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Stakeholder Salience Model

Stakeholder Salience Model

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Quick Overview

The model describes seven stakeholder characteristics based on three parameters. The parameters are the following:



  • Power: stakeholder’s power to influence the organisation, programme or project.

  • Legitimacy: the extent to which the stakeholder’s actions are correct or desirable based on his position within the organisation.

  • Urgency: the extent to which the outcome is interesting for the stakeholder and the time pressure involved.


 


Related models: Time Management MatrixProjectmanager RadiusForce Field AnalysisSteering ParametersDevils TriangleSMARTBARTStakeholder Salience Model


 



$7.80

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Details

Stakeholder Salience Model

 

Background

The Salience model was developed by Mitchell, Agle and Wood (1997).

Related models: Time Management MatrixProjectmanager RadiusForce Field AnalysisSteering ParametersDevils TriangleSMARTBARTStakeholder Salience Model

 

 

The model

The model describes seven stakeholder characteristics based on three parameters. The parameters are the following:

-      Power: stakeholder’s power to influence the organisation, programme or project.

-      Legitimacy: the extent to which the stakeholder’s actions are correct or desirable based on his position within the organisation.

-      Urgency: the extent to which the outcome is interesting for the stakeholder and the time pressure involved.

 

Latent stakeholders

One or several of the above parameters can apply to one stakeholder. Stakeholders with one of these parameters are referred to as latent stakeholders and they are outside the model (no. 1, 2 and 3):

-      (1) Dormant stakeholder (parameter: power) – The dormant stakeholder does not exert his power because his requirements are insufficiently legitimate and urgent. The stakeholder does have the potency to win urgency and legitimacy. Example: a person or group able to manipulate media attention.

-      (2) Weak or discrete stakeholder (parameter: legitimacy) – The weak stakeholder has no urgency but he does have legitimacy. Due to lack of power this stakeholder is unable to influence the organisation. Usually these are non-profit organisations and voluntary organisations.

-      (3) Demanding stakeholder (parameter: urgency) – This stakeholder puts down an urgent claim but he has insufficient legitimacy. There is no authority to be exercised.

 

Expectant stakeholders

Stakeholders with two of the three parameters are typified as the expectant stakeholders and they move towards the centre of the model (no. 4, 5 and 6):

-      (4) Dominant stakeholder (parameter: power/legitimacy) – A dominant stakeholder has power and legitimacy. His demand or claim, however, is not urgent. The stakeholder has high expectations and is usually given much attention. Examples include staff and unions’ representatives who are members of a company’s board.

-      (5) Dangerous stakeholder (parameter: power/urgency) – A stakeholder will be dangerous provided he has power and an urgent claim or demand, but insufficient legitimacy. The stakeholder can be authoritative and even use violent tools. It is very important to recognise dangerous stakeholders, however meeting their claims is not always necessary. One example of a dangerous stakeholder is an interest group with incorrect or deliberately manipulated details about a company’s environmental achievements (Greenpeace and the Brent Spar case);

-      (6) Dependent stakeholder (parameter: legitimacy/urgency) – The dependent stakeholder has an urgent and legitimate demand however he lacks the power. This means the stakeholder depends on other people such as the dominant stakeholder, who does have the power to impose the dependent stakeholder’s will. A dependent stakeholder could be a conversation organisation for instance.

 

Ultimate stakeholders

Stakeholders with all three parameters are referred to as the ultimate stakeholders (no. 7):

-      (7) Ultimate stakeholder (parameter: power/legitimacy/urgency) - Stakeholders can be considered ultimate stakeholders provided they have power and a legitimate/urgent claim.

 

How to use it

 

A stakeholder analysis does not stand alone. Good stakeholder management consists of several steps one of them being the mapping of stakeholders. One process consists of the following steps:

-      Identify stakeholders

-      Map stakeholders

-      Determine stakeholder strategy

-      Implement

 

Identify stakeholders

Stakeholders can be catalogued in different ways. The simplest alternative is to use common sense, make a list of stakeholders and test the list with colleagues to find out whether it is correct and complete.

Determine the level at which and the target group for which identification is done. Let’s say you are dealing with a steering group or a board meeting, then the members of this meeting will be the stakeholders you want to ‘manage’. Or you may be identifying the steering group, which means identification will provide the people/parties who are important for ‘managing’ the ‘steering group’. This confirms the fact that stakeholder management is done at different levels.

