Dissertation

A Systematic Stakeholder Management Approach In Aviation Construction Projects

DECLARATION

List of Tables
List of Figures
Acknowledgement
Abstract
Chapter 1: Introduction
1.1 Background/Rationale
1.2 Research Aim and Objectives
1.3 Research Scope
1.3.1 Sector Selection
1.3.2 Geographic Region
1.4 Research Hypothesis
1.5 Outline Research Methods
1.6 Research Structure

Chapter 2: Literature Review

2.1 Introduction
2.1.1 Nature of Aviation Industry
2.1.2 Construction in Aviation
2.2. Project Stakeholders
2.2.1 Project Stakeholder Identification
2.2.2 Project Stakeholder Classification
2.2.3 Impact of Project Stakeholders
2.3 Managing the Project Stakeholders
2.4 Project Stakeholder Management in Aviation Construction Projects
2.5 Summary

Chapter 3: Research Methodology and Data Collection Approach

3.1 Introduction
3.1.1 Research Philosophy
3.1.2 Research Approach
3.1.3 Research Strategy
3.2 Sample Design and Sampling Procedure
3.2.1 Population and Sampling Frame
3.2.2 Sampling Technique and Sample Size
3.3 Data
3.3.1 Data Collection
3.3.2 Data Analysis Approach
3.4 Research Limitations
3.5 Research Methodology
3.5.1 Quantitative Research
3.5.2 Qualitative Research
3.5.3 Mix Approach
3.5.4 Research Method Selection
3.6 Questionnaire Design

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Chapter 4: Data Analysis

4.1 Exploratory Data Analysis
4.2 Overview of the Result
4.3 Identification, Classification and Importance of Stakeholders
4.4 Impact of Project Stakeholders
4.5 Project Stakeholder Management

Chapter 5: Discussion of the Result

5.1 Introduction
5.2 Empirical Data Collection Process
5.2.1 Response Rate
5.2.2 Survey Reliability
5.2.3 Sample Characteristics
5.3 Identification, Classification and Importance of Stakeholders
5.3.1 Research Question and Hypothesis 1
5.4 Impact of Project Stakeholders
5.4.1 Research Question and Hypothesis 2
5.5 Project Stakeholder Management
5.5.1 Research Question and Hypothesis 3
5.6 Summary

Chapter 6: Conclusion, Recommendation, Limitations and further studies

6.1 Introduction
6.2 Conclusion
6.3 Recommendation
6.4 Further studies

Reference

Appendix
Appendix A : Questionnaire

ABSTRACT
Identification, classification and management of stakeholders is critical to the success of the projects. This philosophy necessitated the objective to investigate importance of project stakeholder management in aviation industry. This dissertation discusses the results of investigations to determine the impact and management of the stakeholders. Stakeholder management has a significant role in the project success. The research indicated that where the significance of stakeholder management to the success of project is undeniable, it is given peripheral consideration during project management. Under such conditions, this research aimed at differentiating what stakeholders are significant to the project management, what level of risks they may bring and thus their classification on such basis, and develop methodology for systematically managing the stakeholders in projects.

The research methodology was based on rational viewpoint corresponding to positive verification of hypothesis and used logical reasoning and analysis. In this research non-probability sampling methods were employed for data collection, and interviews and questionnaires were used to extract the data for analysis. The questions designed were specific to each objective of the research and areas discussed in literature review.

The research concluded that the most significant stakeholders with whom higher risks were associated were suppliers, clients and end users of the project. Due to their diverse and varying roles during the entire phases of the project and the tremendous risks associated with their demands and expectations, these stakeholders must be managed from very initial stages of the project. Another barrier to effective stakeholder management was lack of realization that as the project lifecycle progresses the changes have exponential negative impact on project outcomes. These changes towards the mid and end of the project cause significant increase in cost and delay the project timeline due to discoveries of stakeholder demands that should have been addressed in the initiation and planning stages of the project. The research revealed that planning, evaluation, closing and effective employment of tools and techniques for stakeholder management were the areas that needed improvement.

This research is aimed to investigate the management of stakeholders in construction project in global aviation industry. In this research, from the perspective of project management team, relationships with both internal and external stakeholders were analyzed for the projects that were completed with in last five years. The aim of this research is to
– Identify those stakeholders that are more crucial to the project management and devise a more proactive and focused approach in managing relationships with them.
– Determine which stakeholders influence project successful completion and thus developing a more systematic and concentrated risk management approach.
– Identify areas that require more concentration to improve project stakeholder management.

Research concluded that clients, end users and contractors were the main stakeholders that should be prioritized to develop a more proactive approach by the project management team to manage them. These stakeholders also posed high risks, problems and uncertainties to the project and should be managed in more systematic manner for effective project planning, risk management and response planning. The areas of stakeholder management that required more emphasis were project planning, risk management and project objectives.

CHAPTER 1: INTRODUCTION

1.1 Background/Rationale

A number of projects involving huge capital investments are being undertaken and it is of prime importance that these are managed successfully to gain their direct and derived benefits (Friedman and Miles, 2002). With the ever increasing challenges and competition, businesses require a methodological way to manage these projects so that desired objectives can be achieved.

Construction projects in aviation are as equally important as technical research and development projects. Construction in aviation presents many challenges. These projects range from constructing a facility with in an existing setup to building an entirely new facility like airport, overhauling facility and manufacturing factory (Aaltonen, 2010). In an environment, challenged by fluctuating revenue and operational constraints constraints, high standards for service level, flexibility, security and safety, construction projects need to be more cost effective (Acterkamp and Vos, 2010).

Fundamental to success of such projects is the relationship of project and the management of its stakeholders, since stakeholders have a great influence over objectives of a project (Agle, R. et al. 1999). With a number of projects under progress at local and global level, understanding stakeholders and vital role they can play is crucial successful project completion. (Ahsan and Gunawan, 2010) is of the opinion that with out addressing the needs and expectations of the project stakeholders, a project cannot be graded as successful even if the project manager managed to meet the constraints of time, cost and quality.

