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Stakeholder Analysis

Why and how to involve stakeholders are the questions that are discussed by Sophia Rost in this article.
colleagues in a meeting
© This work by Sophia Rost is licensed under CC BY 4.0.

After the Logic Model has shown the inner systematics of the project and how the intended outputs, outcomes and impacts will be achieved, we continue the planning process and look at the people and institutions that will be involved or affected.

Why is it important to have an engagement strategy for all stakeholders?

Stakeholders play an important role in the success of your project. If properly involved, they can support the implementation of your project. With a stakeholder analysis, you can systematically plan communication and the necessary resources.

A stakeholder can be any person who has a justified interest or can be affected by the research process as a whole or by any of its parts. It can be very important for your research project to involve stakeholders, as they can help or hinder your project as well as the dissemination and application of the research results.

Therefore, in the first step, you should create a detailed list of people and organisations that can hinder or further the goals of the project (Mendelow, 1981). Stakeholders can be identified outside your institution (external stakeholders). But also within your institution it might be necessary to consider certain persons for dissemination and transfer (internal stakeholders). For example, the following groups might need to be considered:

  • Internal stakeholders within the academic institution, such as students, staff, IT staff, deans, university presidents.
  • External stakeholders who are influenced by the research results and their impact, such as members of the regional community, economic partners, funding parties, politicians.

In the second step, it is useful to prioritise the stakeholders in terms of their ability to influence the project. Decide whether your stakeholders’ Impact or power concerning the project is low, middle, or high. Then, think of which role the stakeholders can play to support the success of the project. Are they advocates, followers, indifferent, blockers or opponents?

Here you find an example of a stakolder analysis from the University of Manchester:

Stakeholder Analysis example

Grafik of Researchers


Take the next 10 minutes and think of all the organizations and people who might be affected by your findings. Write them down and prioritize them in a way that makes sense for your project. Share your list with your peers in the comments. Make sure you do not mention any names.

© This work by Sophia Rost is licensed under CC BY 4.0.
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Openness in Science and Innovation

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