University of Oulu

Lehtinen, J., Kier, C., Aaltonen, K. & Huemann, M. (2023). A complexity perspective on project stakeholder management. In G. M. Winch, M. Brunet & C. Dongping (Eds.) Research Handbook on Complex Project Organizing (pp. 243-253). Edward Elgar Publishing.

A complexity perspective on project stakeholder management

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Author: Lehtinen, Jere1,2; Kier, Christof3; Aaltonen, Kirsi2;
Organizations: 1Aalto University, School of Science, Department of Industrial Engineering and Management Maarintie 8, P.O. Box 15500, FI-00076 Aalto, Finland
2University of Oulu, Faculty of Technology, Industrial Engineering and Management P.O. Box 4610, FIN-90014 University of Oulu, Finland
3WU Vienna, Department Strategy & Innovation, Project Management Group, Welthandelsplatz 1, 1020 Vienna, Austria
Format: article
Version: accepted version
Access: embargoed
Persistent link:
Language: English
Published: , 2023
Publish Date: 2023-07-31


Managing stakeholders is an essential part of complex project organizing. Stakeholder management is a key activity for creating value to project stakeholders and ensuring successful project delivery. However, previous research suggests that stakeholder management is challenging due to project complexity. While stakeholder management and project complexity are vastly researched themes in the field of project management, the intersection of stakeholder management and project complexity has received less attention, especially regarding how project complexity influences stakeholder management. The purpose of this chapter is to apply a complexity of projects perspective and use its three dimensions, structural, socio-political, and emergent complexity, as a framework to discuss how project complexity influences stakeholder management. The chapter provides insights into the main challenges but also shares opportunities in taking a complexity perspective on managing project stakeholders. We conclude with future research ideas, including suggestions for potential research questions and theoretical perspectives to be mobilized forward.

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ISBN Print: 978-1-80088-027-6
Pages: 243 - 253
Host publication: Research handbook on complex project organizing
Host publication editor: Winch, Graham M.
Brunet, Maude
Cao, Dongping
Type of Publication: A3 Book chapter
Field of Science: 222 Other engineering and technologies
512 Business and management
Copyright information: This is a draft chapter/article. The final version will be available in Research Handbook on Complex Project Organizing edited by Graham M. Winch, Maude Brunet & Dongping Cao forthcoming 2023, Edward Elgar Publishing Ltd. The material cannot be used for any other purpose without further permission of the publisher, and is for private use only.