This is the author’s draft of the conference paper presented in International Conference on Engineering Design, 2015 at
Milan, Italy(Final paper available at: https://www.designsociety.org/publication/36352/ds_80-
Citation: Khadilkar, P. & Mani, M : A Capability Approach based Stakeholder Analysis for the Base of the Pyramid: A Case
Study of the Firewood Based Cook-Stoves. In: Proceedings of the 20th International Conference on Engineering Design
(ICED15), Vol. 9: User-Centred Design, Design of Socio-Technical systems, Milan, Italy, 27-30.07.2015
A CAPABILITY APPROACH BASED STAKEHOLDER ANALYSIS FOR THE
BASE OF THE PYRAMID: A CASE STUDY OF THE FIREWOOD BASED
Pramod Ratnakar Khadilkar, Monto Mani
Centre for Product Design and Manufacturing,
Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore, India
People living under $2 income per day, referred as Base of the Pyramid (BoP), face undesired
situations like lack of nutrition, health, education etc. Design as a process of changing current
undesired situation to a desired situation has failed. A crucial reason behind these failures is lack of
normative basis to identify and understand the absent or unsatisfied stakeholder. Currently stakeholder
analysis in the design is heuristic. This paper uses a normative framework of Capability Approach
(CA) for the stakeholder analysis.
A brief discussion on stakeholder theory and analysis is used to identify gaps in the literature. The
constructs of the CA are discussed for its suitability to the purpose. Along with methodological details,
data generated from the stakeholder interviews, focus groups in a case study of dissemination of
improved cook-stoves is used to interlink the theory with the practice. The scope of this work is in
identifying and investigating the motives of the stakeholders in the involvement in the product.
Though a lot of insights to discern and manage crucial stakeholders is inbuilt in the methodology, this
work does not claim explicit coverage of these aspects.
People living below $ 2 per day are referred as Base of the Pyramid (BoP). Lack of basic necessities,
like food, water, healthcare and education, is prevalent in BoP. Attempts to provide these necessities
through different mechanisms, like market, philanthropic activities, policy interventions and
developmental aids have failed (Kandachar & Halme 2008; Ramani et al. 2012).
Design is a knowledge intensive, purposeful activity to change ‘existing situation into preferred
one’(Simon 1996). It is a process through which technologies, products and/or services are planned
and brought to life. Design is the vision which dictates ‘why’ and ‘how’ a product changes a given
situation. Looking at the deprivation and lack of opportunities of the people at BoP one can claim that
design as a process, to a large extent, has failed or has not been effectively practiced to change the
situation. This work is a part of ongoing research on a design methodology to improve the chances of
product success in BoP. The focus of this research work is to aid design for product success. This
paper emphasizes the importance of stakeholders in product success.
Absent or unsatisfied stakeholders have been identified for the failure of the products at BoP (Nieusma
& Riley 2010; Ramani et al. 2012; Donaldson 2006; Best & Kumar 2008; Morelli 2002). Though
identifying stakeholder’s demands is a crucial step in the design process (Roozenburg & Eekels 1995),
these failures raise questions on the effectiveness of existing methods or the methodologies. These
failures challenge the normative basis underlying the identification, evaluation and selection of the
stakeholders. Stakeholder theory and analysis is a well-researched, three decade old area from the
management literature which has hardly been used in engineering and design. Few usages are for the
evaluation of projects from developing countries like health, tele-centres etc. (Mishra & Mishra 2013;
Sharp et al. 1999). Stakeholder theory and analysis is struggling with its operationalization as it fails to
normatively analyse relevant stakeholder’s motive behind product involvement. This paper uses the
normative theory of Capability approach to address this shortcoming.
This paper is based on the three decade long experiences of the authors in disseminating the firewood
based cook stove for the rural poor. Theoretical basis to decode the experiences from field with regard
to stakeholder analysis is presented first and then case study is analysed to elaborate the theory.
2 IMPORTANCE OF STAKEHOLDER ANALYSIS FOR BOP
Stakeholders are individuals or groups which affect and get affected by the involvement in the product
life cycle (Roozenburg & Eekels 1995). Direct user and buyer are considered as most crucial
stakeholders and others as enablers who perform specific functions, like manufacturing, distribution,
transportation etc., to support the product life cycle. Internal stakeholders like product planners,
product developers etc. is another important category of stakeholders (Ulrich & Eppinger 2000).
