Understanding the social network of stakeholders in hydropower project development: An owners' view

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Hydropower development involves managing a network of diverse stakeholders, in which owners play a key role.

Cooperation with stakeholders can improve owners’ social capital diectly and through inter-organizational linking.

Hydropower project stakeholders are grouped into four clusters: project feasibility, implementation, procurement and migrants.

Suppliers distribute separately from other stakeholders, requiring the owners to build supplier networks to buy stable products.

Local residents have the lowest centrality in the network, showing owners should take measures for migrants’ sustainable development.


Hydropower development involves managing a network of diverse stakeholders. Owners play a critical part in effectively cooperating and establishing inter-organizational linking with stakeholders to achieve multiple project objectives. According to the data which is from the construction industry of hydropower in China, the research aims to investigate the causal relationships between cooperation with stakeholders and inter-organizational linking systematically, together with their impacts on the owners’ social capital by developing and testing a conceptual model. Path analysis confirms that cooperation with stakeholders cannot only directly improve owners’ social capital but also exert its influence on social capital through enhancement of inter-organizational linking, thereby improving project performance and winning external supports for owners’ long-term development. Social network analysis shows that, from the perspective of owners, project stakeholders are clearly grouped into four clusters related to project feasibility, implementation, procurement and resettlement of migrants. These clusters reflect stakeholder’s different roles and connections with each other in hydropower development. Understanding the above in-depth underlying relationships is fundamental for improving multi-organizational dynamics research to a state of the art, and help project participants to appropriately adopt cooperative strategies for maximizing the effectiveness of each stakeholder’s resources.


Stakeholder management


Inter-organizational linking

Social capital

Social network

Hydropower development

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