Author: Oppong, Dennis Goodenough
Title: External stakeholder management at the planning stage of construction projects in Ghana : consultants' perspective
Advisors: Chan, P. C. Albert (BRE)
Degree: Ph.D.
Year: 2020
Subject: Construction projects -- Management
Construction industry -- Ghana
Project management
Hong Kong Polytechnic University -- Dissertations
Department: Department of Building and Real Estate
Pages: xxiv, 449 pages : color illustrations
Language: English
Abstract: The relevance and benefits of construction stakeholder management have been globally acknowledged in research. Effectiveness of SM contributes directly to the success of construction projects. Moreover, mutual stakeholder satisfaction (SS) has become an important criterion of project success and complements the conventional cost, time and quality criteria. However, despite the high success levels attributed to stakeholder management in other industries like manufacturing, the construction industry has attained poor records, especially in developing countries. Meanwhile, external stakeholder management (ESM) is more problematic because the external stakeholder groups (ESGs) are exceedingly crucial for project success at the planning stage (PS) than the internal stakeholders. The consequences of ESGs' influences and actions have been witnessed in the failure of diverse construction project developments in Ghana and other developing countries. Additionally, mutual SS is a subjective and abstract concept, inherently fuzzy in nature, and interpreted differently by practitioners. It has become increasingly difficult for practitioners to use mutual SS as an objective measure of construction project success. The result is the somewhat disagreement on "what constitutes project success" objectively in the industry. Based on the aforementioned premises, the study aims at developing a framework that will serve as an industrial guide for ESM practice and performance evaluation at the PS of construction projects. The six derived objectives were achieved through in-depth review of pertinent literature; case study; ordinary questionnaire survey; semi-structured expert interviews; and a six-round Delphi questionnaire survey on consulting experts in Ghana. The data analysis was carried out using analytical techniques including content analysis, factor analysis, and fuzzy set theory. Given the underlying reasons, the results manifest that the practitioners consider the governmental authorities as most difficult to manage, then followed by the affected local communities and the general public stakeholders in descending order of criticality. Further, the practitioners mostly use stakeholder consultation approaches to identify the ESGs and their project expectations; urgency and scope conformity of concerns to prioritise ESGs; and meetings to engage with ESGs. Besides, the practitioners consider avoiding or minimizing ESGs' disturbances on project as the topmost ESM objective; compromising to ESGs' demands within project scope as the top strategic measure usually applied; treating every person and issue with utmost respect and fairness as the best approach to manage the ESGs' dynamics; and feedback from ESGs (e.g. potential improvement in lives) as the most useful indicator of performance. Generally, the practices adopted to manage ESGs are not formally established and documented, and hence, the difficulties faced in the management process. In terms of expectations, the three ESGs are all concerned with economic, social, cultural, environmental, religious, technical, legal, ethical and informational issues in projects.
Aside, the underlying obstacles that practitioners should be conscious and proactive about are limited management capability; stakeholder influence potential and cultural differences; dynamic and uncertain stakeholder environment; political actions and invisibility of stakeholders; limited project knowledge and collaboration problems; and stakes mal-distribution and adversarial perspectives. Essentially, the practitioners should consider information gathering and continuous analysis of issues; planning and undertaking responsibilities; effective communication and satisfaction monitoring; assessing stakeholder influence and strategizing; assessing stakeholder characteristics and alternative solutions; respecting and involving the stakeholders; and building good relationship with stakeholders to effectively manage the ESGs at the project PS. Moreover, the practitioners must appropriately and objectively evaluate communication effectiveness; stakeholder support of project; management monitoring and response; smooth project facilitation; conflict mitigation; and uncertainty and risk mitigation measures to realise the mutual satisfaction/dissatisfaction level of ESGs in project development. The resultant validated framework will help practitioners to equitably and sustainably manage ESGs, optimize mutual benefits and values, minimize negative impacts, and attain mutual ESG satisfaction in construction project developments. Moreover, the mutual satisfaction of the ESGs considered in construction project developments could be assessed and compared in a more appropriate, objective, and reliable manner. Finally, it explores gaps that substantially add to the knowledge base on best practices to attain, assess, benchmark, monitor and upgrade the mutual satisfaction level of ESGs in construction project development of Ghana and other developing countries sharing similar industry characteristics, project features, and external stakeholder structure.
Rights: All rights reserved
Access: open access

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