A systematic stakeholder management framework for managing public private partnership projects in Australia

Jayasuriya, W 2017, A systematic stakeholder management framework for managing public private partnership projects in Australia, Doctor of Philosophy (PhD), Engineering, RMIT University.

Document type: Thesis
Collection: Theses

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Title A systematic stakeholder management framework for managing public private partnership projects in Australia
Author(s) Jayasuriya, W
Year 2017
Abstract Many countries around the world are in search of new means to engage the private sector in managing and financing infrastructure through public-private partnerships (PPPs). However, most PPPs face issues during the design and concession periods. In the Australian and global contexts, stakeholder management (SM)-related issues have been reported as one of the main reasons for failure. SM is important for the avoidance of conflicts and the success of projects. Hence, this study focuses on the development of a SM framework, addressing current and emerging issues in Australian PPP projects. To achieve the research aim, a literature review, semi-structured interviews and surveys are used. Initially, existing theories on and the practice of project SM in general construction projects and in particular in relation to PPPs are explored through a comprehensive review of the literature. The literature review assisted in the development of the research hypotheses and a conceptual SM framework for PPP projects. Subsequently, data were gathered through semi-structured interviews (N=19) and a self-administered online survey (N=357) of project team members who have been involved with SM-related activities in PPP projects. The qualitative data generated were analysed using content analysis and the quantitative data were analysed using descriptive statistics, non-parametric tests, correlation analysis, factor analysis and structural equation modelling (SEM). Based on the results of the different methods, a SM framework addressing current and emerging issues was developed. Finally, the developed framework was validated using semi-structured interviews followed by a process of thematic analysis. Initially, the twelve most critical issues related to SM and the forty-two most important best practices related to SM are explored. The thesis then explores three categories of SM-related issues in PPP projects and eleven components of successful SM for PPP projects. Of these eleven components, four basic strategies specific to PPPs are explored: consolidation of stakeholder commitment, transparency in stakeholder engagement, risk awareness through stakeholder engagement and on-going stakeholder issue identification and monitoring. The findings suggest that effective communication is the paramount factor in successful SM in PPP projects. A comparative analysis is also undertaken of the private and the public sector which suggests that most issues are critical for the private sector. This finding is also supported by the initial semi-structured interviews, in which participants suggest that the Government sector should be the main driving party in successful SM in PPP projects. Subsequently, SEM analysis is used to explore the relationships between the SM stages and the relationships between SM stages and SM-related issues in PPP projects. Of the ten hypotheses, six are supported by the data. These confirmed relationships suggest that stakeholder analysis (SA) is the key to the attainment of successful SM in PPP projects. The relationship between the SM stages and SM-related issues suggests that stakeholder engagement (SE) is important in attaining effective SM in PPP projects. Interestingly, the results suggest that SM monitoring is perceived to have more SM-related issues in PPP projects. The final model also depicts the best practices to cope with specific SM-related issues in PPP projects. These best practices were generated from the initial semi-structured interviews and from a correlation analysis of the survey findings. Based on the research findings, a SM framework for PPP project success is developed using general problem-solving methodology and the SM framework developed for construction projects by Yang and Shen (2014). This framework is then validated using semi-structured interviews with industry experts. The validation results confirm that the framework has a clear structure and information flow. The validation results also suggested the removal of some best practices to solve some emerging issues, and some additions are made to the framework to obtain a clear picture of SM in PPP projects. This research contributes to the PPP knowledge base theoretically and practically. Theoretically, it explores a set of the most critical SM-related issues in PPP projects and important SM best practices specific to PPP projects. It also confirms the four essential stages of SM in PPP projects and the eleven components of SM in PPP projects. Therefore, this study contributes to the existing body of knowledge by creating a full list of components related to SM specific to PPP projects. Furthermore, a variety of strategies is recommended to address current and emerging issues in PPP projects. The proposed SM framework for PPP project management will act as an integrated SM framework in academia. Practically, it provides a list of SM best practices to solve current and emerging issues. Therefore, the framework will act as a reference point when an issue related to SM arises. It also explores the importance of successful SE in PPP projects to reduce SM-related issues, and discusses the criticality of SA in the process of SM, as it affects all the other stages of SM. This study proposes a SM framework which portrays the application of best practices and the development of processes for project managers to implement SM in PPP projects. Furthermore, the proposed framework will act as an evaluation platform to measure the performance of SM in PPP projects in Australia.
Degree Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)
Institution RMIT University
School, Department or Centre Engineering
Subjects Civil Engineering not elsewhere classified
Construction Engineering
Infrastructure Engineering and Asset Management
Keyword(s) Public-private partnerships
Best practices
Stakeholder management
Stakeholder management-related issues
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Created: Mon, 16 Apr 2018, 13:29:52 EST by Adam Rivett
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