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Megaproject Management: Lessons on Risk and Project Management from the Big Dig by Virginia A. Greiman

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Chapter 3

Stakeholders

There is no substitute for active public participation. The openness of the process that allows citizens to directly participate and ask embarrassing questions…forces you to confront those questions that it might be convenient at the moment to duck.

—Fred Salvucci, former Massachusetts secretary of transportation (Salvucci 2004)

As we proceed with this project, we constantly come up against problems that could not have been anticipated, and these cause delay. In the end, this is good, because it means that we're allowing some or all of the various constituencies to have input; we're allowing for compromise. No one is strong-arming. Ultimately, we're doing what's best for the community.

—Ted Weigle, former Bechtel/Parsons Brinckerhoff program manager for the Big Dig (Rigoglioso et al. 1993)

Introduction

The importance of the stakeholder in managing megaprojects is evidenced in the two introductory quotes to this chapter. Though one represents the viewpoint of the former Massachusetts transportation secretary and the other the experience of the former private-sector management consultant on the Big Dig, both agree that “the local community” as a key stakeholder would be given a major voice in the project. When the concept of the project was first introduced in the early 1980s, the recognition that the role of the citizen would be central to the development of this monumental project was rarely subject to question. However, as the project evolved and the number ...

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