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Effectively managing stakeholders

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Edited by Ian Harrison, Tuesday, 31 Mar 2020, 11:00

When asked to analyse stakeholders many students immediately revert to the Power/Interest grid (Mendelow, 1981). This is not always the most appropriate framework and could be used in combination with others. In this discussion, we assume that this framework has been chosen and a good way of using the framework is outlined.

The first task is to identify the stakeholders for your project. This often best completed as a group to remove potential bias as much as possible.  When identified these are placed on a grid (see Fig.1) depending on their level of interest in the project and its outcomes and their level of power in terms of them impacting the project.

Figure 1: The base-level Power/Interest model.

Basic power/interest matrix

The next step is to use a framework like Force Field analysis to identify their disposition in terms of the project. This is shown in Fig.2. where (+) means supportive, (-) means resisting and (0) means neither supportive or resisting.

Figure 2: Stakeholder disposition

The third step is to think, again in a group if possible, where you would like to see the stakeholders in the grid. (Fig.3)

Figure 3: Desired stakeholder disposition


Figure 4 indicates the actions you might take to maintain good relationships with your stakeholders.

Figure 4: Prioritising stakeholders


This then defines how you will need to interact and communicate with your stakeholders so they can be supportive of your project. Clearly, as the project develops stakeholder disposition will have to be revisited to ensure they remain in the quadrant you want them to be in. Any drift may need some adjustment to your stakeholder management.


Mendelow, A.L. (1981). 'Environmental Scanning - The Impact of the Stakeholder Concept,' ICIS 1981 Proceedings, 20.

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