Addressing stakeholder complexity and major pitfalls in large cultural building projects

Ka Yan Mok, Qiping Shen, Rebecca J. Yang

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

39 Citations (Scopus)


However, stories of project failures are often heard in this rapid cultural building boom. In fact, many pitfalls in developing large cultural building projects (CBPs) are associated to the stakeholders since they are the actual central figures of a project. As such, addressing stakeholder complexity and understanding major pitfalls in CBPs from stakeholder perspective are crucial to the successful management of these projects, yet relevant empirical studies remain lacking. To fill this gap, case study of a large performing arts center was conducted. A holistic stakeholder analysis approach, which applies both rationalistic methods (e.g. social network analysis) and empirical methods (e.g. survey and interviews), was adopted to address stakeholder complexity in the case. Three major pitfalls in large CBPs were identified, including ‘developing accurate end users' requirements’, ‘balancing between aesthetics, functionality and resources’, and ‘leadership team makeup, vision, charisma and learning stance’. Their underlying causes and possible solutions were discussed. This study contributes theoretically by illustrating a holistic approach of analyzing and addressing stakeholder complexity, and provides practical value by understanding the pitfalls of CBPs from stakeholder perspective.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)463-478
Number of pages16
JournalInternational Journal of Project Management
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1 Apr 2017


  • Cultural building project
  • Social network analysis
  • Stakeholder

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Business and International Management
  • Management of Technology and Innovation


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