Would you like everybody to agree on what stakeholder analysis means? Sorry bro, not gonna happen! There is significant confusion amongst the literature as to exactly what stakeholder analysis means. Reed et al. (2009) suggests that this confusion may stem from a variety of disciplines using the a similar concept within alternate conceptual frameworks. As stakeholder analysis was adapted to a different use in alternate disciplines (i.e. from business management to policy design, to natural resource management) definitions and assumptions broadened. Now with all disciplines calling their stakeholder analysis the same thing, it is very easy to misconstrue meaning. As such, previously distinct definitions have become fuzzy and hard to define.
- empower marginalised stakeholders
- used to deduce information on stakeholder behaviour, agenda and interests of ‘relevant actors’
- used to assess the feasibility of future policies
- Usually use stakeholder analysis to mobilize, neutralize or defeat stakeholders to meet objectives
- assumes stakeholders and issues are static over time
Natural Resource Management and Development
- identifies that stakeholder needs and interests can change over time
- Reed et al (2009) suggests one reason that stakeholder analysis evolved was a consequence of failed projects that did not take into account stakeholder dynamics
- Stakeholder analysis is often a part of the paticipatory process in environmental decision-making
- alot of literature (REFERENCE x2) advocates ongoing stakeholder participation. In this way the varying interests and needs of stakeholders can be identified and responded to as they change over time
So as you can see, disciplines can have significantly different interpretations of stakeholder analysis. Articles like Reed et al (2009) are important, because they help us clarify definitions. Without such clarification, literature may not be comparable, as they might be discussing a similar topic on a different plane.
Peace out Hombres!
Reed, M. S., Graves, A., Dandy, N., Posthumus, H., Hubacek, K., Morris, J., Prell, C., Quinn, C. H. & Stringer, L. C. 2009. Who’s in and why? A typology of stakeholder analysis methods for natural resource management. Journal of Environmental Management, 90, 1933-1949.