Using Role Analysis to Plan for Stakeholder Involvement: a Wyoming Case Study


Yellowstone GrizzliesPublic engagement is a key role in developing and implementing laws and policies, and managers continually seek ways to increase involvement from stakeholders. In the context of land management planning processes and public participation, there is a general agreement among the public for expectations of and roles filled by public agencies, however there are fundamental differences of opinion regarding the effectiveness of methods engaging public participation. Role analysis is a tool managers can use to determine the best way to involve different members of the public by developing a better understanding attitudes and strategies of stakeholders relating to a proposed course of action. This case study examines a Wyoming Game and Fish Department plan for managing its portion of the Yellowstone grizzly bear population, and the perception of the role of each stakeholder by the other stakeholders affected the plan.


In 1999, the Yellowstone grizzly bear populations had recovered enough to consider delisting the bears from the threatened species list. A requirement for delisting the grizzly bears was to construct a management plan that provided reasonable assurance that the Yellowstone grizzly bears would not return to threatened status. The Wyoming Game and Fish Department was charged with creating this management plan, and this case study examines stakeholder role analysis for understanding how to  improve the opportunities for meaningful public participation by understanding the dynamics of the planning process.

Methods, Tools, and Data

Legal-Institutional Analysis Model (LIAM)

LIAM explainedDeveloped in 1983, this model is designed to diagnose political and social aspects of natural resource management. It is presented in a Word-based document and consists of questions that can be answered on a 5-point scale ranging from "strongly agree" to "strongly disagree" and measures the stakeholder within the roles of Guardian, Advocate, Broker, and Arbitrator. It is based on political science, beaurocratic decision-making, and social psychology and has three fundamental assumptions:

  1. organizations operate by making increment adjustments to past decisions.
  2. organizations adhere to predictable standard operating procedures.
  3. members of an organization develop a shared worldview that limits critical evaluation of problems.

It is suggested that an organizations actions and response can be predicted by looking at its decision-makaing history in similar situations. Also considered in the LIAM is stakeholder power, and the analysis considers resources, support, and information available to the organization.

Related Methods

Predictive modeling is a technique that creates a model that can be used to project the future of hypothetical conditions. Models can be used to compare predicted impacts vs. actual impacts of a behavior or to perform an experiment that would not be feasible in the real world.
Stakeholder analysis is a tool used to identify and understand those that have an interest or stake in an issue.

Related Partners

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