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Wed, 19 Oct 2011


I was reading an article in pre-publication today. The author used the term "stake holder" and was clearly describing a "stakeholder."

To save you from rushing to a dictionary, here's what Google's definition search revealed:

1) (in gambling) An independent party with whom each of those who make a wager deposits the money or counters wagered

2) A person with an interest or concern in something, esp. a business

3) Denoting a type of organization or system in which all the members or participants are seen as having an interest in its success

The meaning intended in the article was, I think, meaning three. Many management plans seek to involve the stakeholders so they will buy in and drive a project to a good finish.

What wasn't included in the set of definitions was: "holder of a stake, while one or more guys swing sledge hammers to drive it home" Of course, that was what my warped word sense took from the pre-publication article. I think it needs a bit more proofreading.

The extra space got me thinking though. In many top-down organizations, the various groups not in top management positions are asked to be involved. All too often, the stakeholders are present, but not actually heard when they participate. The top down approach leaves the stakeholders limited to the stake holder role while the ideas of the bosses are hammered home.

Stake holder is not a great role in any project, especially if the hammers come down just a bit off the mark. I feel sorry for those stake holders who are not really allowed to be stakeholders.

posted at: 16:37 | path: | permanent link to this entry