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What To Do When Stakeholders Matter: The Case of Problem Formulation for the African-American Men Project of Hennepin County, Minnesota By John M. Bryson Gary L. Cunningham Karen J. Lokkesmoe

Presented at the ICOS Seminar, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI, 29 March 2002; an earlier version of the paper was presented at the the Sixth National Public Management Research Conference, School of Public and Environmental Affairs, Indiana University, Bloomington, IN 20-21 October, 2001

Pre-Publication Draft Not for Reproduction or Distribution Without Permission

2 What To Do When Stakeholders Matter: The Case of Problem Formulation for the African-American Men Project of Hennepin County, Minnesota by John M. Bryson, Gary L. Cunningham and Karen J. Lokkesmoe Abstract We propose a series of stakeholder analyses designed to help organizations and especially governments think and act strategically during the process of problem formulation so that the common good can be advanced. Specifically, we argue that at least five sets of analyses are necessary, including the creation of: a power versus interest grid, stakeholder influence diagram, bases of power directions of interest diagrams, a map for finding the common good and structuring a winning argument, and diagrams indicating how to tap individual stakeholder interests to pursue the common good. What the analyses do is help transform a seemingly wicked problem for example, how to produce better outcomes for African American men aged 18-30 into something more tractable, and therefore amenable to collective action. In other words, stakeholder analyses can be used to link political rationality with technical rationality, so that support can be mobilized for substantive progress.

3 What To Do When Stakeholders Matter: The Case of Problem Formulation for the African-American Men Project of Hennepin County, Minnesota Introduction Numerous national studies have indicated that African-American men do not fare well compared to their white, Hispanic and Asian peers (e.g., Wilson, 1987; Darity and Myers, 1998). Indeed, in some areas, such as incarceration or death by homicide, the results are nothing short of disastrous for the men themselves, for their families, for their communities, and for the country. Out of a total Hennepin County, Minnesota, population in 2000 of 1,116,200, approximately 80.5 percent were white, 9.0 percent were African American (99,943), 4.8 percent were Asian or Pacific Islanders, 4.0 percent were Hispanic, and 1.0 percent was American Indian. There were 11,157 African American men between the ages of 18 and 30. An examination of the county statistics across a range of areas shows the same disheartening results for the countys African American population and especially African-American men as are found nationally. In terms of economic status, concentration of poverty, education, health, housing, and criminal justice outcomes, AfricanAmerican men do significantly worse than their white counterparts. A representative sample of these statistics is found in Table 1. Insert Table 1 About Here The challenges of producing better outcomes for African-American men are many and difficult to address (Wilson, 1987; Galster and Hill, 1992; Darity and Myers, 1998; White and Cones, 1999). The way to formulate the problem is unclear, the goals or desired outcomes are unclear, and the solutions are unclear. The uncertainties about ends and means are significant, making it very difficult to know how to proceed (Christensen, 1999). The situation would appear to fit the criteria for what Rittel and Webber (1973; Roberts, 2000) called wicked problems. The challenges are wicked in the sense that:

4 There is no definitive problem formulation The problem will not be solved, but re-solved again and again The solutions are not true or false, but good or bad The full consequences of any solution cannot be known immediately and may never be known One-shot solutions do not work Each of the problems is in some sense unique The problem can be a symptom of another problem The problem can be explained in many ways, and in large measure, the choice of explanation will determine the solution Leaders advocating solutions have no inherent right to be wrong

Nonetheless, it is important for governments including local governments, such as counties to figure out what they can do to help. In Minnesota, counties are very important parts of the intergovernmental system; they have major responsibilities across the range of public services, including social services, employment and training services, public health, transportation, and criminal justice. Hennepin County government is led by seven commissioners elected by districts and has an annual budget in 2001 of $1.57 billion and over 11,000 employees. The current situation for a significant fraction of African-Americans in Hennepin County costs the county government enormous amounts of money across the gamut of public services, and yet the results as noted above are not very good. The commissioners hope and believe that surely there must be a better way to produce better outcomes for equivalent or less cost. It is that hope and belief that led them in 1999 to mandate a study the African-American Men Project (AAMP) to help them figure out what to do. The AAMP was designed to help the commissioners figure out how to frame the challenges, choose goals or desired outcomes, and identify viable solutions likely to produce better outcomes for the African-American men aged 18-30 who live in the county.1

