Stakeholder theory

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    Anonymous User39Anonymous User39

    What is a ‘Stakeholder?’



    The term stakeholder is used as a general term to describe individuals, groups, or organizations that have an interest in the project and can mobilize resources to affect its outcome in some way. A formal definition of a stakeholder is: “individuals and organizations who are actively involved in the project, or whose interests may be positively or negatively affected as a result of project execution or successful project completion” (Project Management Institute (PMI®), 1996).


    The Importance of Analyzing Stakeholders



    Stakeholder analysis refers to the range of techniques or tools to identify and understand the needs and expectations of major interests inside and outside the project environment. It is good practice to analyze staeholders at before the project has started or at the very least in the early stages. Such analysis deals with sensitive information so it should not be a surprise if unproductive interests or hidden agendas are uncovered. Team members should develop a sense of trustworthiness. Since stakeholders are an essential cog in the project’s wheel, the project manager should make sure they have sufficient knowledge of all relevant stakeholders to ensure the project’s success.


    How to Analyze Stakeholders



    There are a number of steps that must be carried out in the process of analyzing stakeholders. Firstly, project stakeholders must be identified. This step usually means a brainstroming exercise with selected members and a facilitator. When this is completed, stakeholders’ interests, importance level and relative priority must be identified. This is an essential step and it is necessary that all interests, big or small, are identified. The third step in this process is to focus on assessing stakeholders for importance and influence. This is an important step as it identifies powerful stakeholders, who may have negative interests. The penultimate step is to outline assumptions and risks associated with stakeholders. This step clarifies that all relevant stakeholders are focused on a successful outcome of the project. Finally, a definition of the stakeholders participation; not every stakeholder plays the same role so it is necessary that every stakeholders’ role is defined.

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