Strategic

The Power and Interest of Stakeholders in an Organization

A single stakeholder map is unlikely to be appropriate for all circumstances. In particular, stakeholders may move from quadrant to quadrant when different potential future strategies are considered. This aspect will be dealt with the evaluation of strategic options.

Stakeholder mapping is used to assess the significance of stakeholder groups. This in turn has implications for the organization.
(a) The framework of corporate governance should recognize stakeholders’ levels of interest and power.
(b) It may be appropriate to seek to reposition certain stakeholders and discourage others from repositioning themselves, depending on their attitudes.
(c) Key blockers and backers of change must be identified.

Stakeholder mapping can also be used to establish political priorities. A map of the current position can be compared with a map of a desired future state. This will indicate critical shifts that must be pursued.

Mendelow ‘s Stakeholder mapping: power and interest

Mendelow suggests that stakeholders may be positioned on a matrix whose axes are power held and the likelihood of showing an interest in the organization’s activities. These factors will help define the type of relationship the organization should seek with its stakeholders.

(a) Key players are found in segment D: strategy must be acceptable to them, at least. An example would be a major customer.

(b) Stakeholders in segment C must be treated with care. While often passive, they are capable of moving to segment D. They should, therefore be kept satisfied. Large institutional shareholders might fall into segment C.

(c) Stakeholders in segment B do not have great ability to influence strategy, but their views can be important in influencing more powerful stakeholders, perhaps by lobbying. They should therefore be kept informed. Community representatives and charities might fall into segment B.

(d) Minimal effort is expended on segment A.

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