5 The AAMP was an exercise in data gathering and analysis, problem framing, and solution search (Dunn, 1994). The commissioners saw a need for good baseline data, agreement on a set of goals or desired outcomes, and a local, national, and international search for politically viable solutions likely to produce better outcomes. The AAMP is thus an attempt to move the challenges faced by AA men out of the category of wicked and into the realm of productive policy and program choices. There are three possibilities for such a move: (1) More broad-based agreement on goals and outcomes could lead to useful experimentation to find solutions that work best to achieve the goals. (2) More certainty about what actually works could lead to bargaining and negotiation among parties about the precise goals to be achieved by implementing workable solutions. And (3) more certainty about both goals and outcomes, on the one hand, and workable means, on the other hand, can lead to effective programming of known solutions to achieve specific ends (Christensen, 1999). Each of the three moves depends on effective problem formulation and issue framing (Bryson and Crosby, 1992, pp. 157-188; Rochefort and Cobb, 1994). A key task of the project therefore and the subject of this paper was to propose how to formulate the problem and how to frame the issues facing African-American men. The commissioners did much of the initial framing work just by choosing to focus on African-American men. They also decided for practical reasons to focus on African-American men aged 18 30.

Project Organization The county commissioners authorized the AAMP by resolution in 1999. They allocated $500,000 to support the project. The AAMP was guided by a 37-member steering committee representing major sections of the African American community; the City of Minneapolis, Minneapolis Public Schools, county, and state governments; the University of Minnesota and its Extension Service; and other organizations and groups. The steering committee was chaired is

6 Herman Milligan, Jr., Ph.D., a senior executive with Wells Fargo and Company. The project was directed by Gary Cunningham, Director of the Office of Planning and Development (OPD) for Hennepin County. Internal county work teams were organized to examine particular issues. A variety of outside research partners also contributed, including, various centers and institutes at the University of Minnesota, the Minneapolis Public Schools, and the United Way of Minneapolis. A number of community partners also participated, including various businesses, news organizations, and nonprofit groups. The Committee presented its final report to the county commissioners in January 2002. The commissioners unanimously approved the report.

Stakeholder Analysis The importance of stakeholders is emphasized in several literatures, including political science (e.g., Riker, 1986; Dahl, 1990; Roberts and King, 1996; Sabatier and Jenkins-Smith, 1999), planning (e.g., Kaufman, 1986; Christensen, 1993; Healey, 1997; Forester, 1999), and management (e.g., Freeman, 1984; Roberts and King, 1989; Nutt and Backoff, 1992; Boschken, 1994; Bryson, 1995; Finn, 1996; Rowley, 1997; Eden and Ackermann, 1998). Stakeholder support is needed to create and sustain winning coalitions (Riker, 1986) and to ensure long-term viability of organizations (Van Der Heijden, 1996; Eden and Ackermann, 1998; Bryson, Gibbons and Shaye, 2000), policies, plans, and programs (Bryson and Crosby, 1992; Roberts and King, 1996). Key stakeholders must be satisfied at least minimally, or policies, organizations, communities, or even countries will fail (Mintzberg, Ahlstrand, and Lampel, 1998; Friedman, 2000). Project organizers recognized early on that stakeholders would need to be taken very seriously. First, an informal stakeholder analysis informed the selection of project steering committee members. Key organizations were represented, including key African American organizations. Second, it was clear that stakeholder analyses would be needed to figure out how to frame the challenges facing African-American men and how to build needed coalitions of support.