The conventional approach of a project manager has been to manage a project with in triple constraints of time, cost and quality, endeavoring at the same time to manage restrained relationships with stakeholders. Stakeholders pressurize to complete a project with in or ahead of scheduled time while reducing cost and maintaining quality, these requirements undermine significance of soft management (Aktin and Skitmore, 2008). The varying number of stakeholders and their influence on project outcomes may complicate the situation by offsetting focus on any relationships (Albright and Zappe, 2006). The improvement in stakeholder management can be determined by:
– Identifying all of the stakeholders, understanding their needs and expectations (Wicks and Jones, 1999).
– Interpreting said and unsaid expectations into wants and requirements (Juliano, 1995).
– Distinguishing which stakeholder is of more importance and thus prioritizing their requirements (Sutterfield et al., 2006).
– Understanding risks associated with each stakeholder and the problems they can pose to the successful completion of the project (Bourne and Walker, 2005).
– Focusing more on project stakeholder management by emphasizing areas for improvement (Fraser and Zhu, 2008).

1.2 Research Aim and Objectives

This research is aimed to investigate the management of stakeholders in construction project in global aviation industry. In this research, from the perspective of project management team, relationships with both internal and external stakeholders were analyzed for the projects that were completed with in last five years. The aim of this research is to
– Identify those stakeholders that are more crucial to the project management and devise a more proactive and focused approach in managing relationships with them.
– Determine which stakeholders influence project successful completion and thus developing a more systematic and concentrated risk management approach.
– Identify areas that require more concentration to improve project stakeholder management.
The conclusions drawn in this research can be used to influence the success of projects in aviation industry by understanding the significance of internal and external stakeholders and their influence on the project success. This can help to devise an more focused and proactive stakeholder management approach.

1.3 Research Scope

This research is based on global study since no published study could be identified which may have considered the objectives of this research in a local project perspective. This study is mainly focused on construction projects undertaken in aviation industry world wide rather than being a blanket study conducted across number of sectors in different geographic locations.

1.3.1 Sector Selection

A single sector industry was selected to carry out more focused and in-depth research study. The selection of aviation industry as the focus of this project report is discussed in detail in literature review along with the following few factors
– Sector investment and Importance. Projects in aviation industry require huge investments and are of significant importance to the development and growth of the economy (Flouris et al., 2009).
– Market Value. Aviation industry is forecasted to grow at a rate of 12% globally in 2011-2015 with a global market value of 35 billion (The Airline Industry, 2000).
– Stakeholder Influences. From a researcher’s view point, there is a large diversity in stakeholders interaction that aviation industry projects may experience thus resulting in differing perspectives (Wikipedia, 2012).

1.3.2 Geographic Region

The scope of this project is not limited to one specific geographic region rather it is global. The main reason being that the construction in aviation industry is based on specific standard requirements that are considered good practices globally and essentially are the same worldwide (Aleshin, 2001).

1.4 Research Hypothesis

The main hypothesis of the research is that construction projects in aviation industry follow same guidelines and policies globally. These project are impacted by a set of standards that is widely accepted and practiced around the globe due to inherent core requirements of safety and security.

1.5 Outline Research Methods

Two different methods would be adopted in this research work. The firs one focuses on the relevant literature review of the subject. Attention would be paid to areas that would part in achieving the aim and objectives of this research, which includes investigation into nature and structure of the aviation industry and the existing project management practices in the industry. For this, information would be gathered from different journals, seminars, conferences, books and magazines. This information would form the basis of this research report and would help the reader to develop a better understanding of stakeholder management (Andersen et al. 2004).

Second aspect of the work involves collection and analysis of empirical data that forms the basis of reaching a conclusion. The nature of research work and the information and data required to reach an opinion suggested this approach to be most effective strategy, which allowed detailed explanation of subject (Artto and Kujala, 2008). Here, questionnaires would be drafted and sent to various senior aviation industry key players. Selection of these respondents would be random and would involve key players that mainly deal with construction projects specific to aviation industry (Berman et al., 1999). Besides, structured interviews with the key players in some aviation construction companies were conducted based on their flexibility and the capacity to include both open and close ended question. This allowed the researchers to structure all the information in a way deemed appropriate for structured presentation in the report (Betts and Lansley, 2012).

1.6 Research Structure

Chapter 1: Introduction. This section covers the background and the rationale for the research under taken. It states the aim, objectives, scope, hypothesis and the research methods and related activities.
Chapter 2: Literature Review. This section discusses the rationale for selected approach for the research. It briefly discusses the identification, classification and responsibilities of stakeholders and the impacts they can make on a project’s successful completion.
Chapter 3: Research Methodology and Data Collection Approach. This section of the report discusses the methodology adopted for addressing the research question and the way and methods to collect the empirical data.
Chapter 4: Data Analysis. In this section, analysis of the empirical data collected is presented.
Chapter 5: Discussion of Results. The main findings of the research are discussed in this section.
Chapter 6: Conclusions, Recommendations, Limitations and Further Study. This section presents conclusions drawn from the study and identifies the areas for future study.

1.7 Summary

This chapter presented introduction to the research study, discussing the problem, aim and objectives of the research and the scope of the research conducted. The report aimed to describe the importance of delivering projects with in their constraints and the idea that the relationships between the project and the stakeholders play an important role. In this context, the report investigated that impact and management of internal and external stakeholders in construction projects in aviation industry across the globe. For this purpose, research investigated the stakeholder management from the perspective of project management team for the project completed within last five years.
The next chapter would review the literature relevant to the scope of research work conducted.

