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1.1 Analyse stakeholder mapping techniques

Unit 21: Develop Working Relationships with Stakeholders

Unit reference number: F/506/1982 QCF level: 4

Credit value: 4

Guided learning hours: 20

Unit type: Competence

Unit summary

All organisations have stakeholders, both internal and external. Engaging with stakeholders involves establishing good lines of communication and maintaining a constructive relationship with them. This relationship with stakeholders is important to ensure that the organisation responds to their needs and is able to manage any competing priorities. Stakeholder relationships that are unmanaged or mismanaged can result in negative consequences for an organisation.

In this unit you will learn that stakeholders are individuals or organisations that shape the operation of a business and/or are affected by the actions of the business. You will understand the importance of developing good working relationships with stakeholders and the consequences of poor engagement.

You will also develop the skills needed to plan for stakeholder engagement, such as stakeholder mapping, and the competences needed to develop and maintain productive working relationships with stakeholders.

Learning outcomes and assessment criteria

To pass this unit, the learner needs to demonstrate that they can meet all the learning outcomes for the unit. The assessment criteria outline the requirements the learner is expected to meet to achieve the unit.

Unit 21: Develop Working Relationships with Stakeholders

Learning outcomes

Assessment criteria


Understand working relationships with stakeholders

1.1 Analyse stakeholder mapping techniques

1.2 Explain how influencing skills and techniques can be used to enhance the relationship with stakeholders

1.3 Explain how expectation management and conflict resolution techniques are applied to stakeholder management

1.4 Analyse the advantages and limitations of different types of stakeholder consultation

1.5 Evaluate the risks and potential consequences of inadequate stakeholder consultation


Be able to determine the scope for collaboration with stakeholders

2.1 Identify the stakeholders with whom relationships should be developed

2.2 Explain the roles, responsibilities, interests and concerns of stakeholders

2.3 Evaluate business areas that would benefit from collaboration with stakeholders

2.4 Evaluate the scope for and limitations of collaborating with different types of stakeholder


Be able to develop productive working relationships with stakeholder

3.1 Create a climate of mutual trust and respect by behaving openly and honestly

3.2 Take account of the advice provided by stakeholders

3.3 Minimise the potential for friction and conflict amongst stakeholders

Learning outcomes

Assessment criteria

4 Be able to evaluate relationships with stakeholders

4.1 Monitor relationships and developments with stakeholders

4.2 Address changes that may have an effect on stakeholder relationships

4.3 Recommend improvements based on analyses of the effectiveness of stakeholder relationships

Unit amplification

AC1.1: Analyse stakeholder mapping techniques
  • Types of stakeholder: primary, secondary, key, internal, external, connected
  • Stakeholder mapping: purpose, e.g. identifies potential conflicts, gaps, contradictions or incompatibilities between stakeholders, supports on- going two-way communication; mapping process, e.g. identifying key stakeholders, defining their concerns and issues, assessing their level of commitment or resistance
    • Mapping techniques: e.g. basic stakeholder analysis (Bryson 1995), power versus interest grids (Eden and Ackerman 1998), stakeholder- influence diagrams (Eden and Ackerman 1998); features of techniques, e.g. two–by-two matrix, stakeholder interest and power as dimensions; importance of influence relationships; benefits and limitations of techniques; suitability of contexts
    • Influencing skills: probing and listening, e.g. reflective questions, active listening; building rapport, e.g. signposting, framing and reframing, pacing; persuading, e.g. mirroring; assertiveness; negotiating (concessions, win-win)
    • Influencing techniques: e.g. determining outcomes and objectives of the engagement process; setting the scene; understanding needs and values of other party; empathy
    • Impact on stakeholder relationship: e.g. encourages shift from a transaction basis for business towards relationship basis; recognition of stakeholder needs; encourage support from powerful stakeholders; maintains open lines of communication
    • Managing expectations: process, i.e. setting expectations, articulating risks and issues, communicating progress, monitoring expectations, influencing expectations; skills needed, e.g. influencing skills, communication skills, negotiation skills (concessions and compromises)
    • Conflict-resolution techniques: different approaches, e.g. avoidance, domination, accommodation, consensus, compromise; facilitation; negotiation
    • Use of expectation management and conflict resolution techniques:
AC1.2: Explain how influencing skills and techniques can be used to enhance the relationship with stakeholders
AC1.3: Explain how expectation management and conflict resolution techniques are applied to stakeholder management

e.g. generating and negotiating solutions; seeking stakeholder input during planning; addressing concerns before they escalate; clarifying and resolving issues in a timely manner

