Mapping Stakeholder Networks

May 30, 2006 at 9:04 am 2 comments

I’ve written previously about measuring networks and how it can be very useful for an organisation to assess the different links between their key stakeholders. I came across another approach to mapping stakeholders which has some very good elements: the clarity concept identifies stakeholders and maps the relationships based on attitude, importance and influence of publics and the strength of the relationships (see the example above). You can read further about this concept on the stakeholder relationship management blog.

Although this is essentially a proprietary solution (offered by Clarity CS), what I appreciate is that the people behind the solution offer all their thoughts, theories and ideas on the subject so you can learn a lot from their approach – at no cost.

Disclaimer: there are no links between the authors of this blog and Clarity CS. Although one of the founders of this solution, Jon White, was a lecturer at my masters programme).


Entry filed under: Evaluation tools (surveys, interviews..), Network analysis & mapping, PR evaluation.

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2 Comments Add your own

  • 1. David Phillips  |  May 31, 2006 at 10:28 am

    Hi Glen… very kind of you to mention The Clarity Concept. A number of consultants use it (Peter Prowse, Ryan Bowd, Dejan Verčič as well as Jon White). It is available for both consultants and in-house practitioners both as a concept and there are software aids as well.

    It came from a conversation between Jon White and me when he was at Cranfield. The Visualisation work (and early visualisation research) was by John Braga – a very talented software designer/academic who also created the software programmes used by Media Measurement throughout the ’80’s and 90’s.

    There is quite a lot of work going on in this area. Debbie Holley at LondonMet has a great introduction to stakeholder theory at
    (scroll down to stakeholder) and I will be adding her resource to the wiki soon.

    Experience of senior managers using these techniques by most practitioners using both The Clarity Concept and other techniques (interestingly the UK Prime Minister’s Office has a number of approaches too) is that they seldom realise the breadth of stakeholder that are both influencing their organisation and who they influence. It is a useful approach to help organisations understand the breadth and relative significance of publics and stakeholders.

    There is an emerging consensus on how to measure the relative significance of stakeholder with proposals converging round mapping of power/importance, influence urgency, attitude and a notable move for analysis of stakeholders for both issues and the body corporate.

    Network significance, which you reference, is an are of interest at the moment and we are looking at ways we can create such models within The Clarity Concept with the added elements of the significance of relationships.

  • 2. Glenn  |  June 1, 2006 at 7:54 am

    Thank you David for the update on this issue. It’s an area which I think is undervalued by many practitioners and organisations. As you mentioned, organisations often don’t realise who is influencing their organisation – and who they consequently influence. I’ll be interested to follow future developments in this areas as I believe it is a really useful contribution to managing and evaluating the relationships between organisations and their publics.



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