Barriers to Effective Communication and Stakeholder Management in Project Environments and How to Overcome These Barriers

Barriers to Effective Communication and Stakeholder Management in Project Environments and How to Overcome These Barriers

Brian J. Galli (Assistant Professor and Graduate Program Director, Master of Science in Engineering Management Industrial Engineering, Hofstra University, USA)
Copyright: © 2019 |Pages: 19
DOI: 10.4018/IJAL.2019070103

Abstract

This study sought to investigate the prominent barriers to effective communication and stakeholder management in project teams. Specifically, this study examined the role of management frameworks currently utilized by organizations and their efficiency in supporting team collaboration, conflict management, and stakeholder management in project environments. The study utilized a two-prong research methodology to identify and to analyze current literature related to the scope and objective of this study. The study first deployed an exploratory and unstructured literature review and then a structured literature review to identify the pool of relevant articles and content. A systematic review was then performed to reduce the body of literature down to the critical few that could serve as the basis for the study's analysis. The results revealed the inadequacies of management frameworks in promoting healthy relationships between project managers and stakeholders. Furthermore, the study exposes a gap between formal communications planning, the actual execution, the implementation of the plan, and the poor implementation of organizational processes. The results also show the common types of conflict, the positive and negative effects that these have on project environments, project success, and the critical success factors in stakeholder management. In addition to identifying barrier and shortcomings, this article sheds light on improvement areas that will have the most significant effect on project success. The literature synthesis reveals the importance of soft skill in communication management. The results suggest that much work remains to be done by the organization to train and prepare managers in building relationships and developing soft skills. The literature has demonstrated that perception, values, team cohesion, the willingness to share, trust, and healthy relationships are most influential in project success, but in practice, the latter is not applied. In conclusion, this area needs improvement and further investigation.
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Introduction

As one may be aware, logistics and supply chain management environment often rely on projects to execute change initiatives, such as process improvement and implementation initiatives to deploy new software or computer systems into the supply chain. The definition of a project is a short-term undertaking that generates unique products or services, such as construction or the execution of a contract (Badsi et al., 2017). Meanwhile, logistics can be described as planning, applying, and controlling the “effective flow and storage of goods, services, and related information from the point of origin to the point of consumption” (Badsi et al., 2017). Usually, logistics is linked to military or manufacturing procedures, but projects can also feature logistics, such as building a bridge for troops. Logistics can also be involved in projects, such as to provide resources to construction sites, so these two disciplines are interrelated. Currently, project management is becoming just as vital of a phase for new facilities or materials as system design and performance. In modern-day enterprise project management, project logistics is a big challenge, as monitoring stakeholders from various departments or companies can be a demanding and time-consuming job. This becomes more demanding when multiple tasks are taking place simultaneously and cross paths. Thus, the project manager must make sure that communication is encouraged and always available. Everyone should know what is expected of them and where they should be.

For supply chain management and projects to be successful, there needs to be effective communication, but many businesses do not have communication plans as guides for employees (Kaoud, 2017). Additionally, supply chain managers do not usually receive training in communication, so they adopt a liberal outlook on the procedure. The top consequence of poor communication is decreased efficiency that results from wasted time, money, and resources (Kaoud, 2017). Poor communication can also lead to lower morale from workers, problems with public relations, and lack of innovation. Though one could believe that their current communication methods have no flaws, poor communication problems could take years to come to the surface. Thus, managers should apply methods that guarantee that information flows efficiently for to stakeholders.

Research shows (Agrawal & Sharma, 2014) that one of the most challenging barriers in logistics and supply chain management environments is effectively managing communication and stakeholders. Traditionally, the definition of logistics is the detailed association and completion of an operation with many steps. However, general marketing defines it as the management between the origin point and the utilization purpose to meet any requirements in the pursuit of a goal. One can apply physical objects to supervised assets, such as nourishment, materials, time, creatures, and data. Additionally, physical things include resolving the data stream, so this would entail security, supervising content, bundling, generation, warehousing, and transportation.

Effective communication in project environments faces multiple barriers. Project owners, managers, end-users, and stakeholders share the desire for project success when pursuing individual interests and objectives (Agrawal & Sharma, 2014). Aligning the interests of stakeholders with project execution and delivery creates the need for tools to manage communications among stakeholders. The purpose of communication management is to reduce conflict, as well as to promote participation and trust between individuals and organizations with interest in the project (Galli, 2017).

This paper discusses areas of study that relate to communication tools and techniques, information distribution, and knowledge sharing. Additionally, the effects of conflict on effective communication, as well as the relationship of management strategies and conflict resolution, are discussed. Barriers to effective communications, stakeholder analysis, and management will be synthesized in this review.

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