CHAPTER 2: LITERATURE REVIEW

2.1 Introduction

The literature reviewed in this chapter aims to highlight the significance of stakeholder management and the risks associated with them that can impact the project performance. The research work discusses the project stakeholder management in the perspective of successful completion of a project (Artto and Wikstrom, 2006). Identification, classification and the impact of stakeholder would be discussed in this chapter to develop a better understanding of the project stakeholder management. Besides, this chapter also discusses the project strategy and its dependence on management of project stakeholder and how they can influence the project strategy through out project lifecycle.

This chapter reviews the literature on aviation sector which aims to describe the structure and characteristics of the aviation industry providing a context for this research work.

2.1.1 Nature of Aviation Industry

International aviation industry provides services across the globe and is considered an integral part of the global economy. This industry holds its own major economic force and impacts other associated industries like aircraft manufacturing and airlines. Aviation industry brings some of its very own specific challenges. The nature of aviation industry is high risk and so the projects associated with it. This defines the profits and businesses more of cyclical in aviation. Due to fixed costs in relation to revenues, a slight change in cost may have drastic impacts on profit margins, making industry vulnerable to economic slowdown. Strengths like dense domestic network, offering of regular flights, regulated flight programs and effective marketing and distribution play significant role in such a competitive environment.

The challenging nature of aviation industry means that some of the requirements would be more critical than the other requirements and may need much focus. In the same context, projects in aviation are of critical importance owing to their huge capital investments (Wikipedia 2012). Failure to successfully complete the project, or to meet any constraints of time, cost and quality can have a devastating impact on the organization (Atkinson, 1999). A number of projects are delayed because the requirements emerge from different stakeholders towards the later part of the project that are difficult to handle and have severe impacts in terms of financial effects. Thus as in any other industry same is true for aviation projects that stakeholders need to be managed through out the project.

2.1.2 Construction in Aviation

Construction in aviation in quite different from projects than those carried out in other industries from real state to oil and gas development projects. Truly each industry has its own specifics and so does the aviation. Aviation construction projects are not limited to construction of airfield and airport only rather they have a wide spectrum including construction of overhauling facility, manufacturing factory, test bed running and wind tunnel (Flouris et al. 2009).

Construction projects in aviation involve high investments and standards that are specific to the industry and are accepted and practiced globally. For successful completion of these projects, it is important to remain with in constraints of time, cost and quality (Berman et al., 1999). In this context, stakeholders must be managed through out the project lifecycle (Barber and Warne, 2005). Their emerging expectations must be interpreted in requirements and plan must be made to manage these requirements.

2.2. Project Stakeholders

Science and profession of project management are not very old. (Arttoo et al., 2008)) defined project management as specific and finite task with a definite beginning and end. It further explains that the each project is unique and different from others and is not repetitive and recurrent in nature. To find appropriate response to ever emerging challenges, project management has evolved over years undergoing rapid and sometimes unpredictable changes (Betts and Lansley, 2012). However, these responses had a focus on development of tools and techniques to control cost, time and quality. This has resulted in many techniques for planning, scheduling, executing and monitoring and control which brought some success with inherent weaknesses.

The purpose of this report is to identify an extensive approach by involving project stakeholders to achieve project objectives. Project sponsor, clients, government, regulating bodies and end user of the project all influence project progress by making significantly tough demands (Binder 2007). Thus it would be a grave mistake for project management team to ignore stakeholders and their ever-changing needs and expectations and try to impose a rigid control over the project execution (Binder, (2007). These demands and expectations cannot be ignored, but has to be taken into consideration to develop constructive working relationship.

Jergeas et al. (2000) defined stakeholders as a group or individual that affects or is affected by the project objectives. Hanly (1992) describes project stakeholders as individuals or organizations whose interests are affected by the execution or completion of the project. Stakeholders have varying levels of interest in the project outcomes depending on the type of their involvement and the role they play in relation to the project (Boddy and Patron, 2004).

2.2.1 Project Stakeholder Identification

During the entire lifecycle of the project, a number of individuals, groups or organizations are affected by the completion of the project (Jepsen and Eskerod, 2009). Thus it is important to identify these stakeholders, evaluate their needs, wants and expectations in relation to the project objectives and identify which stakeholders have greater impact on the project decisions (Freeman and McVea, 2001).
Milosevic (1989) is of the view that identification of stakeholders followed by their classification in accordance with nature of their interest should be the starting point of the project stakeholder management. On the other hand, Kolltveit and Gronhaug (2004) view classification of stakeholders in appropriate groups followed by their identification as the starting point. It is pertinent to note that no significant variance is noted whatever strategy is followed.

According to (Gallstedt, 2003), projects operate in a complex and volatile environment that is constantly changing. If a project stakeholder is not identified during the project, they may pose threat to the project success when identified in the later stages toward stages towards the project completion. If the expectations of the project stakeholders are not clearly defined, then the project manager may strive to achieve those objectives that were never intended. Stakeholders operate within and outside the boundaries of the project that may or may not fall under the authority of the project manager (Olander and Landin, (2005). The number of stakeholders may increase as the project progresses and increase the project complexity. These stakeholders may have different priorities and cause varying levels of conflict in the project. Figure 1 on next page illustrates different project stakeholders.

Figure 1 : Project Stakeholders

Moodley (2008) supported general classification model as shown in figure 2 to form the basis for stakeholder identification. According to them, stakeholders include project management team including project manager and core team members, client organization, project sponsor, end user, community and external team members.

Figure 2 : Classification Model by Bourne and Walker

Risks and uncertainties associated with stakeholders like poor communication, scope creep, inadequate funding, and unfavorable media propaganda and community reaction may severely impact the project success. Therefore, it is essential to identify project stakeholders and work proactively to mitigate or eliminate their risks and problems (Robbins and Judge, 2007).