7 Five stakeholder analysis techniques were used. These techniques either were drawn or adapted from the literature, or else were invented for the project. The techniques include: Power versus interest grid (Eden and Ackermann, 1998) Stakeholder influence diagram (Eden and Ackermann, 1998; see also Finn, 1996) Bases of power and directions of interest diagrams for key stakeholders (adapted from Eden and Ackermann, 1998) Finding the common good and the structure of a winning argument (invented for the project) Tapping individual stakeholder interests to pursue the common good (invented for the project)

Power versus Interest Grid A power versus interest grid was constructed, based on the work of Eden and Ackermann (1998, pp. 121-125, 344-346) (see Figure 1). The grid arrays stakeholders in terms of their presumed interest in achieving better outcomes for African American (AA) men and their presumed power to help produce those outcomes. Four categories of stakeholders result: Players, who have both an interest and significant power; subjects, who have an interest, but little power; context setters who have power, but little direct interest; and the crowd, which consists of stakeholders with little interest or power. Insert Figure 1 About Here The grid was constructed by the project staff and was reviewed later by the steering committee. The committee was asked to reflect on both the general accuracy of the grid and on the recommendations that flowed from an analysis of the grid. The grid was constructed in the following manner: First, four flip chart sheets were taped to a wall to form a single surface two sheets high and two sheets wide. Next, the two axes were drawn on the surface using a marking pen. The vertical axis was labeled interest, while the horizontal axis was labeled power. Third, staff members brainstormed the names of stakeholders by writing the names of different stakeholders as they came to

8 mind on a 1 x 1-1/2 self-adhesive label, one stakeholder per label. Fourth, guided by the deliberations and judgments of the staff members, the facilitator placed each label in the appropriate spot on the grid. Labels were collected in round-robin fashion, one label per staff member, until all labels (other than duplicates) had been placed on the grid or eliminated for some reason. Finally, labels were moved around until all staff members were satisfied with the relative location of each stakeholder on the grid. The resulting grid was interesting in several regards. First, the grid directs attention to the fact that there is not enough power in the AA community to produce the desired changes in outcomes for AA men aged 18-30. The majority of stakeholders in the AA community are subjects, not players. This result was not really a surprise to anyone, but seeing it presented so graphically was actually depressing. Many in the planning group wondered openly whether a project aimed at helping this group was in fact hopeless. Second, the grid suggests two basic political strategies for improving outcomes for AA men. On the one hand, somehow the non-AA players and context setters must be convinced to take a greater interest in creating better outcomes for AA men. In other words, ways must be found to move the players and context setters as a group higher on the interest scale. The obvious way to do this is to figure out how to convince the non-AA players and context setters that it is somehow in their own best interests to support policies and programs that produce better outcomes for AA men. On the other hand, the AA community must be encouraged to organize and mobilize its potential power so that it can have a bigger impact on producing better outcomes for AA men. In other words, ways must be found to move the AA community away from too often being subjects and toward becoming players (Kahn, 1991, 1994; Boyte and Kari, 1996). The first strategy is a way of getting others to help the AA community. The second strategy is a way for the AA community to help itself. Both strategies are needed and related. The dialogue that drew out these two basic political strategies helped reinvigorate the group as they saw that all was not lost.

9 Third, the grid suggests that race-neutral strategies aimed at disadvantaged individuals, families, and groups are more likely to be politically viable than race-specific strategies. The logic supporting this view is as follows: The law favors non-discrimination. Beyond that, however, convincing non-AA players and context setters to do things solely for AA stakeholders is unlikely. Non-AA players and context setters are simply not likely to see it as being enough in their self-interest to do so. On the other hand, they might be convinced to support policies and programs that target disadvantaged individuals in general, because such policies are more in keeping with constitutional requirements, but also because they would help members of their own racial and ethnic groups. Wilson (1987) makes a similar argument. Fourth, the grid suggests that the race-neutral strategies should demonstrate very high benefitcost ratios if they are to move the non-AA players and context setters up on the interest scale. Given the current political climate, policies and programs that help disadvantaged people are more likely to be supported by the majority population if they demonstrate high effectiveness, efficiency, and value for money. Otherwise, the majority population as a whole is likely to remain uninterested and the needed coalition of support will not be built.

