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Project stakeholders

A stakeholder is anyone who has an interest in the process or outcome of a project.

Any or all of the following may be a project stakeholder on a typical construction project:

  • Client
  • Main contractor
  • Designers
  • Subcontractors
  • Employees
  • Local authorities
  • End users
  • Professional bodies
  • Local residents
  • Local business owners
  • Politicians

Arguably, the client is considered the most important stakeholder – for no other reason than that it’s from the client that the finance for the project comes, and without finance there would be no project.

Stakeholder categories

Project stakeholders in the construction sector can be placed into four categories:

  • Direct stakeholders are considered as those directly involved in the project. They include the client/project sponsor, the construction/project managers, project team members, financial service providers, material and equipment suppliers, internal and external consultants, site personnel, contractors and subcontractors.
  • Indirect stakeholders are those who do not have a direct link with the project. They include licensing and inspecting organisations, professional bodies, national and local government, and technical institutions.
  • Positive stakeholders are considered as those who are likely to impact on a project. These individuals or groups can also be classed as direct stakeholders and stand to gain from the success of the project. An example could be the business involved in the project, which stands to benefit financially.
  • Negative stakeholders are known to have an unfavourable impact on a project. They are individuals and groups not directly involved in a project, but who are still affected by it in some way. An example would be a group of local residents with concerns about the loss of a public area to a new project.

Your task

Discuss the following question from the construction project manager’s perspective:

Who is the most difficult stakeholder to manage?

Share your thoughts with other learners.

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This article is from the free online course:

Pre-Contract Management for Construction Projects: The Basics

Coventry University