AC1.4: Analyse the advantages and limitations of different types of stakeholder consultation
  • Methods of consultation: e.g. focus groups/workshops; surveys and opinion polls; Web 2.0 tools events/roadshows; individual meetings/interviews; governance
  • Analysis to include: advantages and limitations; suitability of methods to different types of stakeholder and the purpose of the consultation; clarity where decision-making power lies
  • Risks and potential consequences: e.g. failure to achieve goals; damage to organisational reputation; lack of stakeholder acceptance; potential negative impact on customer retention and loyalty; negative publicity; conflicting views
AC1.5: Evaluate the risks and potential consequences of inadequate stakeholder consultation

Information for tutors

Suggested resources

Freeman RE, et al – Stakeholder Theory: The State of the Art (Cambridge University Press, 2010) ISBN 9780521137935

Friedman A L and Miles S – Stakeholders: Theory and Practice (OUP, 2006) ISBN 9780199269877


www.bized.co.uk – business education site with materials on business stakeholders

www.businesscasestudies.co.uk – The Times 100 has case-study material on stakeholders


This unit is internally assessed. To pass this unit the evidence that the learner presents for assessment must demonstrate that they have met the required standard specified in the learning outcomes and assessment criteria and the requirements of the Assessment Strategy.

To ensure that the assessment tasks and activities enable learners to produce valid, sufficient, authentic and appropriate evidence that meets the assessment criteria, centres should apply the Unit Assessment guidance and the requirements of the Assessment Strategy below.

Wherever possible, centres should adopt a holistic approach to assessing the units in the qualification. This gives the assessment process greater rigour and minimises repetition, time and the burden of assessment on all parties involved in the process.

Unit assessment requirements

This unit must be assessed in the workplace in accordance with Skills CFA Business Administration, Customer Service and Management and Leadership Assessment Strategy in Annexe A. Simulation is not allowed for this unit. All evidence of occupational competence should be generated through performance under workplace conditions; this includes evidence of achievement for knowledge-based learning outcomes and associated assessment criteria

Unit assessment guidance

This guidance supports assessors in making decisions about how best to assess each unit and the evidence needed to meet the assessment requirements of the unit. Centres can adapt the guidance for learners and the particular assessment context, as appropriate.

There are opportunities to assess this unit holistically with the following unit: Chair and Lead Meetings

Evidence to achieve this unit should come from the learner’s work activities in developing relationships with either internal stakeholders, external stakeholders or a combination of both.

Evidence to demonstrate achievement of learning outcomes 2 and 4 is likely to come from a combination of reviewing the learner’s work products, witness testimony and professional discussion or reflective account. The learner’s work products could include stakeholder mapping/analysis documents, stakeholder engagement plan, related communications with colleagues and/or stakeholders and reports or records detailing the outcomes of the analyses of stakeholder relationships. The work products should be reviewed by the assessor and used to support the professional discussion to evidence the knowledge and understanding underpinning the learner’s performance. Within the professional discussion, the learner could discuss the criteria used to evaluate the scope and limitations of collaborating with different types of stakeholder and the process of monitoring stakeholder relationships and addressing the changes in these relationships (AC2.4, AC4.1 and AC4.2). Alternatively, a reflective account could be used in a similar manner to assess the underpinning knowledge and understanding. Witness testimony from colleagues and the line manager should also be used to confirm that the learner has consistently met the requirements over a period of time, as well as met organisational requirements.

Evidence to demonstrate achievement of learning outcome 3 could come from direct observation of the learner in meetings with stakeholders. Evidence could also come from the learner’s work products such as minutes/records of meetings and witness testimony from colleagues or a line manager who were present at the meetings.

The evidence from performance can be supported by the assessment of learning outcome 1, as detailed below.

Due to the cognitive demand of the assessment criteria in learning outcome 1, the evidence to confirm achievement would best come from a reflective account. If a reflective account is used for learning outcomes 2 and 4 then it would be best to integrate the assessment of this learning outcome, therefore giving the learner the opportunity to link and apply their knowledge to workplace activities. For example, the learner could reflect on the influencing skills and conflict-resolution techniques they have used in meetings and discussions with stakeholders, explaining how they helped in achieving the desired outcomes and how they could possibly use other techniques in the future (AC1.2 and AC1.3). The learner’s reflective account to meet the requirements of AC1.1 to AC1.5 must be in sufficient depth and breadth to meet the level of demand of the operative command verbs. For example, for AC1.1, the learner needs to explain in detail the methodology of the mapping technique used, why it was suitable for the particular context/circumstance, the limitations experienced in using the technique and how, and when they could use other techniques in the future.

Evidence of Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) can also be used within the unit to confirm competence.

Unit 21: Develop Working Relationships with Stakeholders

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