Stakeholder Analysis

Stakeholder analysis (alternatively stakeholder analysis) is the systematic assessment of the characteristics of stakeholders and their relationships to each other including specific topics and entities, such as technologies, risks, trends, ideas and strong and weak signals. Stakeholder analysis can be carried out with low capacities while greatly benefiting strategic decisions.
Stakeholder Analysis

Stakeholder Analysis:

Stakeholder analysis is an analytical method used to identify the relevant stakeholders in a specific context, analyse their interests, their needs and influencing factors while also understanding their relationships with one another. It is often used in the context of projects, political decision-making processes or in the development of strategies.  

Stakeholder analysis in a nutshell 

Stakeholder analysis can identify relevant actors and link them to trends, ideas, signals and technologies. Political or strategic processes and decisions can be derived from this. The analysis also forms the basis for participatory processes, as it is possible to conclude which stakeholders must be involved. The results of the stakeholder analysis serve as a basis for strategic decisions, by considering different stakeholder interests and developing relationships. Finally, it helps to avoid conflicts, increase the acceptance of decisions and improve cooperation with the relevant stakeholders.  

Introduction to Stakeholder Analysis

Stakeholder analysis concerning future research and strategic foresight focuses on identifying and investigating key stakeholders or groups significantly influencing future developments and trends. In this context, the analysis aims to look at past and present stakeholders and anticipating potential new relevant ones together with their patterns of action in a constantly changing world. Identifying the influencing factors, interests, and motivations of these actors enables more precise forecasts of future developments and the development of well-founded strategies for shaping the future

Aims and areas of application of stakeholder analysis

The goal of stakeholder analysis is to obtain a comprehensive understanding of the various actors directly or indirectly affected by a specific situation or project. This includes individuals, groups, organizations, or institutions that have an interest in the outcomes or impacts.

Methods for identifying relevant stakeholders

To identify relevant actors and their impacts and connections, a stakeholder analysis is advisable. The following steps are necessary for this purpose. 

Preparation:

  • Define the objectives, or the core question of the study, that you are pursuing with the analysis.
  • Determination of evaluation criteria that are relevant to the process and the result.

Implementation:  :

  • Researching and listing the various actors that may be relevant.  
  • Characterization of the stakeholders by assigning them to topics such as climate protection and climate adaptation or climate adaptation measures, politics, social affairs, business or IT.  
  • Evaluate the stakeholders found within a group of experts.  
  • Link stakeholders to other actors or entities such as technologies, risks, trends, information, signals and indicators.  

Analysis of stakeholder interests and influencing factors   

The assessment analysis is conducted using a radar, portfolio, or by representations in a network. Actors do not exist in isolation, therefore they should be classified into existing or new actor clusters according to identified patterns. 

Evaluation of stakeholder networks and relationships  

The mentioned actor networks are important for quickly recognizing and assessing relationships. Connections and influence can thus be derived, and measures defined. Especially for topics such as administration, climate, or dialogue with citizens, actor networks are solid tools for identifying actors and analysing their tasks and possible actions. 

Integration of stakeholder analyses into decision-making processes  

Integrating stakeholder analyses into decision-making processes is of great importance to make well-founded and resilient decisions. Stakeholder analysis makes it possible to identify the relevant actors in a specific context, analyse their interests, needs and influencing factors understanding their relationships with one another.  

The following advantages can be achieved by integrating stakeholder analyses into decision-making processes:  

  • Overview of relevant influencing factors
  • Consideration of different perspectives
  • Identification of opportunities and risks
  • Building relationships and networks
  • Increasing acceptance and legitimacy
  • Improving the quality of decisions

Overall, integrating stakeholder analysis into decision-making processes is a practical approach to improving the quality of decision-making and promoting a long-standing implementation of decisions. By considering the interests, needs and relationships of stakeholders, companies, organizations, and governments can make effective decisions that are both economically and socially responsible.  

The role of stakeholder analysis in project management  

Stakeholder analysis plays an essential role in project management by helping to improve the success of a project. It enables a sound assessment of the relevant stakeholders, their interests, needs and influencing factors to ensure effective collaboration and successful project implementation.  

The role of stakeholder analysis in project management encompasses several aspects:  

  • Identifying the relevant actors
  • Understanding their interests and needs
  • Analysing influence and power distribution
  • Conflict management and stakeholder engagement
  • Resource optimization and cooperation

Stakeholder analysis is, therefore, an essential tool for optimizing project management. Projects can be implemented successfully by considering the interests, needs and influencing factors of the stakeholders. A practical stakeholder analysis helps minimize risks, avoid conflicts and increase acceptance, leading to better project results and higher customer satisfaction.  

