Stakeholders Make or Break Programs: Stakeholder Behavior, its Antecedents and its Impact on Program Succcess

Claus Beringer

Stakeholder behavior and stakeholder management are key success factors for programs and their management. However, there is still surprisingly little research on stakeholder behavior. In this paper I attempt to close this research gap by developing a first framework. This framework links stakeholder behavior, the determinants of stakeholder behavior – including stakeholder management – and program success. Subsequently, I derive a first detailed and comprehensive model of stakeholders’ impact on program success; where I introduce trust, stakeholder management, and behavior itself as determinants of stakeholder behavior, besides power and interest. This paper contributes to stakeholder theory by increasing the understanding of stakeholder behavior influencing programs and of the respective determinants and by enabling researchers to systematically investigate stakeholders of programs. It contributes to practice by enabling managers to deal with stakeholders more effectively through increased understanding of stakeholder behavior. Further research should detail, adapt and validate the model based on practical insight.