Currently stakeholder’s expectations from the ‘to be designed’ product is identified as input for design
of product. This is based on the assumption that the stakeholders are willing to get involved in the
product life cycle due to their vocations or due to the evident benefit the product offers to them.
Experiences from field does not support these assumptions (Donaldson 2006). Information and
Communication Technology acceptance which is considered as more productive and labour saving has
shown lot of exogenous factors not directly linked with the ICT product (Lee et al. 2006), similar
observations are made in acceptance of farm equipment (Feder et al. 1985).
Due to technology focus the design teams tends to forget that stakeholders are independent individuals
with their own motives and unique behavioural traits. Even though, from designer’s rationality, it may
look like the product has immense ability to benefit the stakeholder; the benefit offered by product
may not play a role of critical enabler in what the stakeholder wants to achieve. Reasons of non-
involvement in product life cycle might not be obvious and might not be linked with the product
characteristics and performance.
Understanding these reasons from stakeholder’s perspective is ever more crucial in case of BoP. The
stakeholders in developed or industrialized markets are bound by the organizational and legal norms.
The certifications like ISO can ensure a uniformity of skills and processes. The economic and
organizational goals of the stakeholders are well harmonized due to their awareness about policy and
predictions about the overall growth. These aspects entail a degree of predictability to stakeholders
from developed markets. On contrary to this, major part of the economy at BoP is informal. Due to
underdeveloped market infrastructure, stakeholders from BoP are unorganized individuals with
relatively less information on current trends and economic possibilities. Their decisions are based on
short term goals as the long term future is quite unpredictable due to constraints and lack of resources
resulting into behaviours which may look irrational (Karnani 2009; Banerjee & Duflo 2011) to non-
BoP stakeholder like designer or developer. The cultural and contextual differences between the
designer and the stakeholders (Diehl 2009); and among the stakeholders (Whitney 2011) aggravate the
difficulties in the stakeholder understanding.
3 STAKEHOLDER ANALYSIS: A BRIEF LITERATURE REVIEW
Freeman proposed the ‘Stakeholder approach’ in 1984. The basic premise of the approach is,
“People engaged in value creation and trade are responsible precisely to “those groups and
individuals who can affect or be affected by their actions” – that is, stakeholders….. this means paying
attention at least to customers, employees, suppliers, communities, and financiers” (Freeman et al.
Explicit attention to the complexities involved in conceptions of value by each stakeholder and
arriving at an optimal solution to maximize the stakeholder gain is the main contribution of the
stakeholder theory and analysis. The literature discusses three broad perspectives on stakeholder
approach like descriptive, normative and instrumental (Bailur 2007). Usage of stakeholder theory has
been criticized at two levels, one at practical application level and second at theory level. The
challenges at application level (Sharp et al. 1999; Bailur 2007) are, a) vagueness of definition of what
constitutes a stakeholder b) Lack of concrete suggestions to form a strategy to identify, involve and
manage the stakeholders. Identifying and involving stakeholders is the scope of this paper. Managing
the stakeholders is not covered explicitly in this work. Outcome of the design is the main reason of the
involvement of the stakeholder and thus, though not explicitly, design is responsible for stakeholder
management. Existing literature using the stakeholder analysis does not deal with these shortcomings
and use heuristic methods to identify stakeholders. Most of the current work give attention on methods
of categorizing the stakeholders based on their function or importance which does not help in facing
the mentioned challenges (Sharp et al. 1999; Bailur 2007)
Stakeholder analysis has crucial theoretical limitations (Bailur 2007), 1) Need of ‘honesty,
transparency, and flexibility on the part of stakeholders when consulted’ 2) Lack of criteria for
differentiating between primary/secondary, important/influential stakeholders 3) Subjectivity of
analyser towards the differentiating the stakeholder. In design, stakeholders and their importance will
change with respect to the design problem, the design context/environment and the designer. A fixed
rule to differentiate between the stakeholders will not work in these situations. The behavioural or
ethical dimensions of the stakeholders, including the stakeholder analyser, need some grounding
theory which can define what should be the basis to evaluate the value or well-being of the
stakeholders. The grounding normative framework could have the ability to avoid the biases or
subjectivity of all stakeholders including the analyser (in our case designer). The shortcoming in
existing design literature is absence of such normative framework to evaluate the value of each
stakeholder. Capability approach (CA) is one such framework which can be used for this purpose.
