Project Management Institute

Achieving Sustainability in Railway Projects

Major Stakeholder Concerns

Achieving sustainability is becoming increasingly critical for measuring the overall success of infrastructure projects. Given the complexity of such projects, the successful management of sustainability-related targets requires joint efforts from the major stakeholders involved, including project clients, contractors, suppliers, and the general public. Nevertheless, these stakeholders often have different, and sometimes even conflicting, concerns regarding the achievement of project sustainability. Confrontations and disputes can arise unless these concerns are carefully analyzed and addressed. However, we know little specifically about how major stakeholders perceive infrastructure sustainability and how their concerns differ in the three dimensions of project sustainability: economic, environmental, and social sustainability. This study investigated the major concerns of stakeholders in achieving sustainability in a typical infrastructure project (i.e., railway projects). A triangulated methodology was adopted, including a literature review, a questionnaire survey, and interviews to obtain data from project stakeholders. Based on the results, there was a significant divergence of views among stakeholder groups, and conflicts arose when there was a mismatch between stakeholders' perceptions. A list of major concerns from each individual stakeholder group was ranked and discussed. Some measures for promoting the consensus on achieving project sustainability among different stakeholder groups were also provided. The study not only provides insights into understanding differences in the concerns of major stakeholder groups in achieving railway project sustainability, it also helps develop quantitative approaches for measuring the degree of consensus and conflict among major stakeholder groups so as to minimize their concern differences.
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