Managing relationships
Managing relationships

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Managing relationships

2 Stakeholders

You are probably familiar with the term stakeholder (any person or group that has a legitimate interest in an organisation and what it does, and the capacity to affect it. For example, staff, funders, volunteers, supporters and beneficiaries are all stakeholders) and may already think in terms of the different audiences this implies for your message. But have you thought about the implications of the differing stakeholder maps for different sectors?

Consider the three diagrams in Figure 1.

Figure 1: The main stakeholders of typical business, public sector and voluntary organisations (*Note: Where voluntary organisations make a charge for services, clients will also be contributing income to the organisation and may increasingly see themselves as customers.)

Did you notice the different flows of inputs and outputs as illustrated by the direction of the arrows? In private sector organisations there is a ‘bottom line’ of profitability. Organisations will only produce what can be sold profitably and generate returns for investors, whether individual owners or shareholders. Such organisations have a close relationship with their customers.

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