Theme directly affected and interested stakeholders, attention will

Theme
3 community design
Stakeholders
part 1

Introduction
This
third theme is about mapping the stakeholders, while taking its
context into account. Usually, this is substantiated by doing
qualitative desk research, making an additional item list and
choosing the right coding methods and corresponding interview
techniques to efficiently execute field research. The summary covers
these subjects, while the ‘essence’ provides further insights.

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Summary
The
definition of stakeholders given by Freeman (1984) is:
any group or individual who can affect or is affected by the
achievements of the organization’s objective. In my opinion this
description of stakeholders is most complete in comparison to all
other descriptions.

Stakeholders
can be separated in two ways.
Firstly, there are voluntary / primary stakeholders and involuntary /
secondary stakeholders. Voluntary stakeholders have made some
investment and are necessary for the existence. Involuntary
stakeholders are only affected by the activities or outcomes.
Secondly, there are internal (directly involved in organizing) and
external stakeholders, such as regulators, co-producers and
facilitators, suppliers.

To
gain a better insight into all stakeholders involved, field research
has to be carried out.
This can be done by qualitative interviews, often including an item
list with (mainly) open questions. Such questions will stimulate
conversation and by keeping the purpose in mind, the interviewer can
steer.

Following
research for stakeholder identification and analysis can be carried
out traditional and non-traditional.
Traditional research is about collecting data, interpreting it,
finding the truth and writing a report, often by means of a project
plan. Non-traditional research (or design research) is about the
process which changes the mind-set of people. The process, as being
the most important part, has to be steered by a designer who often
uses a ‘gameplan’.

The
stakeholder part of the gameplan starts with stakeholder
identification to examine their context.
It’s important to start at the foundation of each stakeholder;
following negotiations will be more meaningful and stakeholders will
give in more easily. Together with all directly affected and
interested stakeholders, attention will be paid to history, actions,
interest, legitimacy, urgency and power (see theme 4) in general.
Conditions of collaboratively working this out are commitment and
trust, because relations between specific stakeholder groups and
stakeholders themselves will be proofed. This unstableness is a
consequence of focusing on a life world (instead of a system world)
where foundations and contexts of organizations are unstable as well
(Habermas).

Stakeholder
analysis explores the relations, including conflict and
collaboration.
Mapping the legitimacy, urgency, power, position and values of each
stakeholder related to the societal issue in a scheme, will give an
insight into their relations. For some schemes, it may be handy to
make a distinction between the hardware part of democracy (support of
institutions, laws and procedures) and the software part of democracy
(corresponding flexibility, support and well-informed reasoning).
However eventually, the attention to the balance of the combination
of the two is most important. Therefore it’s best to use different
schemes and methods.

I
interpreted ‘social analysis CLIP’ as a covering method of both
stakeholder identification and stakeholder analyses.
The identification will be based upon the description of the
characteristics and the values. The analysis describes the
relationships of the stakeholders by positioning them. The aspects
‘Conflict / Collaboration’, ‘Legitimacy, Interests’ and
‘Power’ continuously need to be taken into account. In my
opinion, this method is very coherent, but as I said, adding other
schemes and methods will strengthen the work of a community designer.

The
essence of the subject based on my opinion and examples
I
would like to clarify the separation of voluntary and involuntary
stakeholders, to have more of a clear view.
The theory can be found in the summary. Voluntary stakeholders can be
participants, suppliers and employees. Because they contributed some
way to the organization, they do have more risk than involuntary
stakeholders. For example suppliers, an event could have asked them
to reserve four stages. However, if later on turns out that only
three stages are needed, the supplier may have missed other renters.
On the contrary are involuntary stakeholders, such as media,
emergency services and residents. They experience less risk, because
they will roughly do the same by different activities or outcomes of
the organization.

My
interpretation of the main essence of this theme is that paying
attention to stakeholders is of big importance when being a community
designer.
Paying attention to stakeholders is roughly done by identifying,
analysing and approaching them. For instance, voluntary stakeholders
need to be kept informed differently than involuntary stakeholders.
By executing properly, a co-creative and self-solving community will
be created.

I
think that especially nowadays, organizations are really sensitive as
an effect of operating in society 3.0 and therefore in the fourth
sector
(see theme 2). Their foundation is suddenly considered unstable,
while the foundation is essential in the collaboration with different
stakeholders. Hence, a proper network is necessary for the existence
of an organization. Being even more aware of this fact in a
stakeholder meeting, may frustrate some when trying to identify all
different stakeholders (based on the foundation relating to the
issue). Therefore, it’s important to deliberately choose your
approach towards specific stakeholders. The following example of
Nexus touches upon the basis of such an approach.

As
I did the in the previous theme pagers, I again would like to share
an example concerning Nexus.
After having established their main issue, we saw the need to jointly
identify the different stakeholders. This was useful for either (1)
my project group to have a better foundation upon which it was
possible to steer the process and (2) Nexus themselves to give them
an insight into their network with whom they have to co-create. Nexus
wrote down their stakeholders and we classified them in a rainbow
diagram. This model shows which stakeholders have to be analysed
thoroughly and the basis of how they have to be approached. However,
it’s important to remark the fact that the content of the model can
change as consequence of an unstable society including trends and
developments.