University of Oulu

Jere Lehtinen, Kirsi Aaltonen, Organizing external stakeholder engagement in inter-organizational projects: Opening the black box, International Journal of Project Management, Volume 38, Issue 2, 2020, Pages 85-98, ISSN 0263-7863,

Organizing external stakeholder engagement in inter-organizational projects : opening the black box

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Author: Lehtinen, Jere1,2; Aaltonen, Kirsi3
Organizations: 1Aalto University, School of Science, Department of Industrial Engineering and Management, Maarintie 8, P.O. Box 15500, FI-00076, Aalto, Finland
2University of Leeds, School of Civil Engineering, Woodhouse Lane, Leeds, LS2 9JT, United Kingdom
3University of Oulu, Faculty of Technology, Industrial Engineering and Management, PO. Box 4610, FIN-90014, Finland
Format: article
Version: accepted version
Access: open
Online Access: PDF Full Text (PDF, 1.3 MB)
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Language: English
Published: Elsevier, 2020
Publish Date: 2023-01-11


External stakeholder engagement is crucial for delivering value to diverse stakeholders in inter-organizational projects, however, it is not straightforward to organize this in a way that adds value. The intra-organizational focus of previous research offers limited insights into the relevant roles, responsibilities, arrangements and activities in inter-organizational contexts. Moreover, comprehensive empirical studies of the phenomenon are rare. This study explicates how internal stakeholders organize external stakeholder engagement in inter-organizational projects. Our multiple-case study of two infrastructure projects in Northern Europe identified three organizing solutions based on governance, values and dynamism. While governance-based solutions provide an overall structure for organizing external stakeholder engagement, value-based solutions ensure genuine cooperation and dynamism-based solutions facilitate timely organizing. The study develops propositions that constitute a model of how external stakeholder engagement can be organized in inter-organizational projects. The findings have implications for project stakeholder management and mainstream stakeholder research.

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Series: International journal of project management
ISSN: 0263-7863
ISSN-E: 1873-4634
ISSN-L: 0263-7863
Volume: 38
Issue: 2
Pages: 85 - 98
DOI: 10.1016/j.ijproman.2019.12.001
Type of Publication: A1 Journal article – refereed
Field of Science: 222 Other engineering and technologies
Funding: The authors are grateful for The Foundation for Economic Education in Finland for supporting this research.
Copyright information: © 2020. This manuscript version is made available under the CC-BY-NC-ND 4.0 license