The term “stakeholder” refers to any person or organization that has a legitimate interest in your organization. There are many stakeholders for a company, including employees, customers, suppliers, investors, etc. Organizations need to manage these stakeholders in order to achieve their goals.

Stakeholder management is the process of maintaining good relationships with the stakeholders who have the greatest influence on your goals. The right way of communicating with them can be crucial in keeping them “on board”.

This article provides an introduction to stakeholder identification and stakeholder management

What is stakeholder management and how does it affect organizations?

Stakeholders are people or institutions or organizations who have an interest in your organization, e.g. B. employees, customers, suppliers or investors.

Stakeholder management can then be defined as a process in which the interests of the most important groups (stakeholders) that are affected by the activities of a company are identified and analyzed in order to gain them through targeted influencing to achieve the company’s goals.

An example of this would be your company having a new production facility built. You could then hold meetings with staff, community leaders, and local residents to find out what problems / concerns they have.

How to identify the relevant stakeholders in your company

Stakeholder analysis is about identifying all stakeholders who, at some level, have an interest in your company and its activities. This analysis should provide information about what interests and drives the individual stakeholders.

In 2004 Harrison and Freeman introduced the concept of “Stakeholder Mapping”, which they updated in 2008, and which now includes the following stakeholder groups:

Primary stakeholders

  1. Employees
  2. Customers
  3. Financiers
  4. Suppliers
  5. Communities

Secondary stakeholders

  1. Government
  2. Media
  3. Consumer advocates
  4. Competitors
  5. Special interest groups

Stakeholder mapping

To maximize the value of these stakeholders, organizations should understand the different types of stakeholders and their importance to the organization. A stakeholder map is a document that lists the various stakeholders and their impact on company performance. The map helps managers understand how best to deal with the various stakeholders and what compromises they are willing to make.

the first important step for effective stakeholder management is the identification all different types of stakeholders in the organization.

the next step is the relative importance of the individual stakeholder groups in the context of the company. For this purpose, sales figures or market shares for different markets can be used as benchmarks for determining the relative importance.

Identifying the different types of stakeholders alone will not help an organization if it does not have good relationships with them. This means that organizations should try to get as much information as possible about each stakeholder group. For other stakeholder groups that are not relevant to the company, an organization can choose to simply ignore them or just observe them. If the stakeholder is important, the respondent should look for ways to better interact with this group.

Power Interest Grid

There are several frameworks for stakeholder management. One of the most popular is the so-called power interest grid.

The power interest grid consists of four quadrants that serve to represent the different levels of influence and interest in a particular topic. The upper right quadrant represents the most powerful people; B. the top management of an organization, which shows little interest in a certain topic. The lower left quadrant represents people with great interest but little influence – for example, individual employees or customers. The upper left quadrant represents people of great influence and interest, such as: B. Investors, while the lower right quadrant is for people with little power and little interest, such as e. B. smaller suppliers.

Example of a power interest grid

After identifying the stakeholders, an organization needs to develop and communicate a strategy for interacting with them. This strategy should be geared towards the power interest grid:

Great influence, great interest: These are your key stakeholders, and your primary concern should be that they are happy with the progress of your project.

Big influence, little interest: Because of their influence in the company, you should endeavor to please these people. However, since they haven’t shown a great deal of interest in your project, if you communicate with them too much, you could scare them off.

Little influence, great interest: You should keep these people informed and check back with them regularly to make sure they are not having any issues with the project.

Little influence, little interest: Just give them regular information, but don’t overdo it.


Once you have a list of which stakeholders fall into which category, it is time to think strategically about how best to get ongoing support for each of these types of stakeholders. First, ask yourself questions about your stakeholders, such as: B .: What motivates this stakeholder?

What other priorities do they have, and how can we align our project with those priorities (or at least make sure the project does not compromise them)?

Is this stakeholder likely to be positive about our project? If not, what can we do about it?

After you have created these profiles for each stakeholder type, you can move on to the next phase of the stakeholder management process – developing your communication plan for the stakeholders.

All information and details in our articles and information have been compiled to the best of our knowledge. However, they are provided without liability. This information cannot replace individual advice in specific cases.