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  • Print publication year: 2011
  • Online publication date: June 2012

10 - Network-based strategies and competencies for political and social risk management in global projects



The incorporation of information on the structure of political and social networks for global projects into data acquisition and analysis, as well as strategy implementation, is accelerating the transformation of political and social risk management from art to quasi-formal science. Sophisticated project managers grappling with conflicting pressures from multiple social and political actors abroad and at home have for some time relied upon a broad set of informants as sources of information for as well as myriad agents for the collection and analysis of this externally sourced information, and the design and implementation of an influence strategy. While those sources of information and agents of implementation have long formed a network structure in which the project is embedded, the analysis of the incoming information and design of an influence strategy has too often occurred without reference to that structure neglecting important information and insight. Each piece of information is viewed independently and equally or its importance is determined by a process that neglects its position of origin in the network of informants. Similarly, agents of influence are employed in an uncoordinated manner, or the form of that coordination fails to fully incorporate their position in the network of policymaking. Perhaps most critically, this process of political and social risk mitigation is isolated from broader financial, economic, and engineering planning functions.

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