Organizing external stakeholder engagement in inter-organizational projects: Opening the black box

Jere Lehtinen*, Kirsi Aaltonen

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

11 Citations (Scopus)


External stakeholder engagement is crucial for delivering value to diverse stakeholders in inter-organizational projects, however, it is not straightforward to organize this in a way that adds value. The intra-organizational focus of previous research offers limited insights into the relevant roles, responsibilities, arrangements and activities in inter-organizational contexts. Moreover, comprehensive empirical studies of the phenomenon are rare. This study explicates how internal stakeholders organize external stakeholder engagement in inter-organizational projects. Our multiple-case study of two infrastructure projects in Northern Europe identified three organizing solutions based on governance, values and dynamism. While governance-based solutions provide an overall structure for organizing external stakeholder engagement, value-based solutions ensure genuine cooperation and dynamism-based solutions facilitate timely organizing. The study develops propositions that constitute a model of how external stakeholder engagement can be organized in inter-organizational projects. The findings have implications for project stakeholder management and mainstream stakeholder research.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)85-98
Number of pages14
JournalInternational Journal of Project Management
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1 Feb 2020
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed


  • External stakeholders
  • Inter-organizational projects
  • Management for stakeholders
  • Organizing
  • Stakeholder engagement


Dive into the research topics of 'Organizing external stakeholder engagement in inter-organizational projects: Opening the black box'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this