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Project relationship management and the Stakeholder Circle™

Lynda Bourne (Stakeholder Management Pty. Ltd, Melbourne, Australia)
Derek H.T. Walker (RMIT University, Melbourne Australia)

International Journal of Managing Projects in Business

ISSN: 1753-8378

Article publication date: 25 January 2008



The aim of this paper is to summarise a successfully completed doctoral thesis. The main purpose of the paper is to provide a summary that indicates the scope of, and main issues raised by, the thesis so that readers that are undertaking research in this area may be aware of current cutting edge research that could be relevant to them. A second key aim of the paper is to place this in context with doctoral study and further research that could take place to extend knowledge in this area.


Research reported in this paper was based upon action learning from a series of case studies where a project management tool for managing stakeholder relationships was tested and refined.


The tool is useful in helping the project delivery team identify major influencing stakeholders and visualise their potential impact. This tool then helped the studied project delivery teams to develop stakeholder engagement strategies. While it was initially tested as a planning tool to be used at the early stages of a project it can be used through the whole implementation phase of a project as the flow of major stakeholders and their influence changes during a project.

Practical implications

The tool was further improved during 2006 and commercialised in 2007 and is currently being used by numerous organisations. In observing how it is being used and can be used, it is suggested that over time a useful data base of stakeholder behaviours is being established that can be mined and used to better predict stakeholder types and their likely actions.


This paper provides a summary of cutting‐edge research work and a link to the published thesis (see URL for a pdf (7meg)) that researchers can use to help them understand how the research methodology was applied as well as how it can be extended.



Bourne, L. and Walker, D.H.T. (2008), "Project relationship management and the Stakeholder Circle™", International Journal of Managing Projects in Business, Vol. 1 No. 1, pp. 125-130.



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