Systemic Stakeholders' Management for Real Estate Development Projects

By Caputo, Andrea | Global Business and Management Research: An International Journal, January 2013 | Go to article overview
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Systemic Stakeholders' Management for Real Estate Development Projects


Caputo, Andrea, Global Business and Management Research: An International Journal


Introduction

The scholarly attention to the managing of construction projects, over the past years, has been flourishing (Abatecola, Caputo, Mari & Poggesi, 2013). The design and construction of real estate work can affect a variety of interests. The creation of better roads, better housing and better living standards could be included among the positive effects. However, construction projects inevitably involve a degree of deterioration and change at local level, which is not limited only to the construction site. The representatives of these affected interests are called project's stakeholders. A stakeholder, therefore, is any individual or group of individuals, which may influence or be influenced, regarding the realization of the purpose of an organization (Freeman, 1984). They can be divided according to whether they are internal or external to the organization itself (Gibson, 2000): those who are affected by the project in significant ways, but are not directly involved with the project-such as local residents, the community, the public interest, other companies-are called external stakeholders.

The traditional view of management of the interests of these subjects is represented by the formal process of design, through rules and legal regulations regarding the construction site. The growing tendency, on the part of some stakeholder groups, to influence the implementation and construction of a project (Roulac, 1999; Altherr et al. 2007; Azadi et al., 2011), and the consequent growth of conflicts and disputes (Azadi et al., 2011) have proven inadequate the traditional measures of stakeholder management. It is, therefore, important to identify additional management tools that allow the company to reduce real estate problems and disputes arising from the lesion of the interests of external stakeholders. In order to adequately develop a process of management of external stakeholders, firms need an analysis of needs and interests of such entities in relation to the objective of the project they want to accomplish. This process should address such questions as: who are the internal and external stakeholders of the project? What are the needs and interests of various stakeholders? How can those needs and interests be met without compromising the objective of the project? Ideally, an analysis of external stakeholders should follow these steps:

* Identify external stakeholders;

* Assess their needs and interests;

* Analyse the potential impact these can have on decisions regarding the project; and

* Evaluate solutions for the implementation of the project, all of which must respect the interests of stakeholders.

The present work is developed through a critical recognition of the literature on this subject, aimed at deepening the research question to which I would like to help to give an answer. Discussion of literature review's results and implications for future research then follow. Finally, a theoretical model for a systemic stakeholders' management is developed.

The Importance of Stakeholders in Negotiation Theory

Negotiation is a process, which is an essential and fundamental moment for the life of firms. Group decision-making literature defines negotiation as a joint decision- making process (Zartman, 1977, Rubin and Brown, 1975, Garrone, 1914) between two or more interdependent parties (Gulliver, 1977, Thompson, 1967). These parties have different preferences and interests partially in conflict, and are driven by an opportunistic nature (Raiffa, 1982, Pruitt, 1981). The process of negotiation can end with an agreement, usually reached through a creative research activity (Lax and Sebenius, 1986).

The so-called "negotiation theory" is a prescriptive approach to negotiation that has emerged in the 80s as a synthesis between the economic-mathematic approaches and the socio-psychological approaches. The main works to consider in this literature are two: the Fisher and Ury's (1981), closer to the psychological and behavioural doctrines and influenced by them, and the Raiffa's (1982), closer to the game theory and the mathematical and statistical disciplines.

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