Purpose: the need for Stakeholder Theory has been widely highlighted in the literature to develop solid strategies of a large organization. However, there is still a lack of user-friendly visualization tools and no unique approach exists to identify and engage stakeholders. This paper aims at proposing a general methodology to co-design the sustainability ecosystem at the local scale, to explore it, and to assess the impact of a large organization within the identified ecosystem. Design/Methodology/Approach: the methodology consists of two main processes: 1) identifying an ontological map of the Sustainability Topics Network and 2) designing the local Sustainability Stakeholders Ecosystem. Both processes are based on a Nodes Identification phase and a Nodes Prioritization phase. The Identification phase was achieved by engaging 160 citizens, for the Topics Network, and nearly 40 relevant stakeholders, for the Stakeholders Ecosystem, with a collaborative participatory mapping process. The Prioritization phase was conducted thanks to three indicators, i.e. the closeness, the betweenness, and the eigenvector centrality. Findings: betweenness centrality results to be the best indicator to assess the importance of a stakeholder with respect to the whole network, while eigenvector centrality highlights the quality of the already engaged stakeholders of an organization, since it mainly depends on the number of links of the first order neighbors. On the contrary, the closeness centrality, when applied to a small network, seems to be not appropriate to assess the centrality of a stakeholder. Research limitations/implications: this approach revealed some criticalities in the mapping process, as in the weighting link procedure. Further investigations are needed to generalize the approach to a dynamic one, to allow real-time mapping, and to develop a robust interconnection among centrality degrees and the power, interest, and legitimacy concept of Stakeholder Theory. Practical Implications: obtained results for a case study, i.e. the position of the University of Turin Green Office within the City of Turin sustainability ecosystem, are discussed showing how Social Network Analysis centrality degrees can be used to quantitatively assess the role of an organization within a stakeholders' ecosystem. Social Implications: centrality analysis allows to identify emergent topics/stakeholders within a network of words/actors that, at a first sight, should not be considered by decision-makers and managers. Originality Value: a new methodology for stakeholder identification and prioritization is proposed exploiting online data visualization tools, participatory mapping, and social network analysis.

Co-design of a stakeholders’ ecosystem: an assessment methodology by linking social network analysis, stakeholder theory and participatory mapping

Cottafava, Dario
;
Corazza, Laura
2021

Abstract

Purpose: the need for Stakeholder Theory has been widely highlighted in the literature to develop solid strategies of a large organization. However, there is still a lack of user-friendly visualization tools and no unique approach exists to identify and engage stakeholders. This paper aims at proposing a general methodology to co-design the sustainability ecosystem at the local scale, to explore it, and to assess the impact of a large organization within the identified ecosystem. Design/Methodology/Approach: the methodology consists of two main processes: 1) identifying an ontological map of the Sustainability Topics Network and 2) designing the local Sustainability Stakeholders Ecosystem. Both processes are based on a Nodes Identification phase and a Nodes Prioritization phase. The Identification phase was achieved by engaging 160 citizens, for the Topics Network, and nearly 40 relevant stakeholders, for the Stakeholders Ecosystem, with a collaborative participatory mapping process. The Prioritization phase was conducted thanks to three indicators, i.e. the closeness, the betweenness, and the eigenvector centrality. Findings: betweenness centrality results to be the best indicator to assess the importance of a stakeholder with respect to the whole network, while eigenvector centrality highlights the quality of the already engaged stakeholders of an organization, since it mainly depends on the number of links of the first order neighbors. On the contrary, the closeness centrality, when applied to a small network, seems to be not appropriate to assess the centrality of a stakeholder. Research limitations/implications: this approach revealed some criticalities in the mapping process, as in the weighting link procedure. Further investigations are needed to generalize the approach to a dynamic one, to allow real-time mapping, and to develop a robust interconnection among centrality degrees and the power, interest, and legitimacy concept of Stakeholder Theory. Practical Implications: obtained results for a case study, i.e. the position of the University of Turin Green Office within the City of Turin sustainability ecosystem, are discussed showing how Social Network Analysis centrality degrees can be used to quantitatively assess the role of an organization within a stakeholders' ecosystem. Social Implications: centrality analysis allows to identify emergent topics/stakeholders within a network of words/actors that, at a first sight, should not be considered by decision-makers and managers. Originality Value: a new methodology for stakeholder identification and prioritization is proposed exploiting online data visualization tools, participatory mapping, and social network analysis.
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https://www.emerald.com/insight/content/doi/10.1108/K-12-2019-0861/full/html
Stakeholder, social network analysis, participatory mapping, ecosystem, sustainability
Cottafava, Dario; Corazza, Laura
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/2318/1761353
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