Trust between stakeholders is a paramount issue in business. Lack of integrity and honesty between organization partners may result in adverse relationships, which will further undermine performance outcomes. de Oliveira and Rabechini in their article called “Stakeholder management influence on trust in a project: A quantitative study” discuss stakeholder management (SM) variables and their relation to trust and project management (PM) overall (131). This article review assignment will allow for a deeper understanding of the topic through the analysis of key findings, methodology, drawbacks, and other aspects.
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The main goal of the authors was to explore the topic of stakeholder management and obtain data on its influence on the trust between project executives and related parties. The issue was set in a broad scholarly context, where researchers identified the need for such studies as applied data on SM and its practical interrelation with PM. The ground for the study was also set due to the uncovered barriers, which in essence are temporal and singular nature of projects, which undermine the formation of trust and bonds between stakeholders. Indeed, if a project is a one-time occasion, then efforts in SM may be a waste of resources, while more resources could be allocated to urgent issues. Thus, there seems to be an agreement in scientific circles about the relevance of such studies. From the literature review, the authors elaborate their main research question which is as follows, “What is the influence of stakeholder management on trust in project environments?” (de Oliveira and Rabechini 132). Due to the nature of the research question, the study appears to be exploratory.
The authors also aimed to test several hypotheses. The first core proposition is that Prescriptive order SM exhibits a positive influence on relational order SM. Naturally, as identified by other scholars, these two SM types are interrelated which produce consistent results (de Oliveira and Rabechini 133). The other core hypothesis is that relational SM influences competence to the ust among project stakeholders. This hypothesis is drawn from theory and in general, it seems logical as other authors agree about its positive effects, which are, nonetheless mostly theoretical.
The study utilizes quantitative design as evident from the name of the article, as well as the number of participants and research question. The sample consists of 130 professionals who are in either way engage in projects in national and international organizations in Brazil (de Oliveira and Rabechini 139). The sample was tested on sufficiency, which speaks to the strength of data collection design. The data was obtained through a questionnaire that was elaborated into modules measuring relational and prescriptive SM constructs and three types of trust including intuitive, integrity, and competence. The above-named concepts also became the key variables. The data was analyzed statistically through the partial path of least squares (de Oliveira and Rabechini 140). In this case, the authors indicated the need for proving several hypotheses united under a theory, which warrants the use of such an analysis approach. The overall quality of statistical analysis results was tested through Cronbach’s alpha.
As demonstrated in the article, all hypotheses were confirmed, and statistically meaningful correlations were registered among all tested variables. The researchers note that the strongest link was identified between both SM and intuitive trust ((de Oliveira and Rabechini 141). This testifies to the validity of theoretical research mentioned by authors for which they now found proof. Yet, the generalizability of this proof may raise concern. Members of international corporations that generally uphold multiculturalism indeed participated in the study. However, most of the company representatives were of Brazilian origin which sets a nation-specific attribute to the findings.
Nonetheless, such results present value for further research and analysis. Especially, as the authors find, the obtained data proves the necessity for upholding positive communication during the whole project lifetime. This result seems to raise no concerns as the statement is pretty logical and may be called universal. The respondents were registered to value caring for the interests of stakeholders, which corresponds to the hypotheses. As this is also a logical outcome, there appears to be no bias. However, the sample demonstrated the dominance of project providers (83% of the total participants) rather than recipients (de Oliveira and Rabechini 139). Thus, this statement might be held for the active parties of the PM process, while clients may have other opinions, which was not registered as statistically significant. Despite that fact, the considerations for managers who are the main benefactors of the SM process are the key concern, and the article addresses it.
The core implication of the result is that SM is highly important for trust between project participants. Yet as no distinctions were made between large and small-length projects and their representations were not captured there might be a bias in that assumption. Thus, in short-lived, one-time projects, there might not be room for trust-building or elaborate SM. In this regard, the article seems to demonstrate a lack of valuable academic insight. Nonetheless, it presents a reliably tested statistically significant data for national studies of SM. Further studies could concentrate on substantiating the results of this study with larger longitudinal and multinational research projects. Overall, the article established a strong link between several project management variables that benefits both theory and practice.
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Despite certain methodological drawbacks revealed, the study under analysis reveals strong evidence of a positive relationship between trust and stakeholder management. The evident strength of the article is in its data analysis and statistical methods which allowed uncovering reliable quantitative proof for theoretical findings. While for project managers the information obtained could be significant, the rest of the stakeholders may find little results of importance as their views were underrepresented in the sample. Also, there is no apparent correlation between short projects and long ones, which do not let to distinguish the validity of results. Overall, the project broadens horizons and contains valuable insights into PM.
de Oliveira, Francisco Gilberto, and Roque Rabechini Jr. “Stakeholder Management Influence on Trust in a Project: A Quantitative Study.” International Journal of Project Management, vol. 37, no. 1, Jan. 2019, pp. 131–44.