John Cable

Cable_JohnPaper (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: Mr. Cable is a licensed architect and general contractor with over 40 years experience. His activities have included planning, design, and construction of buildings; building energy conservation research; management consulting; and teaching. In 1980, he was cited by Engineering News-Record as “one who served in the best interests of the building industry.” And, in 1992, he was selected by Remodeling Magazine as one of the 50 best remodeling contractors in the United States. In 2012, he was awarded PMI’s 2012 Distinguished Contribution Award for his leadership of the Global Accreditation Center. In 2013, he was awarded the Lilly Fellowship for innovation in teaching and in 2014, he was selected to represent the Clark School of Engineering in the National Academy of Engineering “Frontiers of Engineering Education” for his work in creating and managing the highly acclaimed on-line master’s degree program in Project Management.

Since joining the Clark School of Engineering at the University of Maryland in the fall of 1999, John initiated the graduate program in project management, two undergraduate minors, and the Center for Excellence in Project Management. He teaches courses in Project Management Fundamentals, and Managing Projects in a Dynamic Environment and is widely sought after for his seminars and workshops on a variety of Project Management topics. John is also chairman emeritus of the Project Management Institute’s Global Accreditation Center Board of Directors, a member of the Federal Government’s Project Management Working Group, and a member of the Science & Engineering Council of NASA’s Center for Program/Project Management Research. John is also a founding member of the International Project Management Educational Union along with Peking University and 6 other universities worldwide. In 2004 he coauthored a report for the National Academy of Sciences Federal Facilities Council on “Key Performance Indicators for Federal Facilities Portfolios”.