From client to project stakeholders: A stakeholder mapping approach

  • Newcombe R
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Abstract

In contemporary management theory and practice the rise and role of stakeholders as major players in organizational dynamics are widely recognized and recorded. This pluralistic view of the identity of those who have an investment and an interest in an organization extends well beyond the traditional concept of shareholders to include employees, suppliers, customers, trade unions, communities, etc. The concept of stakeholders has been applied to projects in general but has not, to date, been extended to the context of construction projects although it is accepted that the traditional view of the client as a single entity does not reflect the reality of stakeholder configurations for most projects. Different stakeholders have different levels and types of investment and interest in construction projects and can be seen as multiple clients or customers for the project in which they are involved. This paper argues that the concept of client, which has prevailed throughout the twentieth century, is now obsolete and is being replaced by the reality of project stakeholders. A novel application of the technique of stakeholder mapping to a large construction project demonstrates the importance to project managers of conducting the analysis of the power, predictability and interest of key project stakeholders. In contemporary management theory and practice the rise and role of stakeholders as major players in organizational dynamics are widely recognized and recorded. This pluralistic view of the identity of those who have an investment and an interest in an organization extends well beyond the traditional concept of shareholders to include employees, suppliers, customers, trade unions, communities, etc. The concept of stakeholders has been applied to projects in general but has not, to date, been extended to the context of construction projects although it is accepted that the traditional view of the client as a single entity does not reflect the reality of stakeholder configurations for most projects. Different stakeholders have different levels and types of investment and interest in construction projects and can be seen as multiple clients or customers for the project in which they are involved. This paper argues that the concept of client, which has prevailed throughout the twentieth century, is now obsolete and is being replaced by the reality of project stakeholders. A novel application of the technique of stakeholder mapping to a large construction project demonstrates the importance to project managers of conducting the analysis of the power, predictability and interest of key project stakeholders.

Author-supplied keywords

  • Cliens
  • Construction
  • Project management
  • Projects
  • Stakeholder mapping
  • Stakeholders

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Authors

  • Robert Newcombe

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