Internal and external stakeholders have a key role to play in the success or otherwise of a project. Stakeholders range from multinational organisations to communities, individuals and government authorities.

This unit critically reviews traditional and emerging stakeholder management theories in order to investigate how they apply to contemporary project scenarios both in Australia and internationally. Students will learn how to identify and engage project stakeholders, prioritise their importance and evaluate their potential and actual contribution to project success. The relationship between the role of project manager and the expectations and perspectives of diverse stakeholders is also considered.

Unit details

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Learning Outcomes

On successful completion of this unit, students will be able to:
  1. Evaluate contemporary managerial theory and management processes for dealing with stakeholders (individuals, groups and organisations) and apply as appropriate to various project management scenarios;  
  2. Critically analyse how management frameworks; current trends in organisational structure; entrepreneurial styles of management; principles of networking and emerging business trends impact stakeholders and can be impacted by stakeholders;  
  3. Design practical tools which acknowledge the diversity of stakeholders to support stakeholder management; and  
  4. Hypothesise how stakeholder management in projects can support the concept of sustainability.  


Assessment type Description Grade
Assignment Individual Assignment (1500 words) 15%
Project Group Project (3000 words per student plus 5 minutes presentation by each student) 35%
Examination Examination (3 hours) 50%

Required reading

Reading material will be negotiated in consultation with the Academic staff and will be appropriate to the topic under investigation.

Stakeholder Theory: The state of the art 1st ed.
Freeman, R.E. and Harrison, J.S., (2010)
Cambridge University Press, Cambridge

Guide to Project Management Body of Knowledge 6th ed.
(PMBOK© GUIDE) (2017)
Project Management Institute

Recommended reading: Donaldson, D. & Preston, L.E. (1995), The stakeholder theory of the corporation: Concepts, evidence, and implications. Academy of Management Review, vol. 20, no.1, pp. 65-91. Jensen, M.C. (2010), Value maximization, stakeholder theory, and the corporate objective function. Journal of Applied Corporate Finance, vol. 22, no. 1, pp. 32-42. Freeman, R.E., Donaldson, T., Preston, L.E., Wicks, A.C. & Parmar, B., (2004), Stakeholder theory and "the corporate objective revisited". Organization Science, vol. 15, no. 3, pp. 364-369. Brenner, S.N. (1992), The Stakeholder Theory of the Firm, Business Ethics Quarterly, vol. 2, no. 2, pp. 99-119. Phillips, R. & Freeman, E. (2003), Stakeholder theory and Organisation Ethics, Berrett-Koehler Publishers, San Francisco.

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