Battle of narratives: Interaction between narratives and counter-narratives in megaprojects

Johan Ninan, Natalya Sergeeva

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Megaprojects along with creating value to the economy, create environmental, social and political disruptions in its local environment. Narratives guide social action and hence both the promoters and the protesters of a project mobilize narratives to advance their interest. In this process, narratives and counter-narratives are (re)created and their interaction often establishes the dominant narrative. Using the case of the High Speed Two (HS2) megaproject in England, we highlight that it is through a continuous process of interaction between the promoter narratives and protester narratives that the narrative of the project vision evolves in practice. The strategies employed to resist the counter-narrative such as rejecting the counter-narrative, delaying it, and accepting part of it is discussed. We propose a model of how narratives of the project evolve through multiple narratives and counter-narratives. Thus, megaprojects are an arena where multiple battles are fought with narratives, to win one’s vested interest in the project.
Original languageEnglish
Article number100069
Number of pages10
JournalProject Leadership and Society
Publication statusPublished - 2022


  • Megaprojects
  • Project organizing
  • Narratives
  • Counter-narratives
  • Stakeholder management


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