Stakeholder Engagement In Engineering Projects For Parallel Runway Construction

Assessments and their contribution

The engagement of stakeholders refers to the process of involving several parties including governments, politicians, general public etc. such as suppliers, who are directly or indirectly associated with the projects (Vaidya, 2014; Stanley, 2017). The stakeholders play a crucial role in the different types of projects like construction, aviation, road and water etc. (Jergeas and et al., 2000). In this context, the current report is based on the stakeholder’s engagement in engineering projects for the construction of New Parallel Runway in Sydney and Brisbane. In this regard, several theoretical frameworks and old projects have been referred to critically evaluate the stakeholder engagement practices. Apart from this, issues which are faced by stakeholders in the engineering projects and aspects to resolve them have been explained effectively. Moreover, examples have also be provided to provide the vivid insight about the employee engagement in the engineering projects.

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  Planning and implementation of the projects depend on the effective involvement of stakeholders as well as the community that is helpful to deal with the necessities (Pomeroy and Douvere, 2008). The assessment of stakeholders is important for the success and failure of the projects because the absence of them creates a dilemma for the project managers (Mok, Shen and Yang, 2015). Stakeholders for the engineering projects involving the public, communities, shareholders, clients, contractors etc. who have direct or indirect involvement with the project.

The success of the construction projects depends on the active involvement of stakeholders (Kavaratzis, 2012). The active participation is helpful in completing the projects on time. According to Harrison, Bosse and Phillips (2010), the project team emphasizes the involvement of stakeholders at the priority level to meet the expectations. The construction firms are more concerns regarding the needs of the stakeholders because this affects the success and failure of projects. On the other hand, Cennamo and et al., (2012) stated that the involvement of stakeholders can be increased with the help of the development of socio-technical systems. This system would provide the better results to the final users as well as better outcomes for the stakeholders and provide the required amendments in the project. In this context, Baxter and Sommerville (2011) mentioned that the socio-technical approach is effective for the constructive engagement because this approach provides the ways to minimize the cost. This system would facilitate the chances to integrate the software approaches of engineering and existing systems for the projects. Therefore, it shows that the active involvement of the stakeholders can be enhanced by the fulfillment of the expectations and demands and this can be done with the help of the socio-technical systems. In socio-technical systems, people would be involved at a higher level and provide the quick response regarding the changes.

Importance of Stakeholder Engagement

Battaineh, (1999) stated that 164 buildings and 28 highway projects have been constructed in 1996 in Jordan and the projects have been delayed due to an extension of the decided time period for the completion. In this context, stakeholder’s behavior affected by the delay in the projects because in all aspects their investment cost would increase. Further, this extra time period requires the additional money and resources that would maximize the overall project cost. Thus, cost of construction projects would maximize for the stakeholders. However, Mahamid and Bruland (2012) asserted that currently, the road construction projects are focusing on the regression models to maintain the relationship between the deviation of cost and size of the project. With the use of the modern methods for the construction would be helpful in reducing the cost and time. Thus, the stakeholder’s engagement in the engineering projects can be affected by using the regression models because with the help of this the cost can be reduced and a strong relationship can be maintained between cost and size. At this juncture, there was less use of construction techniques during the 1980’s and this enhanced the time and cost of the projects. But as per the current situations of construction projects, the project managers are capable enough to reduce the cost and time with the acceptance of new methods of the construction, therefore, this has a major contribution to maximize the involvement of the stakeholders in the construction projects.

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Figure 1: Framework of stakeholder’s engagement

(Source: Krick and et al., 2005)

Core stakeholders of engineering project involve the communities, NGO’s, suppliers, customers, competitors whereas fringe stakeholders include the illiterate, isolated and non-legitimate (Hart and Sharma, 2004). Moreover, the engagement of all these stakeholders depends on the nature of the projects like small or larger one because the overall cost occurs as per the size. For example, the cost would overrun in the small projects as compare to the larger because in small projects the people would not focus on the requirements and do the things leniently that turns to delay in the projects and maximize the project cost (Kavaratzis, 2012). However, Pomeroy and Douvere, (2008) argued stated that specific requirement of core stakeholders is relatively higher than that of fringe stakeholders wherein they specify the technical approaches which are to be in managing the project. It shows that the involvement of both the stakeholders equally required because both are focusing on the nature of the projects and reduction of the project cost.