2.2.2 Project Stakeholder Classification

After a comprehensive list of all the project stakeholders has been developed, next is to identify mutuality among them. (Koster, 2009) is of the view that requirements of the project stakeholder need to be classified based on the determination of legitimacy of demand and thus should be prioritized according to their influence on the project objectives. Jones (1995) suggested one way to classify stakeholders is to determine the direction of influence from or to project management. Figure 3 below suggests the primary directions of influence in the project (Pinto and Dennis, 1988).

Figure 3 : Primary directions of influence

For mega projects the list of unrefined and unranked can be quite lengthy. With large number of stakeholders, it is important for the project manager to identify which stakeholder is of prime importance at this time of project (Olander, 2007). Some project core teams may be well experienced to decide who is important and some many not have requisite information for that. Thus there is a need to develop a systematic approach to make decisions about stakeholder importance. (Boonstra, 2006) suggest that such decisions can be made on the basis of rankings in terms of power, proximity and urgency, an approach called Stakeholder Circle. Urgency is difficult to rate consistently; therefore, it should be defined on basis of action and value. Action is the likelihood of stakeholder taking any positive or negative action to meet his requirements and value is how much stake is placed on this stakeholder (Field and Laurie, 1998).

Calvert (1995) is of the view that project stakeholders can be classified on the basis of power, legitimacy and urgency. These attributes are then combined to yield eight types of stakeholders as given in figure 4 below.

Figure 4 : Stakeholder Typology

It is evident that project stakeholders can be identified and classified in a variety of ways based on the manner they act towards a project (Olander, 2006).

2.2.3 Impact of Project Stakeholders

Level of importance of project stakeholders defines the level of impact they can have on any project. According to (Chinyio and Akintoye, 2008), based on their interests and influence and perspective of the project under consideration the project stakeholder can negatively or positively impact the project objectives. (Daft, 2001) stresses that the project manager should benefit from the early identification and prioritization of stakeholders in early stages of the project, which would result in better project performance and would determine the project successful completion.

Cleland (1986, 1998 and 1999) identified a firefighter-firefighter analogy which enables project manager to identify stakeholders that can negatively impact project outcomes, thus adopting a proactive approach for project management rather than crisis management. In this context, project manager may interact with number of stakeholders in cooperative manner to seek a constructive approach towards project management (Jawahar and McLaughin, 2002).

2.3 Managing the Project Stakeholders

Managing stakeholders reduces the likelihood of the failure due to unresolved stakeholders’ issues and increases the likelihood of the project successful completion. (Hill and Jones, (1992) is of the view that managing stakeholders should not be on crisis management basis that project team waits that a stakeholder would identify himself, present his problems and team would then strive to manage stakeholder requirements rather the approach should be proactive. For this purpose, project management team should identify all possible potential stakeholders, classify them, understand their said requirements and unsaid expectations and determine possible solutions to be included in project management plan.

However, project management is not only person responsible for stakeholder management as Karler (2003) views it as the responsibility of the entire project management team.
Srivannaboon and Milosevic (2006) stress that project management team must manage stakeholder expectations as different stakeholders have varying demands and conflicting interests. In planning stage, project team should involve all the stakeholders depending on their influence on the project and must recognize that stakeholders have knowledge and skills to participate in project management. (Mitchell et al., (1997) argues that project management team must create an environment where all stakeholders contribute to the effective management of the project. Also project stakeholders must be notified of all the changes an modifications that occur which can affect then directly or indirectly.
Grundy (1998) described planning, organizing, leading and controlling as traditional management functions. According to Savage et al. (1991), stakeholder management involves strategies in these traditional management areas. He further identified following as potential development areas in the project stakeholder management.
– Strategies
– Project Planning
– Project Objectives
– Procedures and policies
– Stakeholder management tools and techniques

Hendry (2005) highlighted following areas to improve project stakeholder management.
– Project objectives
– Project sponsorship
– Project specifications
– Conflict management

2.4 Project Stakeholder Management in Aviation Construction Projects

Construction in aviation industry involves complex infrastructure schemes through out the project lifecycle and may involve extensive stakeholder management and third party interfaces. Management of stakeholders in aviation construction project is critical to the project success (Jenkinson, 2003). Since the aviation projects involve huge investments thus stakeholders identified at later stages of the project can bring major financial effects on project cost. Stakeholders may vary from

2.5 Summary

This chapter discussed key features of project stakeholder management and the relevant issues of identification, classification and determination of their impact on the project outcomes. The literature review in this chapter highlighted that identification of project stakeholders at early stage of the project would allow project management team to benefit by planning proactively. Also project management team needs to acknowledge that stakeholders are not always negative but may have skills and knowledge to participate effectively and positively to contribute in successful project completion.
The next chapter would present the purpose of the research, its methodology an data collection approach.

CHAPTER 3: RESEARCH METHODOLOGY AND DATA COLLECTION APPROACH

3.1 Introduction

This chapter presents the purpose of this research in terms of research philosophy, research approach and strategy. It further discusses the sampling and data collection techniques, research limitations and research methodology adopted. To meet the research objectives the research questions developed by (Karlson, 2002) were considered appropriate and were customized to suite our research. However, three hypotheses were developed for this research work.
– Which stakeholders are important in aviation construction projects (Berman et al., 1999)?
The null hypothesis states that all stakeholders are of same importance and receive similar focus regarding the stakeholder management where the alternate hypothesis states that stakeholders receive different importance and emphasis during project management.
– Which Stakeholders caused the most risk to the project?
The null hypothesis states that all stakeholders present similar level f uncertainty and problem to the project while alternate hypothesis states that stakeholders pose different levels of uncertainty and problems.
– What areas require most development in project stakeholder management?
The null hypothesis states that all the areas regarding project stakeholder management need improvement while null hypothesis states that not all the areas require improvement.

