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Working with Stakeholders

General principles

This word document takes you through a stakeholder mapping process that will assist you in getting started on the first part of the sumative assignment.

Is it all about sales?

A traditional sales model focuses on one buyer and one seller in each organisation, each coordinating their functional resources. More contemporary understandings allow for more direct function to function communication with appropriately coordinated networks.

It is interesting to relate these ideas about selling to some more contemporary writing such as Sharon Drew Morgan's Buying facilitation or Stanley Guffogg’s ‘Open plan selling’. Read more about these in this article.

In these models, an indepth understanding of the strategic business aims or current strategic problems of any stakeholder is needed, as well as understanding of contextual factors such as labour market situation and trends. Combined with detailed understanding of learner behaviours and aspirations as well as institutional knowledge, this is the professional knowledge base of the work experience practitioner. It uniquely positions you to provide much valued consultancy to all stakeholders.



Employers motives for engaging with work experience range from securing their own recruitment talent pipeline to meeting Corporate Social Responsibility objectives.

In terms of the skills supply they could be thinking short and long term. e.g. Neil Robertson, the Chief Executive of Energy & Utility Skills (the Sector Skills Council (SSC) for the gas, power, waste management and water industries) that the skills supply problems faced by their industry are so acute that the Chief Executive of National Grid spends on 20% of his time working on these issues, in part through educational engagement.

Organisations such as the Education and Employers Task Force are a rich source of perspectives on this area. The Chartered Institute for Personnel and Development have also published some useful guides for employers incuding February 2014's Making Work Experience Work: Top Tips for Employers.


Academic Staff

Working with academic staff on any aspect of employability benefits from an understanding of how your institution's strategy, structure and culture will drive or inhibit people's willingness and ability to work collaboratively. Barriers can sometimes appear conceptual or ideological, or sometimes more practical and mundane. This paper by David Stanbury offers an interesting perspective on different types of higher education professionals working together.

Stanbury, D (2010) ‘The Kindness of Strangers: How careers educators and wider community can help each other,’ Journal of Education and Training, 52 (2): 100-116.



When we think about supporting individual students we tend to focus on them as individuals.

For engaging the student body as a whole, it can be useful to consider the various 'segments' of the overall population, using either demographic characteristics or others, such as the typology developed by Tomlinson and discussed on the residential.