What to do when stakeholders matter: The case of problem formulation for the African American men project of Hennepin County, Minnesota

John M Bryson, Gary L. Cunningham, Karen J. Lokkesmoe

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

69 Scopus citations

Abstract

We propose a series of stakeholder analyses designed to help organizations - especially governments - think and act strategically during the process of problem formulation in order to advance the common good. Specifically, we argue that at least five sets of analyses are necessary, including the creation of (1) a power versus interest grid; (2) a stakeholder influence diagram; (3) bases of power-directions of interest diagrams; (4) a map for finding the common good and structuring a winning argument; and (5) diagrams indicating how to tap individual stakeholder interests to pursue the common good. What the analyses do is help to transform a seemingly "wicked problem" - for example, how to produce better outcomes for African American men aged 18-30 -into something more tractable, and therefore amenable to collective action. In other words, stakeholder analysis can be used to link political rationality with technical rationality so that support can be mobilized for substantive progress.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)568-584
Number of pages17
JournalPublic Administration Review
Volume62
Issue number5
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 2002

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