Handbook Series: Stakeholder engagement and participation

This report presents a critical review of stakeholder participation literature and highlights criticisms of the main concepts


This essay aims to examine stakeholder theory by paying attention to three aspects, namely the history of the field, various typologies that have been developed in the theory of stakeholder participation and the process of stakeholder participation. Throughout it is also attempted to present a critical review of the stakeholder participation literature and to highlight various criticisms of the key concepts.

Firstly, the document contains an in-depth review of the field of stakeholder theory, tracking the early roots of the field and how it has evolved since the 1960s. Here we pay special attention to how the various perspectives of stakeholder theory progressed from management theory, policy and development, and how they influenced each other.

Secondly, we present an analysis of various key typologies of stakeholder participation that have developed from various perspectives. This includes the theoretical basis of stakeholder theory, the typologies that have been developed in the literature that describe the aims and objectives of stakeholder theory, the different degrees of participation, and the nature of participation.

Thirdly, we describe the process of stakeholder participation and provide key frameworks that have proven to be useful to guide the stakeholder participation process. This section is intended to be more practical and guides the reader through the process of planning and implementing participation.


Grobbelaar, S.S. Handbook Series: Stakeholder engagement and participation. DRUSSA (2014) 29 pp.

Handbook Series: Stakeholder engagement and participation

Published 1 January 2014