Stakeholder Influence Diagram The next step in the analysis was to construct a stakeholder influence diagram indicating how the stakeholders on the power versus interest grid influence one another. The technique was drawn from Eden and Ackermann (1998, pp. 349-350; see also Finn, 1996). The planning staff looked at each stakeholder and suggested lines of influence. The facilitator drew in the lines in pencil. Twoway influences were possible, but the attempt was to identify the primary direction in which influence flowed between stakeholders. There were frequent debates about which influence relationships existed, which were most important, and what the primary direction of influence was. Once final agreement was reached, the pencil lines were made permanent with a marking pen. The results are

10 presented in Figure 2. The figure is complex, indicating multiple influence relationships among stakeholders. Insert Figure 2 About Here The stakeholder influence diagram also produced valuable insights. First, two clear clusters of stakeholders are visible, and were confirmed via a computerized cluster analysis.2 They are: (1) the African American community, and (2) everyone else. AA stakeholders have a high interest in developing better outcomes for AA men, which is to be expected. But the various individuals and groups within the community vary greatly in terms of their power. At the powerful end of the group are AA appointed and elected officials (such as Sharon Sayles-Belton, the mayor of Minneapolis from 1993-2001). At the other end are low-income and marginalized African Americans. In between are AA churches, AA professionals, AA-oriented media, AA businesses, the AA community as a whole, and several other groupings. The fact that AA stakeholders can be among the most and least powerful stakeholders illustrates some of what Wilson (1980) means when he discusses the declining significance of race. Specifically, we as a country have reached a stage when such variables as class, education, and income can be far more important than race in determining outcomes. A centrality analysis of the influence diagram was performed in order to identify which actors were most central in the network.3 Essentially, the computer calculates which stakeholders have the most influence arrows leading both to and from them. Given that definition, and the influence relationships the planning group entered, the most central stakeholders are, in decreasing order: the county commissioners, business community, mainstream media, Minneapolis city government (including the Minneapolis Community Development Agency [MCDA]), Minnesota state government and the legislature, the African American community as a whole, K-12 education, African American voters, the United Way, and the executive branch of the Federal government. The centrality analysis does lead to a second important insight: Namely, the network is rather well structured, and if good policy solutions are available to sell, it appears that the pathways are there to sell them. In other

11 words, if there are good ideas that tap into enough of the most central stakeholders perceived selfinterests, the network structure is probably there to act positively on the ideas. Beyond that, the county commissioners have a key role to play. If they can be convinced to push meritorious ideas, they along with key stakeholders, such as the business community, media, and city and state government are in a position to push the ideas toward fruition (cf. Rowley, 1997). Third, the cluster analysis and centrality analysis reinforce the view that change initiatives should not focus exclusively on AA men, but should be framed in a way that helps anyone who experiences disadvantages. Given the relative isolation of the AA community, initiatives focused exclusively on AA men are unlikely to garner the support of the context setters and most of the players (Wilson, 1987).

Bases of Power Directions of Interest Diagrams The next stage of the analysis involved looking more closely at each of approximately 30 stakeholder groups, including the most central stakeholders. For each stakeholder a bases of power directions of interest diagram was created.4 This diagram indicates the sources of power from which the stakeholder can draw and the goals or interests the stakeholder seeks to achieve or serve (see Figure 3). Power can come from access to or control over various support mechanisms, such as money and votes, or from access to or control various sanctions, such as regulatory authority or votes of no confidence (Eden and Ackermann, 1998, p. 126-7). Directions of interest indicate the aspirations or concerns of the stakeholder. Insert Figure 3 About Here There were two reasons for constructing the diagrams. The first was to help the planning group find the common ground across all of the stakeholder groups. After first exploring the power bases and interests of each stakeholder, the group would be in a position to identify commonalities across the stakeholders as a whole, or across particular subgroups. This search allowed the group to

12 find the common good and the structure of a winning argument (see below). Second, the diagrams were intended to provide background information on each stakeholder in order to know how to tap into their interests, or make use of their power, to advance the common good. In order to construct one of these diagrams a flipchart sheet is first taped to a wall and the stakeholders name is written in the middle of the sheet. The planning group then brainstorms possible bases of power for the stakeholder and the facilitator writes these in the bottom half of the sheet. Arrows are drawn on the diagram from the power base to the stakeholder and between power bases to indicate how one power base is linked to another. The planning group then brainstorms goals or interests they believe the stakeholder has. The facilitator writes these in on the top half of the sheet. Arrows are drawn from the stakeholder to the goals or interests. Goals and interests are linked to each another by arrows when appropriate. Figure 3 shows the diagram for the Minneapolis business community. Minneapolis businesses gain power by bringing in tax base, jobs and employment; by threatening to depart; and by organizing into a chamber of commerce and through lobbying. Businesses seek a variety of goals, including, obviously making a profit and minimizing costs. They also seek a healthy local economy, viable downtown, and competitive region. They want skilled and unskilled workers, a well-run community, and safety. Finally, they want to stay out of controversy, but also want to leave a legacy and have favorable public opinion.

