Mendelows matrix

Mendelow's matrix

A key aspect of formulating corporate strategy is understanding key stakeholders.

The objectives of an organisation will be governed by its key stakeholders. These key stakeholders be determined using stakeholder mapping. Mendelow's matrix is a popular method for performing stakeholder mapping.

Mendelow's matrix

Stakeholder mapping

Stakeholder mapping can help deal with stakeholders' conflicting demands. It identifies stakeholder expectations and power and helps in establishing political priorities. The process involves making decisions on the following two issues.

  • How interested the stakeholder is to impress their expectations on the organisation's choice of strategies, i.e. how likely is the stakeholder to exercise power?
  • To what extent the stakeholder has power to impose its wants?

Mendelow's matrix


Mendelow proposed a matrix to help analyse stakeholders.

Understanding the matrix

The matrix is normally completed with regard to the stakeholder impact of a particular strategy.

The purpose is to assess:

  • whether stakeholder resistance is likely to inhibit the success of the strategy
  • what policies may ease the acceptance of the strategy?

The following strategies might be applicable to each quadrant:

Box A - Minimum effort

Their lack of interest and power makes them open to influence. They are more likely than others to accept what they are told and follow instructions.

Box B - Keep informed

These stakeholders are interested in the strategy but lack the power to do anything. Management needs to convince opponents to the strategy that the plans are justified; otherwise they will try to gain power by joining with parties in boxes C and D.

Box C - Keep satisfied

The key here is to keep these stakeholders satisfied to avoid them gaining interest and moving to box D. This could involve reassuring them of the outcomes of the strategy well in advance.

Box D - Key players / participation

These stakeholders are the major drivers of change and could stop management plans if not satisfied. Management, therefore, needs to communicate plans to them and then discuss implementation issues.

How to determine interest and power

How interested are they?

The 'level of interest' can usefully be described as how likely it is that a stakeholder will take some sort of action to exercise his or her power.

Not all stakeholders have the time or inclination to follow management's decisions closely. Again some generalisations are possible about what will lead to interest, e.g.: 

  • high personal financial or career investment in what the business does
  • absence of alternative (e.g. alternative job, customer, supplier or employer)
  • potential to be called to account for failing to monitor (e.g. local councils or government bodies such as regulators)
  • high social impact of firm (e.g. well known, visible product association with particular issues).


Resignation, withdrawing labour, cancelling orders, refusing to sell, calling in an overdraft, dismissing directors, legal action, granting contracts, setting remuneration.

Note that legislation tends to move power away from shareholders to other stakeholders.

  • Employee protection legislation (dismissal, redundancy, health and safety) moves power to employees and away from management and shareholders.
  • Environmental protection legislation moves power to the local community and other interested parties.
  • Consumer legislation moves power to customers.
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Created at 10/12/2012 10:37 AM  by System Account  (GMT) Greenwich Mean Time : Dublin, Edinburgh, Lisbon, London
Last modified at 11/1/2016 2:28 PM  by System Account  (GMT) Greenwich Mean Time : Dublin, Edinburgh, Lisbon, London

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strategic analysis;Stakeholders;Stakeholder mapping;Mendelow

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