3.1.1 Research Philosophy

Meredith and Mantel (2006) defined project philosophy as the manner in which one thinks about the development of knowledge. Mainly, positivism and phenomenology are two paradigms associated with research methodology. In positivism paradigm approach, researcher adopts an independent and unbiased approach regardless of the subject of the research and employs highly structured methodology for repetitive processes. Based on this approach, results can be quantified and analyzed statistically (De Wit, 1988). In phenomenology approach, research is difficult to based on definite laws and relationships. This approach is more suited to a particular set of circumstances and conditions rather than a generalized situation.
In this research work, positivism paradigm approach was adopted and followed to align the research philosophy with the research subject.

3.1.2 Research Approach

Usually, a deductive or inductive or a combination of two approaches are employed in a research. According to Saunders et al. (2000), deductive reasoning is an effort to reach a conclusion based on some general premise. In this approach, a hypothesis is developed and research is designed for hypothesis testing and is more of scientific in nature. Being a structured approach, it collects quantitative data and establishes causal relationships between different variables. (Goodpaster, 1991) defines inductive approach as a process of developing a generalized scheme based on observations from particular facts. In inductive approach, qualitative data is collected, analyzed and based on analysis a theory is developed. This approach adopts a more flexible structure. In this research a deductive approach was employed to conduct the study.

3.1.3 Research Strategy

Grun (2004) defines research strategy as framework to collect data and conduct analysis. There are a number of methods that may be adopted to conduct research as shown in figure 5 below.

Figure 5 : Research Design Alternatives

Thamhain (2004) is of the view that descriptive approach is more suited to situations where characteristics of a population of phenomenon are required to be determined and answers to specific questions are required. In view of research objectives, our research is conclusive in nature. Also areas of project management and stakeholder management are researched and defined that make this research more of quantitative nature (Freeman, 1984). Surveys and interviews, experiments, observations and secondary data are basic methods for research (Freeman, 1989)

The strategy that was considered appropriate for data collection in view of project objectives was survey. According to Frooman (1999), surveys are inexpensive, fast and accurate method of collecting the data and give more control over the research process. Friedman and Miles (2006) give importance to unit of analysis and in our case it was an individual project stakeholder.

3.2 Sample Design and Sampling Procedure

This section describes the sampling and the procedure for sampling in the research.

3.2.1 Population and Sampling Frame

The population of relevance included all the members of the project management team involved in construction projects in aviation across the globe. Due to non-availability of comprehensive list or database of the population and inability to prepare one, it was impractical to quantify the sampling frame. Considering the purpose of research, it was deliberated to accept the lack of sampling frame.

3.2.2 Sampling Technique and Sample Size

Sampling plans may be classified as probability and non-probability techniques (Bourne, 2005). Probability sampling techniques include
– Random Sampling
– Systematic Sampling
– Stratified Sampling
– Cluster Sampling

Non-probability techniques include (Bourne, 2005).
– Quota
– Purposive Sampling
– Snowball Sampling
– Convenience Sampling

According to Flyvbjerg et al. (2003), lack of a sampling framework may suggest the use of one or more non-probability sampling techniques. Considering the inability to specify a sampling frame for the project management team in aviation construction projects across the globe, non-probability sampling techniques was deemed more appropriate for this. In this context, snowball sampling technique was considered most suitable in view of difficulties involved in identifying the population and subsequent access to the project teams in aviation construction organizations. It is argued that snowball sampling may provide the only possibility when it is difficult to identify all members of populations. Karslen (2000) highlights low cost as one of the advantages of snowball sampling technique.

In snowball technique, few members of the population are identified through which further contacts are identified in the population. In this technique, sample size is not clear and there seems no rules to determine the appropriate sample size.

3.3 Data Collection

Methods for collection of data associated with the research work included survey questionnaires, structured observations and interviews. In this context, most appropriate method for collecting data in this research was questionnaires. Main factors for selecting this approach included
– More control over contents of the questionnaire through closed answer questions
– Literacy and access level of respondents in the aviation industry
– Access to the right respondent
– Increasing likelihood of accurate answers from respondents
The questionnaire was designed on closed ended or alternate questions rather than open ended questions. Han et al. (2008) recommends open ended questions better suited to exploratory research where more and more of information required while closed ended questions are more easy to answer requiring less interviewing skills.

3.4 Data Analysis Approach

Data analysis approach included data collection and data sorting for analysis, selection of appropriate statistical tool and techniques to identify causal relationships among different variables and trend in the data.

The preparation of data for analysis included entering the data in spread sheet, identifying the category of data, formatting the data suited to the analysis software and checking for missing entries, errors and inconsistencies. To maintain the confidentiality of the companies participating in the research work, organizations were coded. Key aspects of data analysis included distributions, trends and statistical descriptions to compare variables by studying the mean, central tendency and dispersion of data. Finally, relationships were determined among different variables and hypotheses testing was carried out to assess the difference between means of independent samples.

3.4 Research Limitations

Few limitations were associated with the study that included:-
– Research was conducted in aviation construction projects and all other industries were not considered.
– Identification of population size.
– Estimation of the true sample size on basis of the population.
– Inability to access all the project management teams in the population.
– Research was conducted from the perspective of the project management team and the opion and perspective of stakeholders was not taken into consideration.
– Research was conducted considering the project task and the project environment was not considered.
– Use of snowball on-probability technique may induce some biasness in the responses, which may make generalization of data inappropriate.