Finding the Common Good and the Structure of a Winning Argument Once all of the bases of power directions of interest diagrams were constructed, they were explored in depth to determine which interests, or themes, appeared to garner support from a significant number of stakeholders. Members of the planning team searched for these common themes, which were called supra-interests. For each theme, the team constructed a label that appeared to capture or integrate the specific interests that comprised it. The identification of common themes

13 was a subjective exercise calling for creativity, discernment, and judgment (Vickers, 1965). The map of the supra-interests is found in Figure 4. The arrows indicate what appear to be the strongest relationships among the supra-interests. The map is based on an examination of the individual bases of power directions of interest diagrams and the planning teams attempts to fit the supra-interests together in a reasonable way. Insert Figure 4 About Here Figure 4 is called the common good and the structure of a winning argument because it indicates at least in part what the common good is for this group of stakeholders, as well as how arguments probably will need to be structured to tap into the interests of enough stakeholders to create a winning coalition. In other words, if persuasive arguments can be created that show how support for specific policies and programs will further the interests of a significant number of important stakeholders, then it should be possible to forge the coalition needed to adopt and implement the policies and programs (Riker, 1986; Bryson and Crosby, 1992; Sabatier and Jenkins-Smith, 1999). Figure 4 indicates that there is an overarching interest in maintaining and enhancing the quality of life in Hennepin County. There are a variety of ways of doing this (the arrows in), including creating healthy communities, supporting a healthy economy, having an effective educational system, and making wise, cost-beneficial, and cost-effective investments of public monies. Additional components of the interconnected network of ideas include: supporting strong family ties, strengthening social services, creating effective links to community organizations and institutions, increasing employment opportunities, having effective and efficient agencies or organizations, increasing social justice and social equity, reducing crime, and reducing the role of government. We will not discuss all of the influence relationships in the map, but it is worth noting several. The two most central concepts in the map (in terms of arrows in and arrows out) are making wise, cost-beneficial, and cost-effective investments of public monies; and having an effective educational system. Most stakeholders think government has a role to play and they want it to do so in such a way

14 that the best outcomes are achieved. And most stakeholders also see the centrality of having an effective educational system. An effective system helps support a healthy economy, strong business community, and effective and efficient agencies or organizations, as well as helps increase social justice and social equity. Indirectly, through increased employment opportunities, an effective system helps reduce crime and supports strong family ties. It is also not worthy that many stakeholders wish to leave a lasting legacy of some sort, a desire that may be tapped to further the common good. On the other hand, many stakeholders are interested in reducing the role of government. How is it possible to pursue all of the other interests noted above and also reduce the role of government? One argument evident in the map indicates that if healthy communities and a strong economy are created, social services are strengthened, and crime is reduced, then it will be possible to reduce the role of government. In order to create healthy communities, strengthen the economy, strengthen social services, and reduce crime, it will be necessary to make wise investments of public monies and create effective links to community organizations and institutions. The point is not whether this argument is true in any absolute sense; the point is that the stakeholders as a group appear to believe it is true. There are several very interesting features of the map. First, the interests as a set can garner support across the political spectrum. There is something for traditional liberals (e.g., increase social justice and social equity, have an effective education system), traditional conservatives (e.g., support strong family ties, reduce the role of government, support a strong business community), citizen activists (e.g., create healthy communities, create effective links to community organizations and institutions), and political reformers and good government types (e.g., make wise, cost-beneficial, and cost-effective investments of public monies, have effective and efficient agencies or organizations). Second, and a related point, not all stakeholders need to support all interests or even the direct interests of African-American men in order to help produce better outcomes for African-