4 USING CAPABILITY APPROACH FOR STAKEHOLDER ANALYSIS
Amartya Sen proposed the theory of Capability Approach (CA) where the ultimate purpose of life,
well-being, is conceptualized in terms of normative entities of capabilities. Capabilities are the
effective options available to an individual to be and to do for leading a valuable life (Sen 1999).
Capabilities are normative entities to evaluate well-being due to its constructs. Interpreting the
expectations of stakeholders from design through constructs of capabilities can cover for the
theoretical limitations stated earlier. The distinctive features for relevance to stakeholder analysis have
not been attempted earlier.
Importance to freedom: this feature manifests at two levels
– Freedom to choose what one wants to be and do (Robeyns 2005): Stakeholders are different in
multiple aspects. These aspects are internal like gender, physical/mental abilities, behavioural
aspects and values as well as external like Geographic location, culture, upbringing etc. A
designed intervention/commodity should match/concur with the desires and resources one
controls. Treating their needs as capabilities ensures that stakeholder’s vision about the desired
outcomes is understood from their own perspective. This graduates the stakeholders at BoP as
thinking rational individuals from inert recipients (Sen 1999).
– Freedom to choose among available options (Robeyns 2005): By definition capabilities are
feasible options to choose from. Having multiple feasible options is sometimes essential due to
the ‘diversity’ of human beings and available resources (both external and internal to
individual). Design thus should understand that multiple stakeholders will be interested in
different feasible design concepts. Design concepts should thus not be frozen from the
technical feasibility as technically inferior concepts might be something which is desired to
fulfil the capabilities of the stakeholders. This aspect cautions designers to simulate and
evaluate the product in broader ‘capability’ space, in which direct and indirect effects of
product on capabilities of relevant stakeholders could be consciously found (Khadilkar & Mani
This construct can overcome the limitation about the subjectivity of the analyser towards the
stakeholder analysis. Capabilities are the attributes of the individual or a group of individual
and not of the analyser. Identifying capabilities need an effort from analyser/designer to use
participatory approaches, to understand the internal and external resources available to an
Distinction between means and ends (Robeyns 2005): Stakeholders would be interested in a
given design only to fulfil certain ‘ends’, i.e. the purpose of human well-being. A feasible option
of using improved firewood stove is instrumental for reducing the firewood consumption.
Reduced firewood consumption is instrumental to reduce the efforts and time spent in collecting
the firewood, to provide extra time and energy to user’s disposal. Saved time can be then spent
on intrinsically valuable, like knitting or chitchatting with neighbour or to take rest. Improved
firewood stove is important for the fulfilment of intrinsic capability, for e.g. of being a knitter,
but the former does not ensure later. Though the primary responsibility of designer is related to
product, i.e. to fulfilling instrumental capability, tracing the intrinsic capabilities linked with the
product increases the understanding of the needs and value judgments of the users. This
broadened scope allows the designer to avoid the theoretical limitation in understanding the real
purposes of involvement of stakeholder.
Distinction between means and capabilities (Robeyns 2005): Means or instruments are not
capabilities, for a mean to translate into capabilities a set of resources including product are
required. Having a fuel efficient stove is not equivalent to capability of using that stove as
availability of firewood, skill, social conditioning towards acceptance of innovation etc. are
required (Refer Figure 2). Different resources require different stakeholders who are responsible
for converting a mean into a capability for the user. By tracing the resources for a capability,
related stakeholders could be identified. Though an inherent criterion to decide hierarchical
importance of stakeholders is absent this provides insights on relational importance of
stakeholders on success of the design. This construct thus overcomes the theoretical limitation of
organizing the stakeholders based on their relative importance.
Importance to ethical individualism (Robeyns 2005): Ethical individualism postulates that
‘individuals, and only individuals, are the ultimate units of moral concern’ (Robeyns 2005). In
many cases design interventions are tested for a unit bigger than individual, for e.g., a family or a
community. Tragedy of commons is known notion in social well-being studies. Powerful people
control the resources leaving the powerless disadvantaged. This distinctive feature suggests that
evaluation of the well-being should be based on the most disadvantaged individual as a unit of
measurement. This construct thus helps in aggregating the stakeholders, whose well-being
through the product or design should be fulfilled, thus guiding the designer for the second
5 METHODOLOGY FOR STAKEHOLDER ANALYSIS
Each design stage involves mix of uncertainty and clarity. At initial fuzzy end (shown in orange colour
in Figure 1), design is a black box and the involved stakeholders are generic, like, family/spouse,
community, society as influences on that user. During the later phases of design (represented as Green
colour in Figure 1), when design becomes more concrete, the stakeholders are more specific for a
design concept. Explicit understanding of need, and later product, (refer section 5.2.1) helps in tracing
the ends of means (upward arrow in Figure 1), and translating means into capabilities (downward
arrow in Figure 1) (refer section 4). Stakeholders either provide, or consume, resources; identifying
resources can lead to list of stakeholders. Translating means into capabilities identify resources, and
thus stakeholders (refer Figure 2). Tracing ends of involvement in product can identify the motives of
stakeholders (refer Figure 3). Ensuring the fulfilment of identified motives and essential resources for
specific stakeholders through design can lead to aggregating and managing stakeholders (represented
with dotted lines in Figure 1 due to lack of explicit attention in this work). Stakeholder analysis is thus
progressive and is relevant to each design stage. Going forward, a case study is used, simultaneously,
to simulate the complex theoretical aspects of the CA based stakeholder analysis.
