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3 Types of Stakeholder Salience

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Stakeholder salience is the extent to which the stakeholders are vocal, visible and important to a project. It is a key aspect of stakeholder management as it is common for highly vocal stakeholders to try to define requirements and make decisions beyond their expertise and authority resulting in issues. Stakeholder salience is typically modeled according to three factors:


Power is the ability to influence in a particular area. For example, a programmer with a reputation for brilliance amongst her peers may be able to influence designs and decisions beyond her formal authority.


Legitimacy is authority. Authority is typically formally defined by a firm's organizational structure and can be delegated.


The degree to which a stakeholder pushes their ideas forward. This ranges from a stakeholder who completely dominates every conversation to a stakeholder who is disengaged or effectively absent. A project has a problem when its urgent stakeholders lack power and legitimacy. That is to say that decisions that are made by stakeholders without power and legitimacy are likely to be challenged and defeated at some point, potentially derailing a project.
Overview: Stakeholder Salience
The authority, influence and engagement of stakeholders.
Attributed To
Toward a Theory of Stakeholder Identification and Salience: Defining the Principle of Who and What Really Counts
Ronald K. Mitchell, Bradley R. Agle and Donna J. Wood
The Academy of Management Review
Vol. 22, No. 4 (Oct., 1997), pp. 853-886
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