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Community Stakeholder Management in Wind Energy Development Projects: A planning approach
Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Umeå School of Business.
Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Umeå School of Business.
2008 (English)Independent thesis Advanced level (degree of Master (Two Years)), 10 credits / 15 HE creditsStudent thesis
Abstract [en]

There often exist hard-to-identify or unforeseen external parties that emerge as indirect stakeholders of a project who can significantly influence its execution and outcome. The broader stakeholder landscape in both theory and practice recognizes the local community including other interest groups of a project site as such key stakeholders. However recent cases have revealed shortcomings in managing this category of stakeholders, leading to authoritative rejection of development permit applications and strong local opposition that consequently increase costs and delay to the project. There is indication that a weak community stakeholder management process in the planning stages can cause problems to the project, or worse, in some cases lead to project failure and abandonment by the developer. Wind energy development projects are not exempted from this condition and are possibly even more prone as they involve the erection of tall wind turbines across wide-open landscapes that are deemed controversial and unacceptable to a wider population. Endorsed by the persuasive rationale for wind energy especially in view of the environment and sustainable development, a more comprehensive and effective guidance for community stakeholder management in the planning stage is required to mitigate, if not eliminate, potential issues that can hinder the successful implementation of wind energy development projects. Hence this thesis primarily seeks to answer the research question of: “How should community stakeholders of wind energy development projects be managed in the planning stage prior to permit application?”.

Using a qualitative approach to research through interviews with several industry practitioners and reviewing secondary data of industry best practices, policies, literature and case studies, 16 community stakeholder management key conclusion points could be made from research data collected. These points are individually important while in aggregate form a broad and novel framework that serves to further raise the awareness and readiness of wind energy development project managers in their community stakeholder management initiatives. A baseline list of community stakeholders and their common concerns were identified, together with suggested approaches to identify community stakeholders in each project. Community consultation is key to the process and engaging the community as widely and early as possible is recommended. Furthermore, key principles and an array of common methods for community stakeholder management in the planning stages of the project are presented, while acknowledging that not all stakeholders can be satisfied at each instance. Ultimately these findings were consolidated in a community consultation checklist that serves as a more systematic and practical tool in guiding project managers in their community stakeholder management initiatives during planning.

The research findings herewith contribute valuable insights to the existing body of knowledge in this area and also provide enhanced practical guidance to project managers in achieving successful community stakeholder management during planning, facilitating higher acceptance for the proposal, carrying out a more efficient and effective planning process and improving the likelihood for project approval from both authoritative and judiciary standpoints.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Umeå: Handelshögskolan vid Umeå universitet , 2008. , 126 p.
Keyword [en]
stakeholder management, stakeholder identification, stakeholder analysis, community stakeholders, wind energy, wind farm development projects
National Category
Business Administration
URN: urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-1505OAI: diva2:141249
Social and Behavioural Science, Law
Available from: 2008-01-24 Created: 2008-01-24 Last updated: 2010-03-16Bibliographically approved

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