Stakeholder Engagement & Management Links

Source: Industry Canada > Corporate Social Responsibility > Part 3 > The importance of stakeholder engagement

What is Stakeholder Engagement?

At its most basic definition, corporate social responsibility (CSR) is about seeing business as an integral part of Canadian society, the global community and the environment that supports it. A business does not exist in isolation. It relies on a multitude of relationships with customers, employees, suppliers, communities, investors and others - in other words, stakeholders.

Stakeholder engagement comprises the formal and informal ways of staying connected with the parties who have an actual or potential interest in or effect on the business. Engagement implies understanding their views and taking them into consideration, being accountable to them when accountability is called for and using the information gleaned from them to drive innovative solutions.

Stakeholder engagement spans a continuum of interaction that reflects the degree of influence stakeholders have in decision making. At one end, businesses simply inform stakeholders of their plans. At the other, stakeholders are deeply involved from early on in the decision-making process. In between are varying degrees of consultation and participation. Suncor Energy characterizes three positions on the continuum as information sharing, consultation and collaboration. In this guide, stakeholder engagement includes, at a minimum, a genuine effort to understand stakeholder views.

How to Approach Stakeholder Engagement

A five-step stakeholder engagement process is proposed below.

  • Identify stakeholders
  • Understand the reasons for stakeholder engagement
  • Plan the engagement process
  • Start the dialogue
  • Maintain the dialogue and deliver on commitments

Note that the order and the process suggested above simply represent one way of approaching stakeholder engagement. Depending upon the iissue(s) involved, the size of the organization as well as many other factors, firms may choose less elaborate approaches than that outlined here.

To learn more, please visit:

Brownfield Stakeholder Engagement