Who's In and Why? a typology of stakeholder analysis methods for natural resource management

Aberdeen Centre for Environmental Sustainability and Centre for Planning and Environmental Management, School of Geosciences, University of Aberdeen, St Mary's, Aberdeen, UK.
Journal of Environmental Management (Impact Factor: 2.72). 03/2009; 90(5):1933-49. DOI: 10.1016/j.jenvman.2009.01.001
Source: PubMed


Stakeholder analysis means many things to different people. Various methods and approaches have been developed in different fields for different purposes, leading to confusion over the concept and practice of stakeholder analysis. This paper asks how and why stakeholder analysis should be conducted for participatory natural resource management research. This is achieved by reviewing the development of stakeholder analysis in business management, development and natural resource management. The normative and instrumental theoretical basis for stakeholder analysis is discussed, and a stakeholder analysis typology is proposed. This consists of methods for: i) identifying stakeholders; ii) differentiating between and categorising stakeholders; and iii) investigating relationships between stakeholders. The range of methods that can be used to carry out each type of analysis is reviewed. These methods and approaches are then illustrated through a series of case studies funded through the Rural Economy and Land Use (RELU) programme. These case studies show the wide range of participatory and non-participatory methods that can be used, and discuss some of the challenges and limitations of existing methods for stakeholder analysis. The case studies also propose new tools and combinations of methods that can more effectively identify and categorise stakeholders and help understand their inter-relationships.

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Questions & Answers about this publication

  • Mary C R Wilson added an answer in Vicarious Trauma:
    For a qualitative study, we used a participatory approach in coding, meaning an informant was involved in the analysis. Any citations to support this?

    I am working with my colleagues on writing a manuscript re: a qualitative study we conducted, exploring how forensic interviewing professionals experience vicarious trauma. We used a participatory approach in developing the interview questions and recruiting participants, and we obtained a lot of rich data. One aspect of the study involves a study participant posing a research question and taking the lead on coding the qualitative data. This process went very well overall, and we are trying to determine how to articulate (cite and support) the benefit of our participant-researcher being a participant in the study and also the lead analyst in the study. Based on your experience and knowledge of the field, do you have any suggestions for us?

    Mary C R Wilson

    Hello Lesley

    I have never been involved with this approach but found your question with the detail about your work uplifting. The nearest I got to it was when I followed up my research, I interviewed the same people, and they took a real interest in, and enthusiasm to, further the project. One woman twice made notes to make sure that she included relevant data, and had thoughts on the reasons for her responses to problems that she had dealt with.

    In this paper available on ResearchGate, focus groups of participants discussed the categories:

    Reed, M. S., Graves, A., Dandy, N., Posthumus, H., Hubacek, K., Morris, J., ... & Stringer, L. C. (2009). Who's in and why? A typology of stakeholder analysis methods for natural resource management. Journal of environmental management, 90(5), 1933-1949.  

    In this paper also, participants were involved with the analysis:

    Westhues, A., Ochocka, J., Jacobson, N., Simich, L., Maiter, S., Janzen, R., & Fleras, A. (2008). Developing theory from complexity: Reflections on a collaborative mixed method participatory action research study. Qualitative Health Research, 18(5), 701-717.

    Chung, K., & Lounsbury, D. W. (2006). The role of power, process, and relationships in participatory research for statewide HIV/AIDS programming. Social Science & Medicine, 63(8), 2129-2140.

    I have only been able to source the abstract of this paper, but it looks as if the participants were involved with analysis including coding:

    Jackson, S. F. (2008). A participatory group process to analyze qualitative data. Progress in community health partnerships: research, education, and action, 2(2), 161-170.

    Among the many papers written on participatory research, this one was different:

    Participatory and deliberative techniques to embed an ecosystems approach into decision making: An introductory guide. May 2011

    Very best wishes


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      ABSTRACT: Research studies are increasingly complex: They draw on multiple methods to gather data, generate both qualitative and quantitative data, and frequently represent the perspectives of more than one stakeholder. The teams that generate them are increasingly multidisciplinary. A commitment to engaging community members in the research process often adds a further layer of complexity. How to approach a synthesizing analysis of these multiple and varied data sources with a large research team requires considerable reflection and dialogue. In this article, we outline the strategies used by one multidisciplinary team committed to a participatory action research (PAR) approach and engaged in a mixed method program of research to synthesize the findings from four subprojects into a conceptual framework that could guide practice in community mental health organizations. We also summarize factors that hold promise for increasing productivity when managing complex research projects.
      Qualitative Health Research 06/2008; 18(5):701-17. DOI:10.1177/1049732308316531

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