What Is Stakeholder Theory?


2022-02-25 08:50 project manager


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A stakeholder is anyone who has an interest in a project, business or organization. More importantly, stakeholder management is critical for the success of any project or organization because they can influence everything and everyone, including senior management, project leaders, team members, customers, users and many others. That’s why it’s critical for managers to prioritize and focus on the most important stakeholders, those with power, proximity and urgency. That’s when stakeholder theory comes into play. What Is Stakeholder Theory? Stakeholder theory addresses business ethics, morals and values when managing stakeholders involved with a project or organization. It seeks to optimize relations with stakeholders, thereby improving efficiencies throughout the project or organization. Stakeholder theory is used in many important fields such as project management, corporate social responsibility, strategic management and business ethics. Taking your stakeholder theory into practice requires project management software. ProjectManager is cloud-based work and project management software that helps you manage your stakeholder expectations and keep them updated. Our real-time reports can be filtered to show only the data stakeholders want to see and then easily shared as a PDF or even printed out. History of Stakeholder Theory The first person to define stakeholder theory was organizational theorist Ian Mitroff in his book Stakeholders of the Organizational Mind, which came out in 1983. Shortly thereafter, an article about stakeholder theory was released in 1983 in the California Management Review by philosopher and professor of business administration R. Edward Freeman. Freeman doesn’t cite Mitroff as a source, rather he attributes stakeholder theory to discussions at the Stanford Research Institute. He went on to publish his own book, Strategic Management: A Stakeholder Approach, shortly after the article. That’s why sometimes stakeholder theory is also referred to as Freeman’s stakeholder theory. In Freeman’s book, he identifies and models stakeholder groups within a corporation, describing and recommending ways to manage their interests and determine who really counts from the perspective of the company. Increasing value for stakeholders will improve the business in all aspects. Freeman’s stakeholder theory is also often confused with the shareholder theory, created by the economist Milton Friedman in the 1970s. Let’s learn about the differences between these similar yet different theories. Stakeholder Theory vs Shareholder Theory Edward Freeman’s stakeholder theory greatly differs from Milton Friedman’s shareholder theory because they propose two very different approaches when it comes to stakeholder management. Friedman’s theory affirms that shareholders should be the only focus of a corporation because they’re the ones who financially support the organization. On the other hand, Freeman’s theory states that all stakeholders are important for a corporation widening the focus to a more socially-conscious stakeholder management theory. Friedman’s shareholder theory was the guiding principle for most organizations until Freeman’s stakeholder theory gained acceptance in the business and project management fields and has become the new standard. Stakeholder Theory Example Stakeholder theory notes that there are several interested parties or stakeholder groups that must be included under the umbrella of stakeholders, such as the company’s employees, customers, suppliers, financiers, communities, governmental bodies, political