Stakeholder politics is parallel to electoral politics but works at an earlier stage in the lifecycle of issues. Issues go from (1) being articulated, to (2) gaining public awareness, to (3) being studied by government, to (4) being the subject of regulations.¹ Where there is no one government with regulatory authority, the regulations emerge through de facto governance regimes like the Global Reporting Initiative and the many ethical screening systems for investments.

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The criteria used in these systems are the institutionalized residue of social movement activism and stakeholder politics. The organizations that eventually become regulated have the greatest opportunity to influence the direction of regulation earlier in the issue lifecycle.

To assist managers in coping with the very political nature of stakeholder issues, the Stakeholder 360 yields information about:  which groups form the core of the network
the emergence of coalitions among stakeholders
existing factions and latent conflicts
which issues are emerging, which are fading
who supports the issues or the champions of the issues
how the issues are connected to each other

1 Post,J.E., Lawrence,A.T., and Weber,J. 2002. Business and Society: Corporate Strategy, Public Policy, Ethics. Tenth Edition edn. New York: McGraw-Hill Irwin

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