Engineering Management Journal
PROJECT STAKEHOLDER MANAGEMENT
Jan Terje Karlsen
Norwegian School of Management BI
Today almost every project takes place in a context where
stakeholders play a major role in the accomplishment of the
Often the project is sensitive to actions and decisions
taken by the stakeholder.
Project stakeholders can include
clients, end users, contractors, consultants, labor unions, line
organization, public authorities, financial institutions, insurance
companies, controlling organizations, media, third parties, and
A survey was conducted among project managers
in Norway to collect their views on stakeholder management.
First, research results indicate that clients and end users are the
most important project stakeholders.
Second, collected data
show clients, end users, contractors/suppliers, line organization,
and public authorities are equal when it comes to causing
problems and uncertainty for the project.
Third, the findings
indicate that more efforts should be made to provide new
insights into project stakeholder management.
article describes a formal and systematic project stakeholder
This process includes six steps: initial
planning, identification, analysis, communication, action, and
The results from this article can be of use for a
project manager in several ways.
First of all, we argue that
more attention should be paid to the stakeholders.
managing the stakeholders the project manager can follow the
process presented here.
Third, the survey results can give the
project manager an idea of which stakeholders to focus on in
order to understand them better.
Project management is a science and profession that is not very
During the past 40 years, project management has
undergone rapid and sometimes unpredictable changes while
trying to find suitable answers and countermeasures to the
assigned challenges; however, those responses usually have had
a distinct internal and quantitative focus on development of
tools and techniques to control costs, time, and quality (Gilbert,
There are many examples of project management
planning, scheduling, budgeting and control systems, and tools,
which have been generated to cope with a large amount of data
associated with projects.
This approach has brought us some
very significant successes, both in theory and practice, but it
also has some weaknesses.
The purpose of this article is to create a more extensive
picture of what is included in project management.
research has shown that most projects are sensitive to changes
in the environment (Karlsen, 1998).
On the other hand, many
projects experience that clients, end users, and public authorities
make tougher demands on project execution.
Hence, it is a
mistake for project management to ignore the stakeholders or
attempt to impose a rigid detailed control.
These are challenges
and demands that the project manager cannot overlook, but has