groups, trade associations, trade unions and even competitors, as they too can impact the company. The list of who the stakeholders are is not universally agreed upon, and even the definition of a stakeholder remains contested by some. For our example, we’ll identify the interests and expectations of stakeholders for the construction of a manufacturing facility. Employees: In this case, the employees would be all those involved in the planning and execution of the construction project, such as the site manager and crew members. They are responsible for the success of the project. In terms of expectations, they need a workplace that complies with safety regulations and proper working conditions. Suppliers: You’ll need several suppliers who will provide raw materials, equipment and other resources. Building a relationship with them is important to maintain an efficient flow of construction supplies. There are different supply relationship management approaches to help you understand how to better negotiate with them. Customers: The local customers will benefit from this new facility because the new facility will increase in product offer, which lowers prices while improving quality due to an increased competition in the market. Customers expect high-quality products that not only solve their needs but are also safe for their health and the environment. Community: In this case, the term community refers to the people that are indirectly impacted by the project. They will be both positively and negatively impacted by the construction of this new manufacturing facility. On one hand, there are economic benefits for the community, as new employees will spend money on housing, transportation, basic goods, etc. On the other hand, there’s a high risk of pollution. If the facility doesn’t comply with environmental regulations, it could damage critical natural resources for the community, such as water sources. Government: The government defends the interests of the people through laws and regulations. Any construction project must comply with every single government regulation that exists to guarantee its safety for its employees, the community and the environment. Evolution of Stakeholder Theory Freeman says he stood on the shoulders of giants, such as building from research in strategic management, corporate planning, systems theory, organization theory and corporate social responsibility, the latter of which was first discussed by the Italian economist Giancarlo Pallavicini in an article published in 1968. More recently, in 1995, ethicist Thomas Donaldson has argued that stakeholder theory has descriptive, instrumental and normative aspects or approaches that are mutually supportive. Descriptive Approach: The stakeholder theory is descriptive because it describes the interests of an organization and its stakeholders, providing a framework to better understand the relationship between organization and stakeholders. Instrumental Approach: The stakeholder theory is instrumental because it’s main goal is to increase value for stakeholders as a means to achieve the organization’s goals. The implementation of stakeholder theory should result in benefits for both the organization and stakeholders. Normative Approach: The implementation of stakeholder theory is normative because stakeholders have intrinsic value to projects and businesses, making it an absolute necessity. Benefits of Using the Stakeholder Theory Stakeholder theory posits that a company is only successful when it delivers value to its stakeholders, and those values can come in many forms beyond financial benefits. Impact on Employees and Customers One of the values produced by stakeholder theory includes