Managing the expectations of external stakeholders in construction projects

Ping Chuen Chan, Goodenough D. Oppong

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

45 Citations (Scopus)


Purpose - The consideration of external stakeholders has proven to be more critical than internal stakeholders in construction projects. The purpose of this paper is to present the diverse expectations of external stakeholder groups, i.e. governmental authorities, general public, and affected local communities, in construction projects. The practical steps to manage the expectations are also outlined. Design/methodology/approach - A three-stage methodology was adopted for the review. The primary terms "stakeholder," "project participants," or "project environment" were first searched in four popularly search engines and eight top journals that publish construction research to retrieve publications. After a second-stage filtering process, the selected data were then analyzed and reviewed in line with the objectives. Findings - In total, 49 common expectations were identified and classified. The results indicate that each stakeholder group pursues expectations in line with the social, environmental, and economic sustainability objectives. For effective management, project managers (PMs) must know stakeholder opportunities and threats, fulfill social responsibilities, establish common goals, apply appropriate strategies, and enhance stakeholder satisfaction. Research limitations/implications - The identified expectations are only based on the selected publications. Even though the expectations have been categorized in line with the triple bottom line model, the relative importance of the expectations cannot be ascertained since there is no empirical support. Practical implications - PMs can play safe by acknowledging the stakeholder expectations and employ such strategies to curtail resulting impacts and maximize mutual benefits. The list of expectations could also be used to promote equitable value optimization in projects, enhance needs fulfillment, and facilitate the evaluation of external stakeholder satisfaction. Originality/value - This study provides a comprehensive checklist of construction stakeholder expectations which hitherto, is lacked in the literature. Moreover, practical steps to manage the expectations of external stakeholders have been discussed.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)736-756
Number of pages21
JournalEngineering, Construction and Architectural Management
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2017


  • Construction projects
  • Expectations
  • External stakeholders
  • Management strategy
  • Review
  • Stakeholder management

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Civil and Structural Engineering
  • Architecture
  • Building and Construction
  • Business, Management and Accounting(all)


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