15 American men. This is a crucial finding and a major source of hope in the effort to have others help AA men, and to have AA men help themselves. Said simply, in a shared-power environment all parties do not have to agree explicitly on goals or interests in order to agree on next steps (Bryson and Crosby, 1992; Innes, 1996; Roberts, 1999). In other words, while broad-based coalitions of support appear to be possible, beyond that, a significant co-alignment of interested stakeholders also appears to be possible, even if formal or informal coalitions are not formed. The combination of coalitions and co-alignments may provide enough political and economic power to make a significant difference in outcomes. Third, and a related point, the interests can be supported by the county commissioners, who themselves cross the political spectrum. The interests outline common ground on which they and their constituencies can stand. Since the commissioners are the most central stakeholder in the network of stakeholders, this source of unity can give them enormous political power to sponsor, adopt, and legitimize policy changes and programs that might help all disadvantaged people, including African-American men (Pfeffer, 1996). The key is to identify the wise, cost-beneficial, and costeffective investments of public monies that are worth making. Fourth, the search strategy for potential investments should focus directly on the suprainterests. Any policy or program idea that would further an interest, or cluster of interests, should be examined, and those that have notable cost-benefit and cost-effectiveness ratios should be candidates for further development, local adaptation, and adoption. The arguments in favor of the ideas should be tailored to stakeholders in relation to their connection to the supra-interest(s) in question (Nutt, prepublication draft) (see below). Fifth, not all policies and programs must support each goal or interest directly. Doing well in terms of one interest can support other interests as a by-product. For example, working to have an effective educational system also should help support a healthy economy, strong business community, and effective and efficient agencies or organizations through having a better educated, more work-

16 ready labor force. Supporting strong family ties also should create healthy communities, help develop an effective education system, and maintain and enhance quality of life. Thus working to advance one of the interests in the network can have favorable epiphenomenal impacts elsewhere. The result can be coordination without a coordinator (Wildavsky, 1979). Finally, developing the structure of a winning argument was probably the most subjective, yet useful, of the stakeholder analysis exercises. The structure helps move the plight of AA men out of the realm of wicked problems by identifying more or less agreed-upon goals or interests that unite all or most stakeholders in other words, what appears to be the common good. Being relatively clear about goals or interests while not always necessary, as noted above does help when it comes to producing successful programs and projects. Difficulties thus become not so much conflicts over ends as the need to search for means to achieve those ends. Conflicts over means can be resolved through interest-based bargaining, and through the creation of pilot projects or small experiments to identify the most effective approaches (Nutt, 1984; 1992, pre-publication draft). Interest-based bargaining is far more likely to result in successful outcomes than position-based bargaining (Fisher and Ury, 1981; Innes, 1996; Thompson, 1998), or trying to impose solutions (Bryson and Bromiley, 1993). The structure of a winning argument thus outlines a viable political rhetoric around which a community of interests can mobilize, coalesce, and co-align to further the common good, the interests of the disadvantaged in general, and the interests of disadvantaged African-American men specifically (Stone, 1997).

Tapping Individual Stakeholder Interests to Pursue the Common Good Developing such a rhetoric is a key visionary leadership task (Bryson and Crosby, 1992, pp. 45-50) and should help public leaders, managers, staff, and their collaborators understand how they might pursue significance for themselves and their organizations (Denhardt, 1993). What still remains is the task of understanding how specific stakeholders either separately, in coalitions, or in

17 co-aligned groups might be inspired and mobilized to act in such a way that better outcomes for African-American men are likely to be produced. A final set of stakeholder analyses thus was performed in order to understand how each stakeholders interests connected with the supra-interests. Figure 5 presents a map of how the project team thinks it might tap the Minneapolis business communitys interest in advancing the common good. Specifically, policies, programs, and projects would need to be found that the business community thought would further several supra-interests: supporting businesses and a healthy economy, creating healthy communities, maintaining and enhancing the quality of life, and allowing the business community to make a difference and leave a legacy. Linked to the supra-interests are the more stakeholder-specific interests held by the business community, also shown in Figure 3. Insert Figure 5 About Here Developing these diagrams may be thought of as research designed to help create and market social programs (Kotler and Roberto, 1989; Andreasen and Andreasen, 1995). The research is designed to understand the audiences well enough to satisfy both their interests and to advance the common good. Program design will be enhanced as a result of more clearly understanding stakeholder interests, and effective one- and two-way communication strategies may be created through developing and testing out these diagrams with key informants in the target audiences.

