Can you Say Stakeholder?

What is a stakeholder?

Most people who has some idea will say it is a person or group that has an interest in the organization. That is not correct.

The BROAD DEFINITION is that it is any group or individual who can affect or is affected by the achievement of the organisation’s objectives (Freeman, 1984).

However even that definition is not sufficient. To define a stakeholder you need to also determine their TYPES OF STAKES  which could be an interest, a legal or moral right, or ownership.

I like the Body Shop’s version and approach: A stakeholder is any group or individual who can affect or is affected by an organisation’s impact or behaviour – The Body Shop.

Stakeholders can also be classified into:

    • Those who are affected by a particular issue or program;
    • Those who have information, knowledge, resources or positions which are relevant to the issue;
    • Those who have some control over the outcome of the issue.

Thus internally there could be Subject Matter experts and other interested individuals that needs to be drawn into a program. Some may call it politics, I used to, but after years of working in this area, I have realised that it is about stakes, positions, views and finding ways of engagement.

The Body Shop classifies them into social and non-social groups even goes further to classify them:

Stakeholders are:

    • those whose interests are affected by the issue or those whose activities strongly affect the issue;
    • those who possess information, resources and expertise needed for strategy formulation and implementation, and
    • those who control relevant implementation, instruments (Funds, Law or Property)

What is most important to realize is that stakeholders are volatile and can change interest and positions very quickly often overnight. I always tell my audiences that we live in a world with more active, INFORMED, ACTIVE and SOPHISTICATED customers and communities than in the past.

You may want to check out my article on my Blog in this regard

If you would like to learn more about Stakeholder Management and its impact on business and organisational reputation, consider attending this event. Register your interest online and I will contact you.

What: Stakeholder Reputation Management Master Class
This course will take the delegate from theory to practice, offering the opportunity to question and pre-plan for better reputation management practices and stakeholder management in their organization and will guide companies how to comply with the requirements of Section 8 of the King Code 3 on Corporate Governance. It contains best practice ideas to develop and implement a stakeholder reputation management engagement & communications plan. Based on a synthesis of ideas from community relations, marketing, strategic communication, reputation and stakeholder management, organizational change, sustainability and CSI thinking, it offers an integrated framework, as well as practical tools for developing new kinds of collaborative relationships.
When: 24 – 25 Jan 2019
Where: Hotel Apollo, Ferndale

Cnr Bram Fischer Drive & Republic, Randburg
Johannesburg, Gauteng   South Africa