 

Mitroff provides a good method for analysing stakeholders, describing seven ways to determine who these stakeholders are:

-      ‘Imperative’: determine which parties or people consider themselves to be stakeholders. This is expressed through speech, written documents, blogs, complaints, etc. Thinking you are a stakeholder does not make you one.

-      ‘Positional’: People obtain ‘legitimacy’ because of their position in the hierarchy. This has nothing to do with power. The phenomenon of the Peter Principle whereby everyone grows towards their first level of incompetence usually plays a role in this. Since demotion is hardly applied it is important to include other aspects (e.g. power and influence) as well in the identification process.

-      ‘Reputational’: simply ask who is in charge. Especially the people referred to several times will somehow be able to exercise power. Sometimes they may even do so without existing in an official organisation chart.

-      ‘Social participation’: based on the assignment and your goals you determine which people/parties have a strong say in the matter. Therefore, this method is subject-related.

-      ‘Opinion leadership’: ask your (authoritative) publicists who the stakeholders are. In large bureaucratic organisations this method will hardly pay off though.

-      ‘Demographic’: stakeholders can be identified based on equal characteristics. Examples include training level, position, sex, age, etc. 

-      ‘Organisational’: determine which parties/people are involved in your organisation/programme. External suppliers, customers, departments, supervisors, etc.

 

Map stakeholders

Stakeholders can be mapped in different ways. The mapping style depends on which aspects matter for mapping stakeholders. As has been described in this model power, legitimacy and urgency are opted for.

 

Several different classifications are also used frequently:

-      Stakeholder mapping – Burgoyne: here the level of influence is compared to attitude towards the intended change (non-committed, defensive, committed).

-      Stakeholder mapping – Balanced Score Card: the four aspects of the Balanced Score Card can be a good steppingstone for mapping stakeholders in the field in which they can exercise power.

-      Power-dynamics matrix (Gardner et al): classifies stakeholders based on the power they have with respect to the changeability of their standpoints.

-      Power-interest matrix (Gardner et al): here stakeholders’ power is put against the interest they have in the changes that are being introduced. 

-      Interest matrix: here the significance of the programme results for the stakeholder is put against the stakeholder’s interest in that programme: to what extent does your result matter to the stakeholder and to what extent is the stakeholder important for you and for getting your results?

 

Endless mapping methods exist. Make a well-considered choice that will eventually add to proper management and influencing of stakeholders for the sake of a good result.

 

Determine stakeholder strategy

Analysing and mapping stakeholders won’t suffice. The position of each stakeholder requires a certain approach or influencing method. This can be very specific for each stakeholder. In general one could say that a mapping structure clearly indicates which strategy should be followed. The following is a rough classification:

-      Few efforts: stakeholders with a ‘low’ score on both/several aspects.

-      Good information: stakeholders who are interested in your results/changes. They in return can influence the authoritative stakeholders.

-      Keep satisfied: stakeholders who (in the first place) are hardly ‘bothered’ by your results/change. Certain events can change matters making them a difficult player.

-      Intensive collaboration: stakeholders who score high on (almost) every aspect.

 

Implement

Stakeholder management is a non-stop process. Stakeholders can be approached at different frequencies, informally or formally and by different people. When mapping stakeholders we recommend placing the name of the person who is responsible for managing the stakeholder.

Put stakeholder mapping on the agenda of a steering group, board meeting, team meeting or project meeting. Determine whether stakeholders are involved correctly and sufficiently and whether stakeholders are showing a different behaviour.

‘Last but not least’: in some cases the place where the stakeholder is being mapped can be considered as confrontational or even lead to discussions. If it is about stakeholders whom you yourself need to ‘manage’, then think carefully about the persons with whom you wish to share the mapping process.

Good luck with your dormant stakeholders!

 

Related models: 

-   Time Management Matrix

-   Projectmanager Radius

-   Force Field Analysis

-   Steering Parameters

-   Devils Triangle

-   SMART

-   BART

-   Stakeholder Salience Model

 

 

Sources:

-       Wikipedia

-       Mitchell, R. K.; Agle, B. R.; Wood, D. J. (1997). "Toward a Theory of Stakeholder Identification and Salience: Defining the Principle of Who and What Really Counts". Academy of Management Review (Academy of Management)