Conclusions In his classic work on policy analysis, the late Aaron Wildavsky (1979, pp. 15-19) argued that one of the keys to effective policy change was creating problems that could be solved. In other words, policy analysis is a kind of art in which problems must be solvable, at least tentatively or in principle, in order to be understood. Solvable means both that good ideas worth implementing have been found or created and there is likely political support for implementing them. To be really

18 useful, policy analysis thus requires linking technical rationality with political rationality; that is, it is important to mobilize support for substance (p. 1). In the case of wicked problems, it is by definition extremely difficult to create problems that can be solved. However, we believe that stakeholder analyses can help. A number of authors have argued that stakeholder analyses are a key to identifying problems that can and should be solved (e.g., Freeman, 1984; Bryson, 1995) particularly in situations where no one is wholly in charge, but many are involved, affected, or have some partial responsibility to act (e.g., Bryson and Crosby, 1992; Finn, 1995). What we have proposed is a series of stakeholder analyses designed to help organizations and especially governments think and act strategically during the process of problem formulation and issue creation. Specifically, we argue that at least five sets of analyses are necessary, including the creation of: a power versus interest grid, stakeholder influence diagram, bases of power directions of interest diagrams, a map for finding the common good and structuring a wining argument, and diagrams indicating how to tap individual stakeholder interests to pursue the common good. In combination, what the analyses do is help transform a seemingly wicked problem for example, how to produce better outcomes for African American men aged 18-30 into something more tractable, and therefore amenable to collective action. Specifically, in order to produce better outcomes for AA men, ways must be found to increase the interest of non-African-American context setters and players in producing better outcomes for AA men aged 18-30. Second, the AA community must organize to enhance its own political power. Third, race-neutral policies should be pursued by governments that advance the common good and show very high cost-benefit and cost-effectiveness ratios. Fourth, coalitions and co-alignments of stakeholders should be organized around a set of supra-interests the common good and the specific policies that advance them. These coalitions and co-alignments should be organized by tapping into the specific interests of specific stakeholders that might advance the common good.

19 While it is important to pursue race-neutral policies and programs in general, it may also be desirable to think in terms of a hierarchy of policies and programs. Race-neutral policies and programs would be the most encompassing and would require the broadest coalition of support. Within that framework, it might also be possible to pursue certain policies and programs aimed specifically at communities of color, especially as adaptations of policies aimed at disadvantage in general. These community-specific policies might require smaller coalitions of support, assuming support for the more general policies is already in place. Finally, it may also be possible to advocate for some policies and programs aimed directly at African-American men especially if they are adaptations of more general policies. These efforts targeting AA men might require the smallest coalition of support. In all cases, policies and programs should be advocated in terms of their ability to advance the common good and specific stakeholder interests. Further, the higher the cost-benefit and cost-effective ratios of the policies and programs being advocated, the better. When it comes to the process of actually adopting of policies and programs, it will be useful to perform an additional set of stakeholder analyses. First, Nutt and Backoff (1992, pp. 191-2) suggest identifying stakeholders in terms of their support or opposition to specific proposals, and their importance for adopting or implementing the proposals. The resulting array can help identify coalitions of support and opposition and may suggest ways of increasing support and diminishing opposition (pp. 195-7). Second, for purposes of developing a viable political strategy, Kaufman (1986) and Christensen (1993), among others, suggest developing different types of grids in order to develop a viable political strategy and to predict the likelihood of the strategys success. Information to be arrayed on the grid might include: the stakeholders name, position on the issue, specific concerns, resources, likelihood of involvement, type of influence, and action channels. Third, in cases where it is particularly important to understand how stakeholder might react to proposals, Eden and Ackermann (1998, pp. 133-4, 350-355) suggest role plays in which different members of the planning team take on the role of key stakeholders and think through how the stakeholder would react.

