Sustainable projects are drivers of project performance, but project managers have an important role to play as architects and advocates of a better society. They are at the forefront of project management through their responsibility of managing projects by applying diverse competencies to achieve the objectives captured in the business case. According to Martinez & Olander (2015), project managers employ the competencies by using different tools and techniques for engaging stakeholders. However, project management and stakeholder engagement are inseparable because complexity in project development involves stakeholders with different needs and interests. Each stakeholder has the power to influence the project either positively or negatively. Therefore, a project manager has to apply an assortment of appropriate tools and techniques to engage the stakeholders who hold a considerable sway over how sustainable the project will turn out. Stakeholder participation provides the best forum for project managers to have effective interactions that promote the needs and interests of the society. Mathur, Price, & Austin (2008) call it a holistic approach to stakeholder engagement that enables all members to meaningfully take part in the process of making decisions to by balancing their needs, thus attaining a more sustainable project. A well-protected stakeholder engagement process promises to unite all stakeholders to achieve the specified objectives while considering the economical, environment and social aspects of the project cycle. Studies reveal that stakeholder engagement facilitates project implementation and serves as a mechanism for providing win-win scenarios (Marthur et al., 2008). The inclusivity and participatory equity that are associated with proper stakeholder management develop a sense of ownership over project outcomes, thus strengthening project sustainability.
This study aims to examine project management and stakeholder engagement frameworks related to the promotion of project sustainability. The structure is outlined as follows: after this introduction, the second section reviews the concepts of project management, sustainable project management, and stakeholder engagement.
Sustainable project management is a term that denotes the use of practices that facilitate ‘social profitable and ecological’ project delivery so that the deliverables are acceptable in a project’s lifetime (Aarseth, Ahola, Aaltonen, Økland, & Andersen, 2017). According to Silvius & Schipper (2014), sustainable project management involves three major processes – “planning, monitoring and controlling of project delivery and support processes”. It is a comprehensive process that takes into account the triple bottom line (TBL) – environmental, social and economic – aspects of a project to maximize stakeholder value. The entire process must