Application of Social Network Analysis for Sustainable Engineering Asset Management

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social network analysis, sustainability, management


In order for engineering asset management (EAM) to be sustainable in attaining the triple bottom line in the future, the five core pillars of sustainability – environmental, economic, societal, political and cultural - need to be included, as any engineering project under management will have assets among these five pillars. This can lead to large and complicated networks which can be modeled and analysed by utilising conventional social network analysis (SNA). This paper highlights through a case study how SNA can be used to identify critical assets in a management structure and methods of quantifying the strength of the assets’ network. Some of the key components of EAM have been widely accepted to be operations, maintenance and in-service engineering through to asset decommissioning and disposal. Current literature on EAM calls for more sustainable management across these core areas with greater consideration of society and the environment for a greater competitive advantage. This grand challenge fo r EAM requires an approach that is robust, yet simple enough, to quantify complex engineering asset managerial networks. To this end, SNA can be used to identify key managerial players amongst the five pillars of sustainability whom will be crucial to successful management of the asset as well as to determine the strength of the EAM network. These types of metrics will allow for the restructuring of managerial maps for the most sustainable EAM. To demonstrate the application of SNA a Jamaican case study was utilised.

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Citation / Publisher Attribution

The Journal of the Association of Professional Engineers of Trinidad and Tobago, v. 39, no. 1, p. 17-23