The Stakeholder Management Toolkit

Dr Elmar

Dr Elmar Kutsch

Stakeholder Identification and Mapping

Stakeholders can be individuals or groups or even organisations. Brainstorm (in your team) and list the potential stakeholders accompanied with:

Their interest

• Their power or influence within the organisation • Their capacity to take action and to implement where they fit within the organisation • Their organisational and personal goals • How approachable they are • Their opponents or supporters • The criteria the stakeholder would use to judge the organisation’s performance (expectations of organisation)

Stakeholder Analysis and Visualisation

After this brainstorm session, you will have created a table of stakeholders that includes plenty of information on each stakeholder. The following step is to analyse and visualise. When we visualize, we begin to ‘see’ large amounts of complex data. It is simply easier than poring over spreadsheets, tables or the written word.

Over the years, a plethora of visualisations of stakeholders have emerged. Here are a few:

© Cranfield University

Page 2

The Power/Influence versus Interest Grid

In accordance with Eden and Ackermann (e.g. 2014), stakeholders can be distinguished by Power/Influence as well as Interest (see Figure 1). Such an analysis may highlight which stakeholders to focus upon; whose buy in needs to be sought or opinion or view to be changed.

Figure 1: Power/Influence, Interest Stakeholder Matrix

The Power/Dynamism Matrix

Gardner et al (1986) produced a Power/Dynamism Matrix. It shows how power/influence may shift over time or the extent to which power can be influenced; thus revealing aspects of predictability (see Figure 2).

Figure 2: Power/Dynamism Stakeholder Matrix

© Cranfield University

Page 3

Problem-Frame Stakeholder Map

It is good to know who your supporters are but it also worthwhile knowing who isn’t a supporter. This stakeholder map from Anderson, Bryson and Crosby (see Bryson, 2011) gives you an overview of your supporters and opponents, and the power they wield within the organisation.

Figure 3: Power Opposition / Support Matrix

Power/Legitimacy and Urgency Model

And finally, a more complex but equally important technique to analyse stakeholders. The framework by Mitchell, Agle and Wood demonstrates the stakeholders’ behaviour in accordance to three variables (see Figure 4): • Power – to influence the organisation • Legitimacy – of the relationship and actions with the organisation in terms of desirability, properness or appropriateness • Urgency – of the requirements being set for the organisation. In terms of criticality, time-sensitivity for the stakeholder

Figure 4: Power/Legitimacy and Urgency Bubble Diagram

© Cranfield University

Page 4

If a stakeholder is placed in area 1, 2 or 3 they are called Latent Stakeholders . These are stakeholders with only one of the three characteristics. For example, an animal rights group can have an urgent issue but, with neither power nor legitimacy, they can have demands but not get the management attention they need. Stakeholders in area 4, 5 or 6 are called Expectant Stakeholders and have two of the three characteristics. These stakeholders are typically employers and investors. The stakeholders that have all three characteristics in 7 are called Definitive Stakeholders and always take top priority.

Tapping Into The Power Of Visualisations

In reference to the previously introduced stakeholder maps, one may enhance the power of visualisations. Why not, using…

• Lines – between mapped stakeholders to indicate their relationship (e.g. solid = strong, dotted = weak, none = none) • Circle Size – equals the relative size of importance/power (or another variable of your choice) of the stakeholder • Circle Colour – equals, for example, how stakeholders think about the subject (e.g. decision, change, project) • Images – for example, using similes to indicate current satisfaction.

Think about how you visualise as many variables, without making your stakeholder map too complex, and thus incomprehensible.

Stakeholder Strategy

Scenarios are imaginative pictures of potential futures, but the future they picture is just a means to an end. These conversations around scenarios are designed to help you to ‘imagine’ a strategy, by bringing on board your insights from your stakeholder map.

The aim of Scenario Planning is to:

Envision ‘alternate extreme futures’ (worst/best case) Create a strategy that works for all extreme futures

Please follow these steps:

Step 1: What problem are you trying to solve?