Figure 1. Approach/theory behind the CA based stakeholder Analysis
5.1 Introduction to the case study: Firewood based cook-stove
Centre for Sustainable Technologies (CST) is Indian Institute of Science’s (IISc) focusing on ‘
promoting Sustainable Technologies tailored to suit local conditions of resource availability and
habitation’(Anon 2008). astra stove (astra is ‘Application of Science and Technology for Rural Areas’
currently CST) is a firewood based stove, scientifically designed and disseminated by CST. This
technology is in use for three decades and provides 40 percent efficiency. The technology of astra
stove offers following advantages: a) Improves the health of women by reducing the direct exposure to
harmful emissions from the firewood. Attached chimney and the geometry create air draft to vent out
smoke. b) Improved efficiency reduces the firewood consumption reducing effort spent in collection.
c) Reduced cooking time provides breather to women in their morning chores
astra stove is traditionally constructed using bricks and mortar. In absence of masonry skills to achieve
intricate geometries, finish and dimensional accuracy; the performance of the stove is affected
severely. Unavailability of skilled labour was the starting point for design of new innovative stove
construction. A new technology called ‘Rammed Earth’ is employed to construct the stove structural
walls. This method uses a proportional mortar of sand, soil and cement which is rammed inside a
mould. Main challenge was to achieve the intricate geometry without complicating the method of
construction for unskilled users. This new construction method results into better strength and life of
the stove. Due to saving in labour charges on skilled labour and saving in material and transportation
cost of bricks cost of stove is reduced in new construction method (by 15 to 20 percent). Time saving
in training (reduced from close to 10 days to 2 days) and actual construction (reduced from 3 to 5
hours to 2 to 3 hours based on experience) resulted into increased efficiency of dissemination.
An instance of dissemination of the stove in northern part of India (Uttar Pradesh) has been used as a
case study in this work. This project was initiated through a social responsibility division of a leading
multinational company from India (referred as stakeholder, ‘project executor’ in this work).
CST provided complete technology support and has guided the project executor in dissemination.
‘Project executor’ was autonomously responsible for planning and executing the dissemination. The
information used in the case study is based on the direct experiences in the field, user group and semi-
structured interviews conducted by the authors during the time span of 25 days.
5.2 Step by step methodology
5.2.1 Understanding of product concept/s
Understanding the design scope is important to understand what kind of resources is desired. Thus
understanding the overall scope, specific to a need and design concept, is important. Following steps
help designer in consciously thinking about the whole product life cycle. This kind of checklist is
missing in current design methods and methodologies. This list originated from the technology
acceptance literature. In the case of stove, as design is frozen, the stakeholder analysis is during the
stage of manufacturing, distribution and service. Following analysis should be repeated for each
product concept to arrive at the initial list of the involved stakeholders.
Inherent properties of product (Rogers 1983) – These aspects should be understood for a design
as a black box and then for concrete design concepts for all the stakeholders. The stakeholder’s
judge the product based on certain inherent properties of product. This list help designer to
explicate the inherent properties.
– ‘Relative advantage- is the degree to which an innovation is perceived as better than the idea
it supersedes … relative advantage may be measured in economic terms, but social-prestige
factors, convenience, and satisfaction are also often important’ (Rogers 1983). For astra stove,
the baseline was traditional stove and its relative advantages are listed in section 5.1.
– ‘Compatibility - is the degree to which an innovation is perceived as being consistent with the
existing values, past experiences, and needs of potential adopters’ (Rogers 1983). The looks,
method of usage, cooking vessels, fuel and construction method was compatible with the
existing stoves. Only incompatible part was the method of roasting of rotis (Indian Bread).
