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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    • "In this sense, different stakeholders have different interests and different normative frameworks related to ideas of water efficiency, land use, environmental externalities, or social legitimacy in decision-making processes (Harrison and Qureshi, 2000; Boelens and Vos, 2012). Consequently, this attention to the territorial aspects has led most studies on natural resources management to conclude that if initiatives incorporate a wide range of stakeholder interests, attitudes and opinions, they are more likely to succeed than those where participation is less relevant (Carr and Halvorsen, 2001; Bidwell and Ryan, 2006; Carlsson and Sandstrom, 2008; Reed et al., 2009; Cu ellar-Padilla and Calle-Collado, 2011; Lienert et al., 2013; Jonas et al., 2014). In this sense, inquiries into irrigation developments frequently address sets of engineering issues, while omitting any detailed discussion of the institutional, social, cultural and economic contexts in which irrigation takes place (Collins et al., 2001). "
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    ABSTRACT: Concerns about water scarcity and management have focused attention on the relationship between agriculture and other competing water uses. This research aims to evaluate the perceptions of and preferences for irrigation use and management in a rural area and it does so through an analysis of stakeholder attitudes in a large irrigation system in Southern France: the Neste System. The stakeholder analysis approach and the governance model approach are applied in combination with a new form of graphical representation to evaluate the conflicting points of view between stakeholder’s profiles, which are called TIMA. Results revealed that there are heterogeneities between the preferences of stakeholder groups regarding water resources management, agricultural practices, and irrigation challenges. Qualitative and graphical results highlight the competing topics, the stakeholder relationships and the ability to secure permanent agreements by promoting participatory development and good governance. These results can be used by the relevant authorities to customize their interventions, knowing beforehand and in a well-structured form which are the different stakeholders’ priorities. In this way more effective avenues of communication can be established in the decision-making processes regarding irrigation challenges.
    Full-text · Article · Feb 2016 · Journal of Rural Studies
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    • " level . Snowball sampling methods were used to identify addi - tional local stakeholders as well as provincial level inter - viewees . Snowball sampling involves identifying subsequent individuals from previous interviews , begin - ning by identifying initial interviewees using selection criteria such as participation in watershed organizations ( Reed et al . 2009 ) . The interviews continue until the data becomes saturated , meaning that no new information is revealed from subsequent interviews , no new intervie - wees are identified , or practical constraints such as time or resources are reached ( Small 2009 ) . Snowball sam - pling increases the number of respondents since people are more lik"
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    ABSTRACT: Collaborative governance entails a shift in emphasis from government control toward voluntary arrangements directly involving non-state stakeholders in decision-making. However, the sources of legitimacy for novel institutions such as collaborative water governance remain unclear. Three levels of decision-making that are highly relevant to understanding legitimacy in these contexts are identified and used to assess the legitimacy of collaborative water governance in Québec, Canada. Using Beetham’s dimensions of legitimacy – legality, justification and consent – the sources and deficits of legitimacy are identified through 35 in-person interviews with local stakeholders, watershed organization staff and provincial policy-makers. Findings illustrate the diverse sources of legitimacy, but also a disconnect between what constitutes legitimacy according to local stakeholders and the provincial government. Deficits in legitimacy include lack of implementation, misfit between collaborative governance and existing representative government, and lack of consent from the Québec government. However, although collaborative governance may not be appropriate for all contexts, it addresses important social needs that government cannot and therefore has high potential to complement the roles of existing institutions. Providing several novel insights, this multi-level perspective illustrates how legitimacy can be used to understand the challenges of complex sociological phenomena such as collaborative governance.
    Full-text · Article · Dec 2015 · Canadian Water Resources Journal
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    • "The SNA is a social science technique developed in the 1960s and 1970s for defining and analysing the relationships that individuals or organisations have with each other (Wasserman and Faust 1994). It is one of the techniques used for the investigation of the relationships that exist between stakeholders (Reed et al. 2009). SNA consists of a set of analytical techniques to transform individual responses into maps of network structure, allowing researchers to quantify the structure of relationships between the individuals (Neal 2009). "
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    ABSTRACT: The paper presents a method for identifying and classifying local stakeholders involved in renewable energy development. The method is based on the expert assessment and comprises three main steps: (1) identification of the independent experts considering their expertise and knowledge of the local context; (2) identification of the local stakeholders based on expert assessment; (3) analytical categorization of stakeholders taking into account the professional relationship network. Using forest biomass (bioenergy) production as example, the stakeholder analysis is illustrated on the case study of Triglav National Park, which is characterized by a high potential of woody biomass production and a large number of stakeholders involved in land use and management. The first stage of stakeholder analysis identifies the key stakeholders to be involved in bioenergy development, through a survey with local experts. The results highlight 8 key stakeholders and several primary and secondary stakeholders that should be involved to ensure socially acceptable decision-making about the renewable energy development in the Triglav National Park.
    Full-text · Article · Dec 2015 · Folia Forestalia Polonica, Series A
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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.
      Full-text · Article · Jun 2008 · Qualitative Health Research

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