Relationships with stakeholders

Relationships with stakeholders
See also

Relationships with stakeholders are key success factors in strategic management, project management and other key areas of company activities. Most common relationships with stakeholders are:

  • commercial, direct relationships (based on contract, legally binding)
  • involvement in common goals (social development, environmental protection)
  • relationships with authorities and government (taxes, tariffs, development projects)
  • ownership relations (with stakeholders, owners)
  • relationships with employees and their families
  • local community (road building, cleaning, etc.)

Stakeholders represent a source of uncertainty for nonprofit organizations. Corporate responsibility in society continues to attract attention and is an important element of dialogue between companies and stakeholders. For a project manager, it is vital to build good relations with the stakeholders who are identified as being most crucial in the project process and in using the final results of the project. The aim of this is to investigate the relationship within the project environment and in particular to identify the factors that create a relationship between the project and stakeholders. The article examines three projects. The results showed five different relations (Karlsen, 2008):

  • classicmarket
  • through a third party
  • open and direct
  • integrated team
  • partnership

These five different factors influence the formation of stakeholder relations in the project:

  • trust
  • uncertainty and control
  • culture and language
  • resources and knowledge
  • consistency of objectives.

Responsiveness and Accountability[edit]

Non-profit organizations usually operate in complex environments with many different stakeholders. They are a source of uncertainty for NPOs because NPOs require resources and legitimacy from their stakeholders and these streams are not necessarily predictable or controllable (Bielefeld, 1992; Gronbjerg, 1991). These relationships need to be monitored and managed. Stakeholders assess the relationship with not-profit organizations on the basis of how their expectations are met and how they are treated (Herman and Renz, 2004).

Speed of response can be a problem, especially when many stakeholder groups have different and sometimes conflicting expectations of an organization. Stakeholders may want things that an organization cannot or should not provide. One of the cornerstones of accountability and responsiveness is the awareness that organizations not only react, but can be proactive to the environment (Kearns, 1996; Oliver, 1991; Romzek, 1996).

NPOs maintained the necessary social relationships to be perceived by stakeholders as responsible and legitimate. Non-profit organizations managers used a number of factors to facilitate communication between community members and the NPO, such as conferences, advisory committees, member surveys, newsletters and data sheets. These studies usually do not involve stakeholder management, but rather measures of organization an effectiveness. Unfortunately, we have limited information on how the activities of NPOs affect the effectiveness of attribution (Ospin, Diaz, O'Sullivan, 2002).

Strategic management of stakeholders entails not merely responding to stakeholders but guiding the stakeholders expectations and their evaluations of the NPO (Kearns, 1996; Oliver, 1991; Romzek, 1996).

Non-profit organizations are more likely to be seen as responsive to stakeholder needs in order to influence expectations that are in line with the values, mission and capacity of non-profit organizations (Balser, McClusky, 2005).


Author: Karina Obiegła