3.5 Research Methodology

The purpose of the research methodology is to collect information about a given problem, analyze and interpret the data to reach a conclusion. Thus it is important to find an appropriate way to question research objectives for achieving the most favorable conclusions. Chinyio (2012) argued that a number of factors including the researcher’s experience and research problem determine the selection of research strategy. Denzin and Lincoln (1994) highlighted methods which are discussed below:-

3.5.1 Quantitative Research

According to Saunder et al. (2000), quantitative research method was used to collect data from respondents and other sources of information. The data collected is measureable and numerical and interpreted in graphical, tabular and statistical form. Gibson (2000) suggested using this technique when testing hypotheses on some social issue or similar varaiables to determine the correctness of the hypothesis. Fassin (2010) identifies the situations where this method is most appropriate.
– When information on a variable or attribute is required.
– When investigation is required between variables and testing of a hypothesis.
Some of the advantages of this approach highlighted by the Fassin (2010) included
– Data is objective and improves reliability.
– Compares result with theory.
– Formulation of results for further analysis.
– Researcher’s unbiasness towards the subject.

3.5.2 Qualitative Research

This method of research is used to gather information representing descriptions about a subject (Evaristo and Fenema,1999) The information is subjective in nature and cannot be measured. In this method, researcher is more familiar with the questions for which responses are sought but the design or questionnaire evolves progressively. Dinsmore (1990) categorized the information collected in this method as either exploratory or attitudinal. Exploratory research is employed when little or no information is available about the subject. This approach aims to scrutinize a situation for discovering new ideas. This method is usually employed when open ended questionnaires are used on interviews.
According to Zikmund (2003), attitudinal research is used to evaluate subjectively the perspective of an individual towards a specific situation. It gives ample freedom to the respondent to express his views on a subject. Advantages of qualitative approach include reliability of data, proximity to information, measurement of respondents of perception, speed and flexibility in data collection. Zikmund (2003) advocates qualitative approach for use in exploratory situations or when developing hypothesis. One main limitation of this approach is the complexity in analyzing the huge volume of data.

3.5.3 Mix Approach

This approach is the mix of two already discussed above. The purpose of this method is to balance the weakness of one research with the strength of other research method. Wicks and Jones (1999) argue the efficiency of the approach as it allows greater understanding of the subject and drawing conclusions. Limitation of this methods include aligning the research scope with the study subject and associated time constraints.

3.5.4 Research Method Selection

Th selection of research methodology depends on purpose of the research. Based on this argument, quantitative method was considered not suitable due to subjective nature of the data. Quantitative approach is more suited to features that are physical, tangible and measureable. This is in contradiction with the objective of the research work that aims to analyze the opinions and views of the early researches and theories. Qualitative method is more appropriate when thorough investigation in required since little or no information on the subject is available.

3.6 Summary

This chapter discussed the detailed reasons for selecting the research methodology. In this research positivism research philosophy and deductive approach was adopted. Surveys were used as a method to collect data. Snowball non-probability sampling technique was considered more appropriate for this research.

CHAPTER 4: DATA ANALYSIS

4.1 Exploratory Data Analysis

Figure 6 : Proportion of responses from organizations
A total of 43 responses were received from four organizations to which organization D contributed 73% of the total responses.
Information was collected on respondent’s role with in the project management team. A pie chart was drawn to present this information.
Figure 7 : Proportion of Respondent types
Above chart indicated that the major respondents were the project managers (43%) followed by technical specialists (21%) and project controllers (17%).
Experience levels of respondents in terms of experience and number of projects worked in last five yeas was also analyzed. Bar charts were drawn depicting the frequency of occurrence.
Figure 8 : Experience of Respondents
Figure 9 : Experience Level of Respondents
Figure 8 and figure 9 indicated that the data was positively skewed with majority of respondents having work experience of 6-10 years and have worked on 5-10 projects in last five years.
Data on the average value of projects undertaken by the respondents in the last five years was collected and a bar chart was formed as shown below.
Figure 10 : Average value of projects
Figure above indicated that data was negatively skewed and most of the respondents have gained experience on projects worth greater than 100 million.

4.2 Overview of the Result

Descriptive statistics and other statistical analysis were performed using Minitab 16 Software where required.

4.3 Identification, Classification and Importance of Stakeholders

A major concern was proportion of respondents that responded to the question if there was a formalized system of project stakeholder identification. For this, a pie chart was constructed as shown below which indicated that majority of the respondents disagreed to existence of any system for management of project stakeholders.
Figure 11 : Identification of Project Stakeholders
Figure 12 : Box plot for identification of project stakeholders
Pie chat above indicated that a majority of (58%) respondents verified that a formalized system for stakeholder identification existed in the organization. Also it was evident from the box plot that the responses were negatively skewed with a longer tail towards lower values.
Another area of concern was if there exists a formalized system for classification of project stakeholders. In this context, box plot and a pie char were drawn as below.
Figure 13 : Classification of Project Stakeholders
Figure 14 : Box plot for classification of project stakeholders
Figure 13 indicated that total of 51% respondents disagreed if a formal stakeholder classification system existed in an organization. Also the box plot indicated that majority of responses was disagreement to the statement.
Another area was relative importance assigned by respondents to the stakeholders. A percentage bar chart was drawn to study the responses.
Figure 15 : Relative Importance of Stakeholders
The scale to measure the response of above question ranged from absolutely important=5 to unimportant =1. Both Figure 15 and Table 1 depicted that Clients, End users, contractors and regulating bodies were the highest ranked stakeholders.

4.4 Impact of Project Stakeholders
Figure 16 : Impact of Stakeholders
Figure 17 : Box plot for project stakeholders impact
The figure above confirmed that 89% of the respondents agreed to involving the stakeholders in during the entire lifecycle of the project. Box plot depicted a negatively skewed distribution representing the most frequent responses “Strongly Agree” and “Agree”.
Questionnaire also attempted to explore which stakeholder presented more uncertainty and problems to the project. A percentage bar was developed for this purpose, which indicated that the stakeholders that presented highest problems to the project were contractors, end users and clients.