This was an important aspect for users.
– ‘Complexity - is the degree to which an innovation is perceived as difficult to understand and
use’ (Rogers 1983). There is no perceived complexity by the other stakeholders. For direct
users pre-planned cooking sequence to utilize the multiple burners was relatively complex.
– ‘Trialability - is the degree to which an innovation may be experimented with on a limited
basis’ (Rogers 1983).Being large in size and heavy the stove was not portable and thus was not
demonstrated in use, other than in videos. The new construction method added to the non-
trailability. In old method of construction knowing dimensions was good enough for building
stove for trial, the new method demanded construction of mould before constructing any stove.
Due to lack of trialability only few higher management officials from project executor had
seen the product as the funds and time allowed them to visit CST before commencement of the
project. The decision to implement stove was thus based on feedback without actual trial,
leaving a lack of faith in ground staff. This lack of faith was reflected in the communication
with community during communication. Ground staff of the project executor said, “if, this
product works (emphasis added) then it would be beneficial to all of you (society)”, “if, these
stoves work well (emphasis added) we could construct them in large numbers” (During
personal communication and focus group interactions).
– ‘Observability - is the degree to which the results of an innovation are visible to others’
(Rogers 1983). Stove is located inside the kitchen. People don’t mind showing it when cooking
is not happening, though showing the product during cooking is uncomfortable. Due to
prevalent gender and caste norms; male and other caste stakeholders (as buyers of product)
were not welcomed or were hesitant to the kitchen dominated by females affecting the
Drivers of the project (Philanthropy, aid or Market?) – Drivers influence the stakeholders
professionalism, commitment and accountability (Heeks 2003). Government projects involve
persistent revenues; and due to higher possibility of corruption and lack of necessity to comply
with deliverables, chances of additional gains are quite high. Due to this stakeholders are highly
interested in government aided projects, even though majority of products fail (Heeks 2003).
Philanthropy is perceived differently due to moral burdens associated with doing social good and
perceived parsimony. Market has relatively straightforward transactions but at the same time is
far more competitive. In the case-study it was a social responsibility program of the company.
The accountability towards results was low. The project was initiated and driven by top
management and thus the ground execution staff were not highly motivated and alienated. Project
executors were running highly successful projects in animal husbandry and land reclamation.
These projects demanded less mental and physical stress as compared to new astra stove project.
Manufacturing: Understanding whether product is manufactured in industrial factory set-up or by
artisans or by informal workers is important. Many low end technologies are manufactured in
decentralized ways involving local workers and even at the site. Each involves different
stakeholders with different reasons for associating with product. In case of astra stove, it is
manufactured at the user’s house. Product has overlaps in manufacturing and dissemination stage
due to this mode of manufacturing. Each stove construction needs preferably two labourers. Raw
material like Sand, cement, chimney pipe etc. is procured in prior and is transported to the site of
construction. This was done by project executor’s field officer. Owner has to dig soil from nearby
fields. Mould had to be transported to the site.
Marketing: Mode of marketing is important from strategic point, for e.g. through self-help groups
or through rural marketing networks. Publicity could be achieved through village ‘santhe’ (a local
fair) or through door to door marketing or through FM radio etc. For this decision early
involvement of management and marketing teams would be required. In case of astra stove,
marketing was not at all discussed, everything was impromptu. There was overall lack of
planning. Community meeting and user group meeting were arranged to introduce the product.
People with local influence were brought to introduce the product to users.
– Public good, private good distinction – Public good involve far different stakeholders and
different challenges. Behaviours of stakeholders in achieving social well-being as compared to
personal well-being will be quite different (Bhat 2013). In public goods community, local
governing agency is very important in the dissemination and usage phase. The stove was a
– Product, service or combination? – Product is defined here as a tangible product (like a screw
driver) or just a service (like online ticket booking) or combination. Combination is the
presence allied services for normal functioning of the tangible product, for e.g. recent water
purifiers in India need replacement of use and throw ‘chlorine battery’ without which the
product cannot achieve desired functionality. In absence of the service to provide the chlorine
batteries purifiers are of no use. With the advent of smart technologies and ICT, stand-alone
products are rare. In case of astra stove, lack of maintenance has been the important reason for
the failure of most of the stove projects in the past (Hanna et al. 2012). Assured support during
the life span of stove was important aspect in this project. This aspect was highlighted by
Authors, but was not paid enough attention in the planning and marketing by project executor.