Challenges Faced by Stakeholders and Ways to Resolve Them

Figure 2: Involvement of Core and Fringe stakeholders

(Source: Hart and Sharma, 2004)

The involvement of fringe stakeholders is beneficial for increasing the competitive edge of the business. This type of stakeholders are helpful in providing the information related to the external environment through which competitive strategies are formed. This enables projects managers to look into the several issues such as the discharge of the wastage on the right place by considering the well-being of associated stakeholders (Orr, Colvin and King, 2006). However, it is made possible with the proper understanding of stakeholders such as general community who might get affect from the progress of the project. Therefore, involvement of stakeholders and taking their perspective into the engineering projects tends to increase the success rate.

Odeck (2004) mentioned that there has been a significant discrepancy in the actual and estimated cost for the road construction in 1992 in Norwegian kroner because of the area where the project has been situated. The dependency of the area affects the engagement of the stakeholders because the more backward regions enhance the transportation and labor cost for the projects that turn to increase the cost of the engineering projects. In this regard, to mitigate the construction cost, Norway has started toll charges to raise the funds for the road construction. Moreover, the construction of tolls is helpful in raising the finance for the effective road construction (Brathen and Odeck, 2006). This indicates that engineering projects might cause the negative outcome for the stakeholders but proves to be effective for long-term growth. For instance, government influences the authority to charge the toll so as to get the fund for the maintenance of the transportation sites. At this juncture, conflict of stakeholders’ interest might arise which should be addressed properly by adopting suitable strategy.

On the other hand, Edwards (2004) stated that for the construction of New Airport Runway in the Brisbane, the viewpoint of general public was considered so that their expectations can be met. In this context, number of flights and accommodating in the Brisbane Airport area is growing so as per the future aspects the public comments are required for the success of the project. Therefore, it reflects that the construction projects affected by the region of the site because this is helpful in taking the insight into the future as well as maximizing the involvement of the stakeholders.  

It is important to involve the stakeholders in the projects so as to meet their expectations and increase the success rate of engineering projects; however, several issues are faced in ensuring their engagement which are explained as follows-

Involvement of Core and Fringe Stakeholders in Projects

The involvement of stakeholders may increase the chances of delay in the construction projects because it is the long procedure. For example, in the construction of  bridge of the sea-crossing to connect the Zhuhai in China to Macao as well as Hong Kong, the project success got affected to a great extent. This is because of legal dispute which resulted delay of 1 year (MDT, 2011). Further, all of these conditions arose due to legal challenges of media, pressure groups, community and politicians as the stakeholders of the project. Similarly, Ward and Chapman (2008) stated that the stakeholders are the major contributors of the uncertainty of the large projects because they create the risks and claims in the construction projects. Moreover, the project managers deal with the various problems to remove the uncertainties of the stakeholders in engineering projects. For instance, the location of the projects gets affected by the climate change on the site. In this context, the current project of the Brisbane Airport runway has been overelaborated by the climatic changes because the location has been selected at sea side (Commonwealth of Australia, 2013). The chances of storms, rise in sea level, and highertemperature as well as regional floods enhance the uncertainty the project. At this point, the stakeholder might take the invested money back or deny to invest more in that location due to climatic uncertainties. Therefore, it reflects that the chances of uncertainties in projects maximizes due to the wrong selection of location and this can be changed the perception of stakeholders that to further invest in that project or not.

The success and failure of the construction projects depend on the involvement of stakeholders because the projects are unique in nature, size and level that have positive impact on the stakeholders (Lückmann and Färber, 2016). In this regard, Ofori (2012) asserted that the involvement of a large number of stakeholders in the project reflects their interest and expectations towards the success of the projects. Further, their interest increases the chances of success whereas the fewer expectations develop the chances of rejection of the project. Similarly, Eyiah-Botwe and et al. (2015) mentioned that the inadequate engagement of suppliers, inverse relationships with project managers and a huge number of small-sized enterprises has an impact on the involvement of stakeholders. On the other hand, Oyedele (2013) stated that the involvement of government and politicians in the construction projects develops the positive outcomes for the project in the form of developments. Furthermore, all of these are helpful in achieving the project objectives especially in case of developing countries. Thus, it reveals that the engagement of various stakeholders in the construction projects affect the success in both the direct or indirect manner; so, their proper involvement and considering their viewpoints is crucial.