greater productivity across the organization. If employees, who are considered stakeholders, feel as if they’re being valued, then they’re going to work harder and be more productive. This also means that companies will have greater retention of their employees, but also of customers. If the productivity is up, then the product or service delivered to the customer is improved. With that improvement comes more customer loyalty, especially as they are one of the many stakeholders the company is considering when making decisions. Customers are also more likely to then refer other customers to the company. Increased Investment All this is leading to more investment from financiers. They too, of course, are stakeholders. While sometimes they are thought of as the only stakeholders or the most important to a company as they hold their hands on the level of capital, they’re really connected to other stakeholders. As other stakeholders are valued, the value of the company grows, and investors are more likely to add money to production to take advantage of this increased market share. Related: Stakeholder vs. Shareholder: How They’re Different & Why It Matters From there, it’s not only capital that is infused into the company, but talent. Everyone loves a winner, and as the company grows and dominates because of its care for stakeholders, it will inevitably attract new talent to its doors. Ethical Benefits Stakeholder theory drives more than profits and productivity. There are ethical benefits of practicing it as well. Companies find that the mental health of the workforce is greatly improved as their job satisfaction increases. It also will elevate the status of the company’s social-economic status in the local community. When one company practices stakeholder theory, it creates healthy competition among other companies, where all can thrive and help benefit their stakeholders. Drawbacks of Stakeholder Theory Some critics, such as political philosopher Charles Blattberg, say stakeholder theory is problematic. They claim that the interests of various stakeholders cannot be balanced against each other. This is because stakeholders represent such a large and diverse group. You can’t please every stakeholder. One or more stakeholders will have to take a backseat to other, more dominant ones, which is likely to create discord. This will disrupt the benefits associated with stakeholder theory. Also, who will wield the most influence? Some stakeholders might find that they’re not impacting decisions as much as another group. The different power levels and spheres of influence can be a problem. Even those with seemingly more influence might not feel that they’re getting what they want. Stakeholder Management Strategy Stakeholder theory is a component of the larger stakeholder management, which creates positive relationships with stakeholders by managing their expectations and objectives. In order to control this process, a strategic plan is required. To begin, stakeholders are identified, their influence and interest determined, and a communication plan is devised to keep them informed. But not all stakeholders are created equally. This doesn’t mean some are more important than others, just that prioritizing offers a structure in managing them effectively. Again, to manage stakeholders and develop an effective strategic plan, it is crucial to understand them. Know their financial or emotional interests in the outcome of the work, what motivates them, what data do you require from you, how do they want to get information, what do they think of the job you’re doing, who influences their opinions, etc. The key principle of stakeholder engagement is communication. Here