Please define a clear and concise problem statement. It can be very beneficial for you to specify the “stakeholders” in the problem and solution. In regard to you stakeholder map:

Who experiences the problem? Who causes the problem? Who pays for the problem? Who supplies the solutions? Who pays for the solutions?

© Cranfield University

Page 5

The answers to these questions may help you to refine your problems, as well as inform your stakeholder analysis.

Step 2: Identify two critical dimensions

First, come up with two dimensions that define your problem (in this case uncertainty and uncontrollability). Next, plot your key drivers. Then, choose two drivers in the high uncertainty, high uncontrollability quadrant of the plot (in Figure 5, it is Driver B and C).

Figure 5 : Example of Critical Uncertainties

Step 3: Create scenarios

You have identified two highly important but highly uncertain drivers. Next, you must envision the extreme conditions for each driver: Extreme positive vs. extreme negative, extremely optimistic vs. extremely pessimistic. Now, draw another four-quadrant plot, with the extremes of critical uncertainties on the axes.

© Cranfield University

Page 6

Figure 6: Example of Scenario creation in reference to two critical uncertainties

Step 4: Compose the stories

For each of your 4 scenarios (see Figure 6), you must now write a short story. Each story should capture a vision of how the world will be under this scenario. It can be quite beneficial to come up with a catchy name for the scenario. Names stick in the mind and capture the essence of the scenario. You might attempt to describe the state of the world that characterises your scenario. Or you might choose an archetypical person that would characterise your scenario.

Step 5: Scenario application

Given your 4 short stories, it is time to return to the original question. When you first asked the question, you could not come up with a conclusive answer, because you did not know what the future looks like. But now you have 4 visions of the future! As a result, your 4 scenarios may provide you more conclusive answers to questions like:

• I am prepared for the worst-case scenario? • What do I need to do to achieve a best-case scenario? • Is my plan flexible enough to address all scenarios? • What is the most likely scenario?

© Cranfield University

Page 7


Research conducted in 1989 by Deborah J. Mitchell, of the Wharton School; Jay Russo, of Cornell; and Nancy Pennington, of the University of Colorado, found that prospective hindsight - imagining that an event has already occurred - increases the ability to correctly identify reasons for future outcomes by 30%. We have used prospective hindsight to devise a method called a premortem, which helps project teams identify risks at the outset. (Klein, 2007, p. 18)

Step 1: Focus your attention on your worst-case scenario (-/- scenario)

Please introduce your team to the exercise by informing everyone that the project has failed spectacularly in line with your defined worst-case scenario. Clearly explain the consequences of your worst-case scenario (e.g. in regard to stakeholder dissatisfaction).

Step 2: Contributing factors

On post-it notes, independently write down reasons how you failed to prevent the worst-case scenario from materialising. What (inadequate or insufficient) actions or inactions led to the realisation of worst-case scenario? For example: In a session assessing a research project in a different organization, a senior executive suggested that the project’s “failure” occurred because there had been insufficient time to prepare a business case prior to an upcoming corporate review of product initiatives. (Klein, 2007, p. 19)

Step 3: Review and prioritise actions

Review all your contributing factors to the worst-case scenario on a flipchart. Prioritise and develop managerial interventions.

© Cranfield University

Page 8


Bryson, J. (2011). Strategic planning for public and nonprofit organizations : a guide to strengthening and sustaining organizational achievement. New York: John Wiley and Sons Ltd.

Eden, C., & Ackermann, F. (2014). Making Strategy . London: SAGE Publications.

Gardner, J. R., Rachlin, R., & Sweeny, A. (1986). Handbook of strategic planning . New York: John Wiley & Sons, Inc.

© Cranfield University

Page 9

Cranfield, Bedford, England MK43 8LA

T: +44 (0)1234 751122

© Cranfield University

Page 10

Made with FlippingBook - Online Brochure Maker