Jergeas and et al. (2000) asserted that the maintaining the long-term relationship with stakeholders is the challenging task for the project managers because an evaluation of individual stakeholder is not sufficient to add the value of the project. However, group of stakeholders is considered and their expectations are understood. Moreover, it is important for the project manager to assess the factors creating values of relationships with stakeholders within the mega projects. On the hand, Bourne and Walker (2005) stated that the performance of the larger projects is affected by the conflicts, inadequate coordination of the project stakeholders which in turn enhances the project complexities. There should be effective management of stakeholders to reduce the challenges associated with the engineering projects. Therefore, it shows that the effective management of stakeholders is helpful in minimizing the challenges with the adequate management of relations with different stakeholders.

Different stakeholders have various expectations and preferences, an excess of demands is a bigger challenge for the large projects (Bourne and Walker, 2008). In this context, the challenges and obstacles can be removed with the help of the “Salience model” and the stakeholders can be analyzed. Moreover, this model has the main three parameters such as power, urgency and legitimacy. With the help of this model, the project manager can assess the stakeholder’s critical evaluation and set the priorities to the partners (refer figure 3). The assessment of stakeholders with respect to these three categories provide the insight about the demand, dominating stakeholders and dependents one so that accordingly project activities can be shaped.

Figure 3: Salience model for Stakeholders analysis

(Source: Bourne and Walker, 2008)

The different cultural stakeholders are the major challenge and issue for the international projects (Lückmann and Färber, 2016). The cultural issues play a crucial role in the involvement of stakeholders. The engagement of varied cultural stakeholders in project affects the success of because the project manager has to cooperate with all of them for the completion of construction. Further, the manager will be obliged for a significant interaction among all stakeholders along with cultural boundaries. For example, Western Sydney is a multi-cultural area that  consists of 47 percent of Sydney and 9 percent of the Australian population (Australian Government, 2016). In this way, the engagement of varied cultural stakeholders would affect the construction projects because all the people would have different aspects regarding the environment, design and expectations. Thus, the involvement of stakeholders that are from different cultures affects the success/failure of the engineering projects.

The different approaches can be used for the effective engagement of stakeholders in engineering projects. The involvement of the stakeholders in the New Runway Projects (NPR) is important on the broad level. For example, in the Brisbane airport construction project, the consideration of the stakeholders is significant so that projects managers can get the information related to environmental related factors, design and other aspects  (Yang and et al., 2011). Moreover, a 22-month stakeholder engagement process has been adopted to understand the behavior and perspective of the participants towards projects (Commonwealth of Australia, 2013). In this process, Brisbane Airport construction projects have been released for a public comment to know about the environmental impact on the New Parallel Runway. Further, Stanley (2017) stated that urban planning theories of stakeholder engagement have been applied for the construction of Airport in the urban area.

The airport is constructing within the city area so the concern of the general public is required for the success of the project. On the other hand, the Sydney airport construction has a vision of 2020 that there would be a higher level of involvement of stakeholders (Australian Government (2016). On the basis of stakeholder’s consultation, the routes and operating procedures would be decided, then it would be approved and published and further construction processing would be done. Therefore, it shows that the engagement of stakeholders in the engineering projects is important for the success and future estimations of the project. This also reveals that the involvement of stakeholders as the general public is required for the development of urban aviation projects because it would run in the city area and may affect the environment.

The success of the projects is based on the effective leadership and excellent connectivity among all the stakeholders (Doloi, 2011). Further, sustainable vision of the project also required along with substantial involvement in the construction projects. All the stakeholders will be connected by activities and different range of channels then it would be helpful in completing the projects on time and would be efficient to deal with the changes in climate. The climate change always affects the design and construction of engineering projects like New Project Runways (NPR). In this regard, the Brisbane adopted a specific planning to deal with climatic changes and engineering advice has been taken for the design of airport and infrastructure for the New Runway (Commonwealth of Australia, 2013). On the other hand, the New Runway Projects are connected to the Airport Act 1976 and the (EPBC) Environmental Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999. With the help of these acts, the stakeholders would be interlinked with the project manager (Stanley, 2017). Thus, it indicates that the success of the projects affected by the complete planning, design and advice of the engineers because all of these are connected to the engagement of stakeholders. The participants would be agreed on the design and procedure then the construction will go ahead.


The critical evaluation of stakeholder engagement in the engineering projects concludes that the engagement of stakeholders in the engineering projects recite the success and failure. The active involvement of participants affects the completion time period and they would be able to minimize the long-time span into a short period of time by active engagement. Further, it can also be concluded that the participation of fringe, as well as core stakeholders, are equally required for the construction projects. However, the legal dispute and culture differences associated with the stakeholders may affect the success rate of the project because project managers have to deal with people from several ethnicity. Yet, appropriate leadership style and extensive support of project team ensure proper inclusion of stakeholders in the project.


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