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Stakeholder Mapping

As for me, all I know is that I know nothing.

—Socrates1

Why do some managers perceive relationships with stakeholders as involving risk, conflict, and trade-offs, while others perceive them as rich in opportunity, interdependence, and mutual benefit? That was a question that Donal Crilly of London Business School and Pamela Sloan of HEC in Montreal set out to answer.2 Their findings help explain how managers can position themselves to better handle paradoxical problems.

Crilly and Sloan discovered that company leaders view the role of stakeholders in one of three ways. Some leaders treat stakeholders at arm's length. They see interactions with stakeholders as transactions and govern them with contracts. Other leaders work ...

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