University of Oulu

Pauna, T., Lehtinen, J., Kujala, J. and Aaltonen, K. (2023), "The role of governmental stakeholder engagement in the sustainability of industrial engineering projects", International Journal of Managing Projects in Business, Vol. 16 No. 8, pp. 77-99.

The role of governmental stakeholder engagement in the sustainability of industrial engineering projects

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Author: Pauna, Tommi1; Lehtinen, Jere1,2; Kujala, Jaakko1;
Organizations: 1Industrial Engineering and Management, Faculty of Technology, University of Oulu, Oulu, Finland
2Industrial Engineering and Management, Faculty of Management and Business, Tampere University, Tampere, Finland
Format: article
Version: published version
Access: open
Online Access: PDF Full Text (PDF, 0.4 MB)
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Language: English
Published: Emerald, 2023
Publish Date: 2023-08-14


Purpose: The aim of this research was to understand how governmental stakeholder engagement facilitates the sustainability of industrial engineering (IE) projects. A model for governmental stakeholder engagement activities is presented.

Design/methodology/approach: The authors relied on a single-case study of a mining project in Northern Europe, where a novel collaboration and engagement approach with governmental stakeholders was piloted in the project's front-end phase. The analysis focused on the collaborative practices through which the IE project investor engaged governmental stakeholders during the project's front-end phase and how the engagement contributed to solving challenges in the early planning and permitting process and achieving project plans that balanced economic, social and environmental aspects.

Findings: The findings show how four collaborative engagement practices reduced uncertainty and equivocality related to the legal sustainability requirements, enabled the development of sustainable design solutions and overall accelerated the permitting process without compromising the quality of final project plans.

Practical implications: The findings can be used to plan governmental stakeholder engagement and understand related challenges that need to be overcome. The study highlights the need to develop established practices and guidelines for governmental stakeholder engagement.

Originality/value: This study complements prior research on stakeholder engagement and project sustainability by developing an understanding of how governmental stakeholder engagement can be a key mechanism enabling the sustainability of IE project's end product. This research contributes to stakeholder theory by elaborating on a new stakeholder role, intermediary stakeholder.

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Series: International journal of managing projects in business
ISSN: 1753-8378
ISSN-E: 1753-8386
ISSN-L: 1753-8378
Volume: 16
Issue: 8
Pages: 77 - 99
DOI: 10.1108/IJMPB-09-2022-0197
Type of Publication: A1 Journal article – refereed
Field of Science: 512 Business and management
Copyright information: © Tommi Pauna, Jere Lehtinen, Jaakko Kujala and Kirsi Aaltonen. Published by Emerald Publishing Limited. This article is published under the Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY 4.0) licence. Anyone may reproduce, distribute, translate and create derivative works of this article (for both commercial and non-commercial purposes), subject to full attribution to the original publication and authors. The full terms of this licence may be seen at