are some key tips for making sure that stakeholder communication stays strong and efficient: Make sure messages are targeted and delivered timely Consult early and often Know that stakeholders are people with feelings and need to be treated as such to build trust Consider potential risks and opportunities with each stakeholder Compromise Know how success is defined Take responsibility How ProjectManager Helps with Stakeholders Stakeholders have a vested interest in the project. They are not likely to sit on the sidelines and wait for that deliverable to show up. They want to know how the project is going and that means keeping them in the loop. But stakeholders aren’t interested in going into the weeds. How can you give stakeholders just the information they want to keep them content? We can help. Shareable Plans with the Latest Data ProjectManager.com is an award-winning software that helps you manage projects, tasks and people—including stakeholders. This begins at the planning stage. ProjectManager.com has online Gantt charts that schedule tasks over a project timeline. Stakeholders love that those plans can be exported and shared or even printed out, if they prefer a paper copy. Plus, these timelines are clear and easy for stakeholders to digest. Dashboards for Easy Live Tracking When the project is executed, that project plan is put to the test. Does it in fact align with the actual progress of the project? Project managers track the high-level project using key metrics that are monitored automatically on ProjectManager.com’s real-time dashboard. These easy-to-read charts and graphs can also be shared at stakeholder presentations to keep them updated on the progress of the project. Eight Different Reports for In-Depth Analysis Dashboards are great for a bird’s-eye view of the project, but what if a stakeholder wants more detailed information? The last thing a project manager wants is to be caught off-guard. ProjectManager.com has easy reporting features for more granular data. These reports can be quickly filtered to respond to whatever query a stakeholder might have. Finally, some stakeholders want a more intimate relationship with the project. They’ll have questions and suggestions throughout the project lifecycle. ProjectManager.com makes it easy for them to stay connected to the project team. Stakeholders can comment on tasks, ask questions and get responses from the project team in real time. ProjectManager.com makes happy stakeholders. Stakeholders want to be a part of the process. They need to stay informed, and the information you deliver must be targeted and current. ProjectManager.com is a cloud-based project management software, so the data is up-to-date. Its real-time dashboard makes reporting simple, with dropdown menus to create easy-to-read graphs and charts, supplying only that information needed by the recipient. See how it can support your stakeholder theory by taking this free 30-day trial. What is a Stakeholder? Stakeholder Mapping 101: A Quick Guide to Stakeholder Maps Stakeholder Analysis Template
涉众是指任何在项目,业务或组织中有利益关系的人。更重要的是,涉众管理对于任何项目或组织的成功都是至关重要的,因为他们可以影响一切和每个人,包括高级管理层,项目负责人,团队成员,客户,用户和许多其他人。 这就是为什么管理者必须优先考虑和关注最重要的利益相关者,那些有权力,接近和紧急的利益相关者。这时利益相关者理论开始发挥作用。 什么是利益相关者理论? 干系人理论在管理项目或组织的干系人时处理商业伦理,道德和价值观。它寻求优化与利益相关者的关系,从而提高整个项目或组织的效率。利益相关者理论被运用于项目管理,企业社会责任,战略管理和商业伦理等许多重要领域。 将利益相关者理论付诸实践需要项目管理软件。ProjectManager是基于云的工作和项目管理软件,它帮助您管理您的涉众期望并保持更新。我们的实时报告可以被过滤,只显示涉众想要看到的数据,然后轻松地以PDF格式共享,甚至打印出来。 利益相关者理论的历史 第一个定义利益相关者理论的人是组织理论家Ian Mitroff在1983年出版的《组织思维的利益相关者》一书中。此后不久,哲学家兼工商管理教授R·爱德华·弗里曼于1983年在《加州管理评论》上发表了一篇关于利益相关者理论的文章。弗里曼没有引用米特罗夫作为资料来源,而是将利益相关者理论归因于斯坦福研究所的讨论。在这篇文章发表后不久,他又出版了自己的著作《战略管理:一种利益相关者的方法》。 这就是为什么有时利益相关者理论也被称为弗里曼的利益相关者理论。