5.2.2 Generating stakeholder list
After detailed understanding of the product, identifying the stakeholders is simpler. For identification
of stakeholders the constructs of CA are used. First set of stakeholders could be identified using the
construct of distinction between means and capabilities for the direct user’s technical requirements
from product like, need to save firewood or need to save time for a woman from specific context. This
will result into list of generic stakeholders (showed in oval shape in Figure 2). Distinction between
means and capabilities has to be repeated for each identified stakeholder. Few stakeholders are easy to
identify but the construct of CA helps in structured exploration of involved stakeholders. CA construct
of distinction between means and ends guides the designer to trace the reasons behind ‘why’ each
stakeholder is interested in a given product (Refer Figure 3). Out of 3 labourers selected by the product
executor, which on casual reasoning looked quite perfect match for the job but means to end tracing
presented different reasons behind the involvement in the project affecting the sustenance of their
Figure 2. Choice framework based understanding of the resources for the direct user
adopted from Kleine (2010)
Figure 3. Understanding the distinction between means and ends for the stakeholder 'stove
constructor - labourer B and C
Details about the background of two labourers B and C
Labourer B – worked as a casual labourer in the project executor’s factory, which had
inconsistent demand and heavy physical exertion. He looked at this opportunity to as an allied
skill to his existing masonry skills which could be pursued independently. He felt the stove
construction is less labour intensive.
Labourer C – contractual but regular labourer with project executor and was in-charge of one
small section. Smart and believes that stove building does not involve any great skill (This aspect
in interesting when ‘Deskilling’ was the main purpose behind mould design).
Figure 4 shows the means to end tracing of ‘Need of association with cooking stove’ which is based
on the personal interaction with the three particular stakeholders. Labourer A and B were clearly
interested in association with the stove project for varied reasons. They had queries about the
remuneration, details about the duration of contract etc. which project executors did not respond with
clarity. Labourer B was interested in stove project for stability of job, low physical exertion and for
flexibility of time. Flexibility of time was interesting to him as he could work in his fields whenever is
necessary and still finish stove construction by working early or late during the day. Labourer C
refused to get associated with the project as he had a consistent job. He joined in for few days of
training and then quietly resumed his regular job and distanced himself from stove project.
Different stakeholders showed quite varied reasons for association with the project (see Figure 4)
which displays the insights ‘distinction between means and ends’ can provide. (Figure 4 does not
cover the higher level capabilities)
One of the crucial stakeholders in this study, the project executor is discussed here as a sample. Project
executor team was running few highly successful programs related to land reclamation, animal
husbandry and supply of solar powered lanterns. These programs were stable and belonged to their
domain of expertise. The ground staff was not motivated towards implementation of this new
technology as the efforts required by them, both at mental and physical levels, were high. The
perceived benefit for them was not evident in short term, resulting into lack of motivation in planning
and execution. This resulted into shortcomings like not identifying the best candidates as early
adopters of technology resulting into non-adoption in pilot itself. The lack of motivation and faith
failed to generate confidence about product within the community. Though the effort by project
executor was tremendous it did not result into the desired effects.
Figure 4. Matrix of stakeholder’s motives for association with the astra stove
CA based stakeholder analysis is a conceptual guide to optimize the stakeholder involvement in
complex, unknown and unpredictable BoP contexts. Listing direct stakeholders is straightforward, but
method of identifying indirect stakeholders and their motives behind involvement (or non-
involvement) is complex. Theory based structured approach to tackle this complexity is the important
outcome of this work. Constructs of tracing means till ends and differentiating between means and
capabilities provide practical tools to generate insights into the involvement of stakeholder in product.
Emphasis on freedom of the stakeholders helps in avoiding designer’s biases in interpreting the
stakeholder motives. Analysing stakeholders through capabilities can overcome the practical and
theoretical limitations of useful stakeholder theory and analysis. The perceived usefulness in this
maiden attempt has encouraged us for rigorous validation in future.
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The authors are grateful to the Centre for Sustainable Technologies for the opportunity to work on
astra Ole. We wish to thank Dr. Shirdhar Lokras, Mr. H.I. Somashekar and Dr B.V. Venkatarama
Reddy for the valuable insights/guidance in design and dissemination of astra stove mould. This
research has been partly made possible with a research grant from the Netherlands Organization for
Scientific Research (NWO) for the project ‘Technology and Human Development—A Capability
Approach’. The authors are also grateful to unknown reviewers for their valuable inputs.