To read this content please select one of the options below:

Advising upwards: managing the perceptions and expectations of senior management stakeholders

Lynda Bourne (Stakeholder Management Pty Ltd, Melbourne, Australia)

Management Decision

ISSN: 0025-1747

Article publication date: 28 June 2011




The purpose of this paper is to provide a framework for assisting individuals in organisations to understand how to engage their senior stakeholders.


The main method for the research is a descriptive case study to test the theories described in the paper. The approach to the topic is based on reflection of the experiences of the author and colleagues, tied in with theories developed by the research of individuals in the field of leadership and organisational strategy. The result is a framework to provide guidance to practitioners working in organisations and a new approach for researchers in organisational management and stakeholder engagement.


While there are many journals and books devoted to assisting management to lead and motivate staff and team members, there is an absence of research and thinking on how staff and team members may gain the attention and support of their managers. This paper addresses this gap. The problem has been expressed in terms of the experiences of the author and colleagues and has been received with interest by those individuals who have attended workshops and presentations given by the author on this topic.

Research limitations/implications

The solutions proposed are based on the experiences and reflection of the author and colleagues. Additional research needs to be conducted to further support the conclusions drawn from the ideas in this paper.

Practical implications

Significant changes should be made in the thinking of staff and team members in their approach to acquiring and maintaining the support of their managers. The recommended approach is a structured process of stakeholder engagement based on building and maintaining robust relationships with important stakeholders leading to the development of timely, appropriate and effective communication.


The paper and the ideas expressed within it take a different approach to most of the published literature in that they seek to view organisational culture and practice from the perspective of staff or team members (followers) and how they might proceed to address issues that require management attention and support.



Bourne, L. (2011), "Advising upwards: managing the perceptions and expectations of senior management stakeholders", Management Decision, Vol. 49 No. 6, pp. 1001-1023.



Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2011, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Related articles