4.5 Project Stakeholder Management

Respondent’s point of view was also taken into account on implementing a formal stakeholder management system and its integration through out the project life cycle. Pie charts were therefore developed to analyze the data.
Figure 19 : Implementation of Formal Stakeholder Management
Integration of Stakeholder Management during project lifecycle
Figure 20 : Box Plot for formal stakeholder management process
Figure 21 : Box plot for integration of formal stakeholder management with project
Above analysis depicted that 43% of respondents agreed and 26% disagreed to have any formal stakeholder management process in their organization. Same is apparent from responses depicted in the box plot for formal stakeholder management process in organizations.
Also it can be seen that 45% of respondents agreed and 14% of them disagreed to integrated the stakeholder management formally to the project lifecycle. Figure 21 shows the positively skewed distribution with tail towards higher side showing frequent response as neutral.
Communication between the stakeholders and problems and uncertainties was are another area explored. For this a pie chart and a box plot was drawn as shown below.
Figure 22 : Communication regarding problems and uncertainties
Figure 23 : Box plot of problems and uncertainties communicated
Analysis above indicated that 53% of respondents communicate more often with stakeholders while 12% communicated very rarely. Box plot presented as negatively skewed distribution showing most frequent response as often.
Research attempted to explore benefits of involving the stakeholders during the project lifecycle. For this purpose, a percentage bar chart was constructed.
Figure 24 : Involving Stakeholders in project lifecycle
Figure above indicated that highest benefit of involving stakeholders in project is effective risk management as 94% of the respondents agreed to this factor.
Research further aimed to explore the benefits of motivating the project stakeholders to achieve project objectives. For this a pie chart and a box plot was constructed as shown below.
Figure 25 : Level of motivation incorporated in stakeholders to meet project objectives
Figure 25 : Box plot of Level of motivation incorporated in stakeholders to meet project objectives
Figure above indicated that 39% of the respondents were of the view that motivating the stakeholders may help project to achieve its stated objectives., while 35% of respondents replied it to be often, whereas, box plot depicted a more symmetric distribution.
Another important area was to identify the dimensions that require improvements to effectively manage the project stakeholders. For this respondents were required to provide response on the final question of the research. The responses were then analyzed using a percentage bar chart and a table depicting the statistical results.

Above analysis depicted that project planning (91%), project objectives (89%) and project risk management (51%) were the areas that ranked as high requiring more improvement. The lowest; however, was theoretical framework.

CHAPTER 5: DISCUSSION OF THE RESULT

5.1 Introduction

This chapter discusses the results of analysis conducted from the data collected and presented in previous chapter.

5.2 Empirical Data Collection Process

5.2.1 Response Rate

Response rate of about 43% is consistent with low estimation for email based response rates (Eesely and Lenox, 2006). Those who did not respond either withdrew from the process after sometime or decided not to be part of research at all.

5.2.2 Survey Reliability

The Cronbach Alpha of 0.77 indicated high consistency with research methodology adopted, that data measured single hypothesis (Cortina,1993).

5.2.3 Sample Characteristics

Sample size of 37 was achieved in relation to the target sample size of 35. The responses received from each organization were proportional to the number of employees in the company. Organization A was not much supportive as it offered only one response despite several attempts. However, this would not significantly influence our results.
The types of respondents that participated in the research survey were almost evenly distributed through out the sample population. Thus it can safely be deuced that results from our survey were much reliable as they have participation of all cadres of the project management team.

Respondents had high experience levels, most of them in range of 6-10 years of service who had handled projects worth greater than 100 million. This moderate to high rich experience contributed to the findings of this research particular to aviation sector.

5.3 Identification, Classification and Importance of Stakeholders

According to Clarkson (2008), effective management of stakeholders involve their identification and classification. However, research concluded that classification part was missing from the stakeholder management process and need more emphasis for further improvements. For this purpose, stakeholder typology model was developed that could be refined and employed more effectively to manage stakeholders.

5.3.1 Research Question and Hypothesis 1

The first research question was as to which stakeholder was of more importance than others? Whereas null hypothesis stated that all the stakeholders were of similar importance. The analysis conducted revealed that clients, end users and contractors were the most important stakeholders. However, their was no relative significance among these groups of stakeholders and it was observed that all three were equally important. According to Diallo and Thuillier, (2005), clients provide finance and defines the project objectives, end users determine the usefulness of each deliverable of the project, in the same context, contractors provide resources which are interpreted in quality outcome of the project.

Thus Crawford and Bryce, (2003) suggests that none o f these stakeholder groups can be given more relative importance among each other. However, Clarkson (1994) is of the view that importance can be given to specific group of stakeholders, if it is determined that requirements put forth by them are legitimate and that they are in a position to influence the project outcomes.

Analysis showed that financial institutions were considered as the least important stakeholder that can affect the project. Donaldson and Preston (1995) are of the view that main reasons for this could be either improper classification or the inability of the financial institutions to directly affect the other stakeholders involved in the project. The analysis of data also depicted that media, third party and base organizations were among the other least important stakeholders.

5.4 Impact of Project Stakeholders

The analysis of data revealed that majority of the respondents was of the view that it was important to involve project stakeholder throughout the project lifecycle, as it would result in successful project completion. This finding is consistent with the discussion made in the literature review part of the research work (El-Gohary et al. 2006).

5.4.1 Research Question and Hypothesis 2

The second research question was which stakeholder caused the most problems and uncertainties? Where null hypothesis stated that all stakeholders caused the same degree of problems and uncertainties to the project.

Detailed analysis of the data revealed that clients, end users and contractors were the major stakeholders that caused most problems and uncertainties to the project. However, there was no significance difference between the relative importance of these stakeholder groups. These stakeholders are involved through out the project lifecycle and play vital role in defining the project scope and any changes associated to project scope.

Since these stakeholder present more problems to the project than others, this confirms the alternate hypothesis that not all the stakeholders affect the project in similar manner. Engwall (2003) argued that certain stakeholders can negatively impact the project than other stakeholders with regard to the project’s individual perspective of each stakeholder.

