What is a stakeholder analysis?

In the stakeholder analysis, the team attempts to find the key stakeholders among the list of all stakeholders. Therefore, different frameworks have been developed (e.g. [1, 2). One of the most widely used frameworks is that of Mitchell et al. [2]. In this approach, stakeholders can be mapped based on their power, legitimacy, and urgency. Their power reflects the amount of influence their opinions will have. Legitimacy of a stakeholder reflects whether a stakeholder should be involved; it shows what stakeholders are the ones who ‘really count’ and are relevant [2, 3]. A stakeholder’s urgency concerns to what extend the stakeholders’ needs and wishes require immediate action [2].

What is the aim of a stakeholder analysis?

Some stakeholders may have a greater influence on or may be more influenced by the technology than others, for example end-users, or decision makers in an organization. Such stakeholders are referred to as ‘key stakeholders’. Based on the stakeholder analysis, a substantiated decision can be made about who key stakeholders are and should thus be involved during the entire development process.

Of course, researchers or developers can attempt to determine the stakeholders’ power, legitimacy and urgency themselves. However, it is unlikely that they are able to oversee all interests, relationships and consequences of all different stakeholders for an eHealth technology. It is therefore advisable to again involve experts in the field and/or the stakeholders themselves in rating the stakeholders and identifying the key stakeholders.

References

[1] Bryson, J. M. (2004). What to do when Stakeholders matter. Public Management Review, 6(1), 21-53.

[2] Mitchell, R. K., Agle, B. R., & Wood, D. J. (1997). Toward a theory of stakeholder identification and salience: Defining the principle of who and what really counts. Academy of Management Review, 22(4), 853-886.

[3] Van Woezik, A. F. G., Braakman-Jansen, L. M. A., Kulyk, O., Siemons, L., & van Gemert-Pijnen, J. E. W. C. (2016). Tackling wicked problems in infection prevention and control: A guideline for co-creation with stakeholders. Antimicrobial Resistance and Infection Control, 5, 20.