Stakeholder analysis to promote cooperation and consensus building  

The stakeholder analysis is decisive in promoting cooperation and consensus-building in various contexts. It makes it possible to identify the relevant actors, understand their interests and needs and analyse their relationships with each other. This creates a solid basis for cooperation and the opportunity to define common goals and reach consensus.  

The stakeholder analysis contributes to the promotion of cooperation and consensus building in various ways:  

  • Identifying the relevant actors 
  • Understanding interests and needs  
  • Analysis of relationships  
  • Communication and dialogue  
  • Search for common goals and consensus

The stakeholder analysis thus plays an essential role in promoting cooperation and consensus building. Understanding interests, analyzing relationships and stakeholder dialogue creates a solid foundation for effective collaboration.  

Application of stakeholder analysis in business development  

The application of stakeholder analysis in business development generates exciting opportunities to promote successful growth and sustainable development. By systematically analysing the relevant stakeholders in the corporate environment, important insights can be gained that enable the targeted design of corporate strategy and communication.  

The application of stakeholder analysis in corporate development offers several advantages:  

  • Identification of relevant actors 
  • Understanding of interests and influencing factors 
  • Development of a targeted corporate strategy  
  • Improvement of stakeholder communication  
  • Risk management and opportunity identification  

Conclusion and Outlook: adaptable project management

The application of stakeholder analysis in corporate development is a valuable tool to promote sound and strategic decision-making. By understanding the interests and needs of the relevant stakeholders, companies can optimize their corporate strategy, communication and risk management strategies and ensure long-term success.  

Frequently asked questions and answers  

Stakeholder analysis is an analytical method used to identify the relevant stakeholders in a specific context, analyse their interests, their needs and influencing factors while also understanding their relationships with one another. It is often used in the context of projects, political decision-making processes or in the development of strategies.  

Stakeholder analysis is used in foresight projects and companies to obtain a holistic picture of competitors and their influence.  
Overall, stakeholder analysis enables a holistic view of the project context and helps improve stakeholder relationships, effectively achieve project goals and maximize the project’s success. By systematically involving stakeholders in the project management process, potential conflicts can be avoided, acceptance and support can be increased, and the efficiency of the project can be improved.  
If you want to improve your project management, stakeholder analysis is a valuable tool to help you focus on the relevant stakeholders, understand their needs and optimize collaboration and communication. Integrating stakeholder analysis into your project management process can significantly increase your project’s chances of success.  

Stakeholder analysis is a valuable tool for improving project management and increasing the success of projects. By identifying and analysing the relevant stakeholders, i.e. the people, groups or organizations that are directly or indirectly affected by a project, potential risks, opportunities, and conflicts can be identified early and managed effectively.  

A comprehensive stakeholder analysis makes it possible to understand the various stakeholders’ needs, expectations, interests and influencing factors. This knowledge is crucial for improving communication and cooperation with the stakeholders and gaining their support for the project.  

Involving the relevant stakeholders in the project planning process can identify and address potential obstacles and resistance early. Transparent communication and close cooperation with stakeholders make it possible to consider their concerns and issues and find acceptable solutions for all parties involved. 

Our stakeholder management software, the Foresight Strategy Cockpit (FSC), offers a comprehensive solution for reducing coordination and programme costs. It enables the holistic aggregation of internal information, external expert knowledge and data-driven insights. This enables all organisational units to contribute efficiently to evaluating relevant players and start-ups.

With our software, you can choose between different types of visualisations and export results as a finished document at the touch of a button. This facilitates systematic stakeholder management.

The Foresight Strategy Cockpit combines all aspects of our approach in a web-based analysis support system. It enables users to integrate and share their knowledge and evaluate developments. It also includes an indicator, a stakeholder database, and access to real-time media analyses.

Our Foresight Strategy Cockpit significantly reduces the coordination and time required to manage players and start-ups. By holistically bringing together different sources of information, each team member can jointly contribute to assessing relevant players and competitors. In addition, all insights gained can be easily exported as reports to foster a collaborative working environment.

Sources

  • DeGeorge, R.T. (2010). Business Ethics. Pearson Education, Inc. p. 192.
  • Cameron, B.G.; Seher, T.; Crawley, E.F. (2011). “Goals for space exploration based on stakeholder value network considerations”. Acta Astronautica. 68 (11–12): 2088–97.
Selection of References
  • European Environment Agency - European Union
  • European Commission
  • Bundesministerium für Digitalisierung und Wirtschaftsstandort
  • Melde- und Analysestelle Informationssicherung MELANI
  • NATO – North Atlantic Treaty Organization
  • Bundesministerium für Landesverteidigung
  • Kuratorium Sicheres Österreich
  • SOS-Kinderdorf
  • smart parking in Dubai - Roads and Transport Authority
  • AIT Austrian Institute of Technology