Evaluating Competing Interests

Evaluating Competing Interests

address different areas of concern, such as possible losses and potential violation of federal or state laws, while evaluating the viability of public sector projects. The consideration of competing interests in public sector projects is an integral part of the evaluation process. It is difficult to build consensus for a public sector project when the stakeholders in the project—who have the most to gain or lose if the project goes forward—offer conflicting information or competing support to the project.

For example, the community consultant might believe that a project is good for the community because it increases property values. The senior executive might believe that the funds in the budgeted plan are not sufficient enough to complete the project or produce operating funds on a regular basis for its operations and maintenance. The project manager might believe that the project should be scaled down. However, local politicians might endorse the project but believe that the project should be relocated within their respective voting districts. Competing interests make it difficult to provide an adequate analysis—whether to move forward on particular public sector projects.


Read an article from a specialty journal or the popular press on a recent public sector project decision involving multiple local government stakeholders. For example, the decision could involve the initiation of a new program or termination of an existing program because of budget cutbacks. In addition to the Argosy University online library resources and popular press sources, such as the New York Times, the Washington Post, and the Wall Street Journal, the following websites are excellent sources of specialty journals:

The Heritage Foundation
The Cato Institute
The Center for American Progress
The Fiscal Policy Institute
The National Conference of State Legislatures

After you have identified the project, discuss the following points:

Evaluate one modification that you would make to this decision in order to make at least one stakeholder better off and not make any stakeholder worse off.
Provide a rationale as to why your recommended proposal should be followed either immediately or in increments.
Evaluate what the result would be if you were incorrect about the expected impact on the stakeholders, that is, you made a stakeholder or two worse off.
Analyze the actions you would take to resolve the unexpected negative impacts on the stakeholders.

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