Exploring Collective Political Competence in Socially Complex Projects
The involvement of many interdependent actors in projects, each with different, or even divergent, interests, creates a level of complexity that is challenging researchers and professionals alike. The aim of the exploratory research presented here is to contribute to an improved understanding of how managers can facilitate efficient operation and success for very socially complex projects. Based on the political perspective of organizations and on specific literature on the concept of competence, this research specifically focused on exploring the relevance of considering the political management of project stakeholders or project actors to be a collective competence. Results seem to support this hypothesis by providing initial confirmation of the existence of actual collective political competence, and by describing, for the first time, the contours of projects involving many participants. These results also support a more widespread theory of leadership and a more authentic approach to stakeholder management in projects as performance factors. They have also made it possible to suggest areas that would benefit from further research.