5.5 Project Stakeholder Management

Data analysis showed that majority of respondents (45%) were of the view that implementation of a formal stakeholder management process existed in the organization and almost a similar percentage of the stakeholders supported integration of formal stakeholder management processes with the project lifecycle.

Historical trend in this area indicated that stakeholder management as a formalized process was not being emphasized and pursued in the projects. Felps et al. (2007) argued that stakeholder management is marginalized and suppressed due to increase pressure to complete the project under tough constraints of time, cost an quality thus compromising the soft management issues.

It was also determined that 53% of the respondents communicated about the project risks and problems from often to very often intervals. However, a significant portion of stakeholders communicated sometimes when they considered appropriate. Still the importance of communicating with stakeholders cannot be denied and has a vital role in project success (Gilbert, 1983)

Various benefits associated with involving the stakeholders were also analyzed. Data depicted that effective project planning and risk management were the major benefits of involving the project stakeholders.

5.5.1 Research Question and Hypothesis 3

The third research question was as to which stakeholder management areas need more development while the null hypothesis stated that all the stakeholder management areas required same development.
Data analysis revealed that project planning, project objectives and the project risk management were the major areas that needed improvement. While tools and techniques and theoretical framework were the areas that required the least development. There was not much significant difference was noted among these areas identified and all these areas were equally important requiring the improvements from stakeholder management’s perspective.

However, it can be noted that significant difference existed between project planning, project objective, project risk management and other areas of the stakeholder management, thus strengthening the alternate hypothesis that not all the areas of stakeholder management require similar improvements.
The least important area was employment of project management team and development of new theories. Gray (2001) argued that need is always felt for practical steps to identify stakeholder and determine the visible and hidden interests so that negative impacts can be avoided.

5.6 Summary

Stakeholder management requires identification and classification of stakeholders (PMI, 2004). Research revealed that identification was indeed occurring at some level, but a formal system for classifying the stakeholders was lacking.

A result of analysis, most important stakeholder identified were end users, clients and contractors and were causing the most problems and uncertainties to the project, most likely due to their roles. The dimensions that required more improvements included project planning, project objectives and risk management.

There was awareness among the respondents for communicating with stakeholders. Still there existed a majority that communicated not much frequently with the stakeholders thus emphasizing the developments in the communicating with stakeholders.

Also research revealed the absence of formal stakeholder management approach and its integration with the project lifecycle. This indicated that stakeholder management was not effectively being practices during the project rather its effectiveness was just average.
It is pertinent to note that the key objectives of the research have been addressed in this chapter as outline in chapter 1. In next chapter, we would discuss conclusion of the research work.

CHAPTER 6: CONCLUSION, RECOMMENDATION, LIMITATIONS AND FURTHER STUDIES

6.1 Introduction

This chapter discusses the key findings of this research and included recommendations areas and suggestions for future studies.

The main research problem was to investigate within aviation sector as to which stakeholders were more important than others, understand which stakeholders presented major uncertainties and problems to the project and determine which areas require developments.

The research was conducted from the perspective that the stakeholder management was central to the project’s successful completion and currently it was not as effective as it should have been since main focus is on triple constraints of time, cost and quality.

6.2 Recommendation

The stakeholder management process requires identification and classification of stakeholders. Research revealed that the classification part was found missing, more emphasis was laid to classify stakeholders according to their influence and impact on the project. For this purpose, it is important to list down all the stakeholders, classify them in power-interest matrix which can be further used to prioritize stakeholders. Apart from stakeholder power and influence, attributes of proximity and legitimacy can also be included.

Three main stakeholder groups like end users, clients and contractors were identified; therefore, this needs an immediate shift of focus towards these stakeholder groups. Consequently, stakeholders will not work if there are no common goals and they perceive the relationships not to be sincere. Thus a forum must be developed to assess the viewpoint of the stakeholders more often. The communication must be two way with emphasis to encourage dialogue.

The dimensions of stakeholder management that needed more development are project planning, project objectives and risk management. These dimensions relate to the impact of stakeholders on the project and evaluating the effectiveness of the stakeholder management process.

It is important to develop a comprehensive communication plan for managing the distribution of information required by various stakeholders. Information regarding risk management, problems and uncertainties must flow across all relevant stakeholder to enable them for better participating in the project success. Not only face to face meetings, but all available latest technology like email, video conferencing and forums can be utilized to share point of view among stakeholder and ensure their active participation through all means necessary.

Encouraging stakeholders to participate in project activities is another area that needs attention. Rather than adopting a conventional approach, it is now deemed appropriate to involve stakeholders in risk identification, team building, conflict resolution, rewards and recognition and formulation of lessons learned.

A proactive approach is considered more viable to review the stakeholder management strategy over a period of time. The purpose is to constantly evaluate how the goals of a particular stakeholder are differing from aims and objectives of the project and identify the measures to apply correction to this deviation from the expected project goals.

6.3 Further studies

During the research following areas have been identified for future studies.
– Little research has been found that identifies ways to incorporate stakeholder management strategies in project management plan at the planning stage of the project to be later execute during execution phase. This would help to adopt a proactive approach to manage risks related to stakeholders.
– Another research can be conducted to assess stakeholder management across different sectors to identify and benefit from the good practices being followed and learn from the shortcomings and mistakes in different sectors.
– Little research has been found in managing projects in aviation sector, extensive research can be under taken to understand the current mechanism of the aviation industry and last changes it has undergone with regard to effective project management.

6.4 Conclusion

The results of this research can be of greater utilization by organizations with research scope. Organizations must focus on relationships with the stakeholders identified in the research and facilitate effective risk management and project planning.
There is a need to adopt a tactical approach that defines mechanisms for stakeholder management and which can be measured. Benefiting from the outcomes of this research study, organizations have the opportunity to improve project stakeholder management and project efficienc

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