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Several researchers have identified the importance of managing stakeholders as major criteria for determining project success. Project success has now extended beyond completing projects within budgets, schedule and set standards as traditionally viewed. Satisfying key stakeholders is another criteria used in evaluating project success, thus stakeholder management is an important aspect of project management. In Nigeria, studies conducted in the research area have not assessed the adoption of stakeholder management. Therefore, this study appraises the concept in TETFUND construction projects. Interviews were conducted with project managers that have managed TETFUND construction projects in higher institutions. Comparative content analysis was used for analysing the interview responses. The results show the level of awareness and application of the concept within the firms; communication identified as the major tool for managing project stakeholders; and the major barriers encountered in managing stakeholders. Despite the awareness and acknowledgements of the importance of managing stakeholders, there is no proper adoption of the guidelines for stakeholder management as stated in literature. The study recommends that proper adoption of stakeholder analysis and engagement steps should be embraced by consulting project management firms in managing project stakeholders.
1.1 Background to the study
The development of every country directly depends on its construction as it provides fixed
assets and serves as a major aspect of production to other sectors of the economy. The
construction industry helps in providing infrastructures that improve the life of its citizens.
The Nigerian Construction Industry (NCI) is not an exception as it contributes to the
nation‟s economy. Yet, the NCI is coupled with challenges in terms of servicing and
satisfying its clients‟ needs (Kolo and Ibrahim, 2010). Ajayi et al. (2010) attributed
disagreement among participating parties as one of the reasons for project failure in
Nigeria while Onarinde (2011) further pointed out that the Nigerian Construction Industry
(NCI) has not fully been able to embrace the vast importance of managing stakeholders
involved in projects. This could be as a result of its complex nature, size and other
challenges that it is facing in satisfying its customers.
The importance and role of the industry to other sectors of the economy makes it to have
different stakeholders with wide range of interests that need to be managed. According to
Farinde and Sillars (2012), the construction industry is a complex and huge industry with
several key players with different interests. Therefore, a project can be successful in its
entirety when the construction organisation is able to effectively manage all human and
non-human resources; this is done in order to deliver a facility that satisfies and exceeds
the needs of the client at the time it is required and within considerable budget range.
Traditionally, construction projects are considered to be successful if they fulfill the
objectives of budget, schedule and quality (Chua et al., 1999). But Dosumu and Onukwube
(2013) recommended that for construction projects to be successful, attention must be paid
to user‟s related factors, professionals‟ factors and organisation‟s factors. Looking at the
users, professionals involved as well as the organisations all constitute the project
The planning and construction of a facility can affect many interests due to the different
people involved from different backgrounds and disciplines. Also, construction projects
involve many phases, and at each phase/stage, there are key people that are needed to act.
According to Takim (2009), traditionally, the main participants in a construction project
coalition are the client, the architect and the contractor, and the interactions and
interrelationships between them will largely determine the overall performance of a
construction project towards successful completion. However, looking at the upstream and
downstream in the construction project life cycle, there are multiple attributes that
contribute to the success of a project, and these are influenced by a variety of decisions
made by various individuals, bodies and organisations. Therefore, Yu and Shen (2005)
pointed out that it is essential for businesses to consider wider range of groups.
These individuals, bodies and organisations that formed the wider range of groups are
referred to as the Project Stakeholders. Newcombe (2003) defined Project stakeholders as
groups or individuals who have a stake in, or expectation of the project‟s performance and
include clients, project managers, designers, subcontractors, suppliers, funding bodies,
users and the community at large. Stakeholders either affect or are affected by the
accomplishment of the project (Freeman, 1984). Satisfying stakeholders need is one of the 2
criteria for project success (Turner, 1999; Smith et al., 2001) and their buy-in and support
is important aspect of Project Management (Takim, 2009).Adequate involvement of
stakeholders in construction projects will help in accommodating different interest towards
realizing the project success. Yu and Shen (2005) argued that inadequate involvement of
relevant stakeholders is a major problem.
Stakeholder management is an aspect under project management that deals with managing
the relationships and interests of the different stakeholders involved in a project.
Stakeholder management is now considered a key concept for the completion of
construction project work (Atkin and Skitmore, 2008). Therefore, Stakeholder
management is a significant component in managing a firm as well as a project. In any
project, and especially in construction projects, many different and sometimes discrepant
interests must be considered (Olander and Landin, 2005).
It is argued that meeting stakeholder‟s expectations and needs will favor the prospects of
successful projects, while failing to do so can cause projects to fail (Chinyo et al., 1998;
Olander, 2006) and also a project that does not successfully manage its stakeholders is
assumed to have failed even if it meets the criteria of time, cost and quality (Bourne and
Walker, 2005). Onarinde (2011) identified the importance of stakeholders and their
management to successful projects before, during and after construction process in Nigeria.
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