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Collaborative problem solving for community safety
Collaborative problem solving for community safety

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2.3 Understanding influence and interests

A method used to depict the relationship between a stakeholder’s interest in the community and the power they have to influence it is a matrix (see Figure 5). On this matrix, large-scale employers or providers of public services, like local authorities for example, would be placed in the high interest/high power category. Similarly, an organisation might have stakeholders that have a high degree of influence but little interest in the activities of a specific community (for example policy makers). This might apply to some of the secondary stakeholders you identified in Activity 2. What about those with a high degree of interest but low power? Service users and staff in the organisation will often fall within this category, but not always.

Described image
Figure 5 Power and interest of stakeholders matrix (Source: adapted from Johnson and Scholes, 1999)

Activity 5 What kind of community stakeholder are you?

Timing: Allow about 5 minutes for this activity.

From the power/interest matrix in Figure 5, which box do you think you fit into?


This type of stakeholder mapping can be useful for thinking about how you might engage with the different stakeholders in your community role, whether that be in a service organisation like policing, emergency response, health or social care, or as an active member of community groups like the parish council or Neighbourhood Watch.

In general, most ordinary members of the community are low power/low interest, but by studying this course you are perhaps indicating that you have a higher interest. If you are an employee or volunteer in a community-based organisation/service, it is likely that you will be low power/high interest, but if you are in a locally elected role your power will tend to be higher. If you are in a senior role in an organisation with a branch in the community, or are involved in national policy making which affects communities, you are likely to be high power/low interest. If you also live in a community affected by policy decisions you may face a conflict of interests.