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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 w

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