Social implications
The study also addresses the uncertainty and disruption that big data technology presents to employees in teams and explore conflict prevention measure which can be used to mitigate such in project teams.

The study proposes a Structural Model for establishing conflict prevention strategies in project teams through a multidimensional framework that combines constructs like team power conflict, process, relationship and task conflicts; to encourage Big Data implementation.

Original languageEnglish
JournalInformation Technology & People
Publication statusPublished (VoR) - 1 Feb 2024


The authors acknowledge and express their sincere gratitude to the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC – EP/S031480/1) for providing financial support for this study.

FundersFunder number
Engineering and Physical Sciences Research CouncilEP/S031480/1


    • Big data technology
    • Conflict management
    • Conflict prevention
    • Innovation conflicts
    • Organisational power


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