Stakeholder relationship management is a key component for the successful design, implementation and operation of complex and socially controversial projects, yet a discipline that is often misunderstood or underrated. In a world were socially controversial projects have become and will continue to be ever more frequent and important, the need to improve the knowledge of stakeholder relationship management in controversial projects is very important. The objective of this report is to contribute to scholarship on stakeholder relationship management by using a newly developed system dynamics model developed at MIT called, the Golay-Williams stakeholder acceptance model. The model seeks to better illustrate complex stakeholder relationships, their dynamic nature and what must be done to gain enough support to ensure project success. This paper studies an emblematic U.S. controversial project, the Cape Wind offshore energy project, located in the Nantucket Sound in Massachusetts, in order to test the model capabilities to represent complex stakeholder dynamics and best practices in stakeholder engagement. The assessment of the Golay-Williams model derived from the Cape Wind Project case study, suggests that the Golay-Williams model can contribute significantly to the successful management of stakeholder relationships on socially controversial projects.
Nuclear Energy and Sustainability