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Stakeholder participation to improve societal acceptance for mega projects.: A case study of the forum for the coal-power plant “Datteln 4” project
Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Umeå School of Business and Economics (USBE), Business Administration. Heriot-Watt University, Politecnico di Milano.
Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Umeå School of Business and Economics (USBE), Business Administration. Heriot-Watt University, Politecnico di Milano.
2014 (English)Independent thesis Advanced level (degree of Master (Two Years)), 10 credits / 15 HE creditsStudent thesis
Abstract [en]

The aim of this thesis is to evaluate how stakeholder participation should be implemented to improve societal acceptance for mega projects. Thereby societal acceptance is seen as a major contributor to project success in this context and involving society in decision-making and two-way dialogue is recognized as the most  effective to achieve this. Based on this research area, a theoretical framework was proposed for the mega project context including prerequisite, process and outcome criteria for stakeholder participation.

In this sense, a critical realist ontology stance was assumed to develop the knowledge base and the research was carried out with a qualitative, deductive approach. The case of the coal-power plant “Datteln 4” project and its stakeholder participation forum were used as a unit of analysis for evaluating the proposed framework. From the case, data was collected from interviews with participants as well as forum documents and then analyzed using the template analysis. Based on this evidence, the proposed theoretical framework was adapted to a new case-based framework.

The research had three objectives at the outset which were fulfilled in the discussion of the data findings. For the first of these, it was shown that the general link of stakeholder participation and societal acceptance is applicable to the mega project context. A second major finding was that the theoretical framework proposed in literature is relevant, however only to a certain extent. Contextual challenges pertaining to mega projects such as the nature of conflict, long duration and stakeholder positions, however, require more attention to these criteria. Lastly, the necessary further developments for the new case-based framework were discussed including that for mega projects underlying issues of transparency, expectations, power and atmosphere must constantly be considered in stakeholder participation.

In conclusion, a stakeholder participation framework is presented that matches the context of mega projects and their need for societal acceptance. Therefore this thesis developed the theoretical knowledge on this underexplored area of project management, and for practitioners it offers criteria to consider during stakeholder participation in mega projects.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2014. , 101 p.
Keyword [en]
mega projects; stakeholder participation; societal acceptance; project success; involvement; forum; power plant projects; facilitation
National Category
Business Administration
URN: urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-85042OAI: diva2:691192
Available from: 2014-02-04 Created: 2014-01-27 Last updated: 2014-02-04Bibliographically approved

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