在Freeman的书中,他确定了公司内部的利益相关者群体并对其进行建模,描述并推荐了管理他们利益的方法,并从公司的角度确定谁才是真正的利益相关者。为利益相关者增加价值将在各个方面改善业务。 弗里曼的利益相关者理论也常常与经济学家米尔顿•弗里德曼在20世纪70年代创立的股东理论相混淆。让我们来了解一下这些相似而又不同的理论之间的区别。 利益相关者理论与股东理论 爱德华·弗里曼的利益相关者理论与米尔顿·弗里德曼的股东理论有很大的不同,因为当涉及到利益相关者管理时,他们提出了两种截然不同的方法。 弗里德曼的理论认为,股东应该是公司的唯一焦点,因为他们是财务上支持公司的人。另一方面,Freeman的理论指出,所有的利益相关者对一个公司来说都是重要的,这将焦点扩大到一个更具有社会意识的利益相关者管理理论。 弗里德曼的股东理论是大多数组织的指导原则,直到弗里曼的利益相关者理论在商业和项目管理领域获得接受,并成为新的标准。 利益相关者理论实例 利益相关者理论指出,有几个利益相关者或利益相关者群体必须被包括在利益相关者的保护伞之下,例如公司的雇员,客户,供应商,金融家,社区,政府机构,政治团体,行业协会,工会甚至竞争对手,因为它们也会影响公司。 利益相关者的名单并没有得到普遍的认同,甚至利益相关者的定义也有一些人存在争议。 在我们的例子中,我们将确定利益相关者对制造设施建设的兴趣和期望。 员工:在这种情况下,员工将是所有参与计划和执行施工项目的人员,如现场经理和船员。他们对这个项目的成功负有责任。在期望方面,他们需要一个符合安全规定和适当工作条件的工作场所。 供应商:你需要几个供应商来提供原材料,设备和其他资源。与他们建立关系对于保持建筑供应的有效流动是很重要的。有不同的供应关系管理方法来帮助您了解如何更好地与他们谈判。 客户:当地客户将受益于这一新设施,因为新设施将增加产品供应,从而降低价格,同时由于市场竞争加剧而提高质量。客户期望高质量的产品不仅能解决他们的需求,而且对他们的健康和环境都是安全的。 社区:在本例中,术语社区指的是受到项目间接影响的人。他们将受到这个新制造设施建设的正面和负面影响。一方面,这为社区带来了经济利益,因为新雇员会在住房,交通,基本用品等方面花钱。另一方面,污染的风险很高。如果该设施不符合环境法规,就可能破坏社区的重要自然资源,如水源。 政府:政府通过法律法规来维护人民的利益。任何建筑项目都必须遵守为保证其雇员,社区和环境的安全而制定的每一项政府规章。 利益相关者理论的演进 弗里曼说,他站在巨人的肩膀上,例如从战略管理,企业规划,系统理论,组织理论和企业社会责任等方面的研究中建立起来,后者是由意大利经济学家吉安卡洛帕拉维奇尼在1968年发表的一篇文章中首次讨论的。 最近,在1995年,伦理学家托马斯·唐纳森提出,利益相关者理论具有描述性,工具性和规范性的方面或方法,这些方面或方法是相互支持的。 描述性方法:利益相关者理论是描述性的,因为它描述了组织及其利益相关者的利益,为更好地理解组织与利益相关者之间的关系提供了一个框架。 工具性方法:利益相关者理论是工具性的,因为它的主要目标是增加利益相关者的价值,作为实现组织目标的手段。利益相关者理论的实施应该使组织和利益相关者都受益。 规范方法:利益相关者理论的实施是规范的,因为利益相关者对项目和业务具有内在价值,使之成为绝对的必要性。 使用涉众理论的好处 利益相关者理论认为,一个公司只有在向利益相关者提供价值时才是成功的,而这些价值可以以多种形式出现在财务利益之外。 对员工和客户的影响 利益相关者理论产生的价值之一包括整个组织更高的生产力。如果被视为利益相关者的员工觉得自己受到了重视,那么他们就会更加努力地工作,提高工作效率。 这也意味着公司将有更大的保留他们的员工,但也有更多的客户。如果生产率提高了,那么交付给客户的产品或服务就得到了改善。随着这种改进,客户忠诚度也随之提高,尤其是因为他们是公司在决策时考虑的众多利益相关者之一。客户也更有可能随后将其他客户推荐给该公司。 增加投资 所有这些都在导致更多来自金融家的投资。当然,他们也是利益相关者。虽然有时他们被认为是唯一的利益相关者,或者是公司最重要的利益相关者,因为他们掌握着资本的水平,但他们实际上与其他利益相关者是有联系的。随着其他利益相关者被估值,公司价值增长,投资者更有可能为生产增加资金,以利用这一增加的市场份额。 相关:利益相关者与股东:它们有何不同&为什么重要 从那以后,注入公司的不仅仅是资本,还有人才。每个人都喜欢胜利者,随着公司因其对利益相关者的关怀而成长并占据主导地位,它将不可避免地吸引新的人才上门。 伦理利益 利益相关者理论驱动的不仅仅是利润和生产率。实践它也有道德上的好处。公司发现,随着工作满意度的提高,员工的心理健康状况大大改善。它还将提升公司在当地社区的社会经济地位。当一个公司实践利益相关者理论时,它会在其他公司之间创造良性竞争,所有公司都能茁壮成长,并帮助利益相关者受益。 利益相关者理论的缺陷 一些批评家,如政治哲学家查尔斯布拉特伯格,说利益相关者理论是有问题的。他们声称,各利益相关者的利益不能相互平衡。 这是因为利益相关者代表着这样一个庞大而多样的群体。你不能取悦每一个利益相关者。一个或多个利益相关者将不得不退居次席,让位于其他更有主导性的利益相关者,这很可能会造成不和。这将破坏与利益相关者理论相关联的利益。 还有,谁会发挥最大的影响力?一些利益相关者可能会发现,他们对决策的影响不如另一个群体那么大。不同的权力级别和势力范围可能是一个问题。即使那些看起来更有影响力的人也可能感觉不到他们得到了他们想要的东西。 利益相关者管理战略 利益相关者理论是更大的利益相关者管理的一个组成部分,它通过管理利益相关者的期望和目标与他们建立积极的关系。为了控制这一过程,需要有一个战略计划。 首先,确定利益相关者,确定他们的影响和利益,并制定沟通计划,使他们了解情况。但并不是所有的利益相关者都是平等的。这并不意味着有些比其他的更重要,只是优先排序提供了一个有效管理它们的结构。 再次强调,要管理利益相关者并制定有效的战略计划,理解他们至关重要。了解他们在工作结果中的财务或情感利益,什么激励他们,你需要你提供什么数据,他们想如何获得信息,他们对你所做的工作有什么看法,谁影响他们的意见等等。 利益相关者参与的关键原则是沟通。以下是一些关键的提示,可以确保利益相关者的沟通保持有力和高效: 确保消息有针对性并及时传递 及早并经常请教 我知道利益相关者都是有感情的人,需要被视为有感情的人来建立信任 与每个利益相关者一起考虑潜在的风险和机会 妥协 知道如何定义成功 承担责任 ProjectManager如何帮助涉众 利益相关者在项目中拥有既得利益。他们不太可能袖手旁观,等待交付品出现。他们想知道项目进展如何,这意味着要让他们了解情况。 但利益相关者对进入荒草地带并不感兴趣。你怎样才能给涉众提供他们想要的信息,让他们满意呢?我们可以帮忙。 具有最新数据的可共享计划 ProjectManager.com是一个屡获殊荣的软件,它帮助您管理项目,任务和人员--包括利益相关者。这从计划阶段就开始了。 ProjectManager.com有在线甘特图,可根据项目时间线安排任务。利益相关者喜欢这些计划可以被导出和共享,甚至打印出来,如果他们更喜欢纸质的副本。此外,这些时间表是明确的,并且易于涉众消化。 用于轻松实时跟踪的仪表板 当项目执行时,项目计划就会受到考验。这与工程的实际进度是否一致?项目经理使用在ProjectManager.com的实时仪表板上自动监视的关键指标来跟踪高级项目。 这些易于阅读的图表和图表也可以在涉众演示会上分享,以使他们随时了解项目的进展情况。 供深入分析的八份不同报告 仪表板对于项目的鸟瞰是很好的,但是如果涉众想要更详细的信息怎么办?一个项目经理最不想要的就是被打个措手不及。ProjectManager.com对于更细粒度的数据具有易于报告的特性。这些报告可以被快速过滤,以响应涉众可能有的任何查询。 最后,一些涉众希望与项目建立更亲密的关系。他们将在整个项目生命周期中提出问题和建议。ProjectManager.com使他们很容易与项目团队保持联系。涉众可以对任务进行评论,提出问题,并实时得到项目团队的回应。ProjectManager.com使利益相关者感到高兴。 利益相关者希望成为这一过程的一部分。他们需要保持知情,你提供的信息必须是有针对性的和最新的。ProjectManager.com是一个基于云的项目管理软件,因此数据是最新的。它的实时仪表板使报告变得简单,通过下拉菜单创建易于阅读的图形和图表,只提供接收者所需的信息。看看它如何能支持您的利益相关者理论,采取这个免费的30天试用。 什么是利益相关者? 干系人地图101:干系人地图快速指南 利益相关者分析模板