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Title: Stakeholder collaboration on social responsibility in construction projects : from the perspective of stakeholder power and influence
Authors: Lin, Xue
Degree: Ph.D.
Issue Date: 2017
Abstract: The implementation of social responsibility in the construction sector is an imperative because of the adverse social and environmental impacts often caused by construction activities. The construction process faces the problems of resources exploitation, environmental pollution, and community hostility. In addition, the end products of construction have long term impacts on peoples' lives and the environment. Besides the traditional controls on time, cost, and quality, social responsibility must be incorporated in the construction project lifecycle as a routine goal. However, previous research on social responsibility has focused mostly at the level of organization, while research at the project level is lacking. Collaboration among multiple stakeholders on social responsibility is essential but difficult to achieve because of the conflicting stakeholders' interests and unclarified responsibility distribution. Stakeholders are self-sufficient that they tend not to voluntarily share scarce resources on social responsibility issues. In addition, the dynamic power structures and stakeholder interactions add complexity to any attempt at stakeholder collaboration. The multiplicity and dynamics of stakeholders remain to be the major challenge and have been insufficiently addressed in existing research. In response to the current gaps, this study has its merits by investigating multiple project stakeholders' power and their influences, by which the aim is to facilitate stakeholder collaboration on implementing social responsibility issues in construction projects. Mixed-methods research strategies were adopted combining quantitative and qualitative approaches.
First, on reviewing the existing theories, it was found that power and influence are two key factors that must be taken into account in facilitating stakeholder collaboration in construction projects. Second, stakeholders' dynamic power on dealing with various social responsibility issues was revealed via a questionnaire survey and two-mode social network analysis. Third, through in-depth interviews with practitioners and computer-assisted qualitative analysis, heterogeneous strategies and tactics that stakeholders use to influence each other on social responsibility issues were investigated. Fourth, a managerial framework was developed to facilitate the collaborative efforts of stakeholders on implementing social responsibility issues in construction projects. At last, a case study in the Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macau Bridge project was implemented to validate the applicability and effectiveness of the framework. This study has practical implications by offering a better understanding of the dynamic power and heterogeneous influencing strategies by multiple project stakeholders including developers, contractors, consultants, governments, district councils, communities, NGOs, and end users. The validated framework also provides a tool for project practitioners to organize social responsibility collaboration within a complicated stakeholder environment. This study makes an original contribution to the current body of knowledge in the following respects. First, the study extends social responsibility theory from the organizational level to the project level. Second, it identifies power and influence as the perspective from which to explain stakeholder collaboration and endeavors to link stakeholder power with the corresponding responsibilities. Third, it supplements current stakeholder theories by addressing the further variables of stakeholder dynamics and multiplicity. Fourth, it enlarges the scope of stakeholder collaboration by involving multiple project stakeholders and exploring their different roles towards improved levels of social responsibility.
Subjects: Hong Kong Polytechnic University -- Dissertations
Construction industry -- Social aspects
Social responsibility of business
Pages: xviii, 257 pages : color illustrations
Appears in Collections:Thesis

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