Stakeholder Management is no longer optional



Series on Effective Stakeholder Engagement

By Lynda Bourne, PhD

Melbourne, Australia



Apart from the practical consideration that projects are done by people for people and that people are stakeholders who will decide if your project is successful or not; the regulatory and political environment is changing. In many situations effective stakeholder management is becoming a mandated necessity.

Two standards that are increasingly used to benchmark ‘effective stakeholder engagement’ are ISO 26000 and GRIG4 – this article looks at their consequences.

International Standard, ISO 26000:2010, Guidance on social responsibility

Each ISO International Standard represents a global consensus on the state of the art in the subject of that standard, ISO 26000 is no different. It is intended to assist organisations in contributing to sustainable development by encouraging them to go beyond mere legal compliance and actively support the communities in which they operate to the benefit of the community and the organisation. ISO recommend that in applying ISO 26000, it is advisable that an organisation take into consideration societal, environmental, legal, cultural, political and organisational diversity, as well as differences in economic conditions, while being consistent with international norms of behavior.

ISO 26000 provides guidance on:

  1. Concepts, terms and definitions related to social responsibility
  2. Background, trends and characteristics of social responsibility
  3. Principles and practices relating to social responsibility
  4. Core subjects and issues of social responsibility
  5. Integrating, implementing and promoting socially responsible behaviour throughout the organization and, through its policies and practices, within its sphere of influence
  6. Identifying and engaging with stakeholders
  7. Communicating commitments, performance and other information related to social responsibility.

The perception and reality of an organization’s performance on social responsibility can influence, among other things:

    • Competitive advantage
    • Reputation
    • Ability to attract and retain workers or members, customers, clients or users
    • Maintenance of employees’ morale, commitment and productivity
    • View of investors, owners, donors, sponsors and the financial community
    • Relationship with companies, governments, the media, suppliers, peers, customers and the community in which it operates.


To read entire article (click here)

Editor’s note: This series of articles on effective project stakeholder engagement is by Lynda Bourne, PhD, Managing Director of Stakeholder Pty Ltd (Australia) and author of the books Stakeholder Relationship Management and Advising Upwards, both published by Gower (UK). Dr. Bourne is one of the world’s leading authorities on program/project stakeholder relations. See her author profile below.     



About the Author


Dr. Lynda Bourne

Melbourne, Australia



Dr. Lynda Bourne
is Managing Director of Stakeholder Management Pty Ltd – an Australian based company with partners in South America and Europe. Through this global network she works with organisations to manage change through managing the relationships essential for successful delivery of organisational outcomes.   Lynda was the first graduate of the RMIT University, Doctor of Project Management course, where her research was focused on tools and techniques for more effective stakeholder engagement. She has been recognized in the field of project management through her work on development of project and program management standards. She was also included in PMI’s list of 50 most influential women in PM.

She is a Fellow of the Australian Institute of Management (AIM) and a Fellow of the Australian Computer Society (ACS). She is a recognized international speaker and seminar leader on the topic of stakeholder management, the Stakeholder Circle® visualization tool, and building credibility and reputation for more effective communication.   She has extensive experience as a Senior Project Manager and Project Director specializing in delivery of information technology and other business-related projects within the telecommunications sector, working as a Senior IT Project Management Consultant with various telecommunications companies in Australia and South East Asia (primarily in Malaysia) including senior roles with Optus and Telstra.

Dr Bourne’s publications include: Stakeholder Relationship Management, now in 2nd edition, published in 2009, Advising Upwards published in 2011, and Making Projects Work, published in 2015. She has also contributed to books on stakeholder engagement, and has published papers in many academic and professional journals and is blogger for PMI’s Voices on Project Management.

Dr. Bourne can be contacted at [email protected].

To see more works by Lynda Bourne, visit her author showcase in the PM World Library at http://pmworldlibrary.net/authors/dr-lynda-bourne/