Several researchers have identified the importance of managing stakeholders as major criteria for determining project success. Project success has now extended beyond completing projects within budgets, schedule and set standards as traditionally viewed. Satisfying key stakeholders is another criteria used in evaluating project success, thus stakeholder management is an important aspect of project management. In Nigeria, studies conducted in the research area have not assessed the adoption of stakeholder management. Therefore, this study appraises the concept in TETFUND construction projects. Interviews were conducted with project managers that have managed TETFUND construction projects in higher institutions. Comparative content analysis was used for analysing the interview responses. The results show the level of awareness and application of the concept within the firms; communication identified as the major tool for managing project stakeholders; and the major barriers encountered in managing stakeholders. Despite the awareness and acknowledgements of the importance of managing stakeholders, there is no proper adoption of the guidelines for stakeholder management as stated in literature. The study recommends that proper adoption of stakeholder analysis and engagement steps should be embraced by consulting project management firms in managing project stakeholders.
1.1 Background to the study
The development of every country directly depends on its construction as it provides fixed assets and serves as a major aspect of production to other sectors of the economy. The construction industry helps in providing infrastructures that improve the life of its citizens. The Nigerian Construction Industry (NCI) is not an exception as it contributes to the nation‟s economy. Yet, the NCI is coupled with challenges in terms of servicing and satisfying its clients‟ needs (Kolo and Ibrahim, 2010). Ajayi et al. (2010) attributed disagreement among participating parties as one of the reasons for project failure in Nigeria while Onarinde (2011) further pointed out that the Nigerian Construction Industry (NCI) has not fully been able to embrace the vast importance of managing stakeholders involved in projects. This could be as a result of its complex nature, size and other challenges that it is facing in satisfying its customers.
The importance and role of the industry to other sectors of the economy makes it to have different stakeholders with wide range of interests that need to be managed. According to Farinde and Sillars (2012), the construction industry is a complex and huge industry with several key players with different interests. Therefore, a project can be successful in its entirety when the construction organisation is able to effectively manage all human and non-human resources; this is done in order to deliver a facility that satisfies and exceeds the needs of the client at the time it is required and within considerable budget range.