Paper (18): Stakeholders and Transnational Projects.
Abstract: The project stakeholder literature has developed into a voluminous body of knowledge in recent years. However, comparatively little research has focused on “transnational projects”. Such projects, which have been or are being executed at the inter-governmental level or by non-state entities, have become ubiquitous and very numerous over time, especially with the advent of globalization, and many exhibit an enormous level of technical complexity and resource-intensiveness, long durations, and their outcomes not only affect in both positive and negative ways the lives of millions of stakeholders but can also profoundly influence the relationship between states. Hence, given the very high economic, social and political stakes evidently associated with transnational projects – and taking into consideration the now universal interest in and the great importance accorded to project stakeholder management and engagement – there is a need to carefully study and evaluate these projects in stakeholder perspective. Doing so can help identify and exploit opportunities to the fullest, facilitate positive perceptions and mitigate the risk of conflict or animosity arising between states with all its ensuing negative ramifications.
For their exploratory research, the authors selectively examined dozens of large transnational projects in construction, transportation, energy, industrial manufacturing and other fields across the globe. Four distinct categories were identified under which transnational projects may be grouped, namely, cooperative, collaborative, integrative, and divisive, along with a fifth overlapping category wherein projects simultaneously exhibit both cooperative, collaborative or integrative, as well as divisive character. Each category is discussed with examples. This category spectrum per se constitutes a useful contextual framework which permits careful analysis and assessment of stakeholders’ key attributes, notably their respective interests, motivations and concerns regarding transnational projects, and consequently delivers important insights to the initiators, planners and executors of such projects through which effective and ethical strategies and approaches can be devised which seek not only to ensure fair benefit and cost sharing among stakeholders but also that as many, if not all, stakeholders ultimately derive net benefits from the projects.
Biography: Dr. Aurangzeb Zulfiqar Khan is Assistant Professor in the Department of Management Sciences at the COMSATS Institute of Information Technology in Islamabad, Pakistan. He holds a PhD and a master degree in public administration from the German University of Administrative Sciences in Speyer, and a Diplom in business administration from the University of Trier, Germany.
Dr. Khan started his professional career in 1992 as Executive Assistant in Hilal Consultants, a small Pakistani consulting firm specializing in infrastructure projects. He subsequently joined the Hanns-Seidel Foundation of Germany as Programme Coordinator at its Pakistan country office in Islamabad. There he worked closely with the Foundation’s partner organizations in government, academia and the non-governmental sector on various joint projects, primarily in institutional capacity building and event management. After leaving the Foundation he worked as a Research Fellow at the Institute of Strategic Studies, Islamabad, a think tank operating under Pakistan’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
On the faculty of the young and rapidly expanding Pakistani public-sector university COMSATS since March 2005, Dr. Khan taught project management and other management subjects, mostly at graduate level. In September 2008 he launched Pakistan’s first professional master degree program in project management at his university which he headed for its first year of operation.
Dr. Khan is winner of the Higher Education Commission of Pakistan’s national Best University Teacher Award for the year 2007. Selected by the United States Education Foundation in Pakistan as a Fulbright Visiting Scholar, Dr. Khan spent eleven months in 2010-11 undertaking research at the University of Maryland in College Park, USA. In the spring semester 2011 he taught his course on project stakeholder management at graduate level and a course on project communications at undergraduate level at UMD’s prestigious A. James Clark School of Engineering. He taught again at the University of Maryland in Spring Semester 2015 and is presently jointly undertaking an intensive research project on the theme project stakeholder management and engagement with his colleagues Miroslaw Skibniewski and John H. Cable at the University of Maryland’s Project Management Center for Excellence.