20 The team member is then asked to suggest modifications to the proposal that would improve it from the stakeholders standpoint and the effects of these suggestions on other stakeholders are also simulated. The proposal is modified until it is as strong as possible in terms of likely stakeholder reactions. A portfolio approach to strategy development offers another useful way to engage stakeholders in adopting and implementing desirable proposals (Bryson, 1986, pp. 73-6; 1995, pp. 197-8, 283-4), especially in shared-power, no-one-in-charge situations. The portfolio would consist of a two-by-two matrix in which one of the dimensions is the desirability of the proposal for improving outcomes for AA males, while the other dimension is the capability of the county or other entities to implement the proposal. Different proposals would be arrayed on the matrix and coalitions of interest and support for each proposal would be identified based on an understanding of different stakeholders interests. Organizations would support a proposal because they thought it was in their interest to do so, and yet the interest of AA men would also be furthered, whether or not their interests were of concern to the organization. Efforts would be mounted to enlist the necessary support to make sure the specific proposal was adopted and implemented by interested stakeholders. In sum, a variety of stakeholder analyses appear to be very useful tools for improving public management and advancing the common good. We believe that stakeholder analyses are particularly useful for turning wicked problems into problems that can be solved and are worth solving. Clearly, Hennepin County and the country would be better off if better outcomes were produced for AfricanAmerican men between the ages of 18 and 30. Wise use of stakeholder analyses can offer useful first steps in that effort.

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21 Banxia Software (1997). Decision Explorer Reference Manual. Thousand Oaks, CA: Scolari. Boyte, Harry and Nancy Kari (1996). Rebuilding America: The Democratic Promise of Public Work. Philadelphia, PA: Temple University Press. Boschken, Herman L. (1994). Organizational Performance and Multiple Constituencies. Public Administration Review. 54(3), 308-312. Bryson, John M. (1995). Strategic Planning for Public and Nonprofit Organizations: A Guide to Strengthening and Sustaining Organizational Achievement, Revised Edition. San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass Publishers. Bryson, John M. and Philip Bromiley (1993) Critical Factors Affecting the Planning and Implementation of Major Projects. Strategic Management Journal. 14(5), 319-337. Bryson, John M. and Barbara C Crosby (1992). Leadership for the Common Good: Tackling Public Problems in a Shared-Power World. San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass Publishers. Bryson, John M., Michael Gibbons and Gary Shaye (2000). Enterprise Schemes for Nonprofit Survival, Growth, and Effectiveness. Nonprofit Management and Leadership, 11(3), 217-288. Christensen, Karen S. (1993). Teaching Savvy. Journal of Planning Education and Research. 12, 202-212. Christensen, Karen S. (1999). Cities and Complexity: Making Intergovernmental Decisions. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications. Cleveland, Harlan (1985). The Knowledge Executive. New York: Dutton. Dahl, Robert A. (1990). Modern Political Analysis, Fifth Edition. Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice Hall. Darity, William, and Samuel Myers (1998). Persistent Disparity. Cheltenham, UK: Edward Elgar Publishing. Denhardt, Robert B. (1993). The Pursuit of Significance: Strategies for Managerial Success in Public Organizations. Belmont, CA: Wadsworth Publishing Company. Dunn, William N. (1994). Public Policy Analysis: An Introduction, Second Edition. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Prentice Hall. Eden, Colin and Fran Ackerman (1998). Making Strategy: The Journey of Strategic Management. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications. Finn, Charles B. (1996). Utilizing Stakeholder Strategies for Positive Collaborative Outcomes. In Chris Huxham, ed., Creating Collaborative Advantage. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage. Fisher, Roger and William Ury (1981). Getting To Yes: Negotiating Agreement Without Giving In. Boston, MA: Houghton, Mifflin.


Forester, John (1999). The Deliberative Practitioner: Encouraging Participatory Planning Processes. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press. Friedman, Thomas (2000). The Lexus and the Olive Tree, Revised and Expanded Edition. New York: Anchor Books. Galster, George and Edward Hill (1992). The Metropolis in Black & White: Place, Power, and Polarization. New Brunswick, NJ: Rutgers University/CUPR Press. Gourdon, Jacob U. (1999). The African-American Male: An Annotated Bibliography. Westport, CT: Greenwood Press. Healey, Patsy. Collaborative Planning: Making Frameworks for Fragmented Societies. London: Macmillan. Innes, Judith (1996). Planning Through Consensus Building: A New View of the Comprehensive Planning Ideal. Journal of the American Planning Association, 62(4), 460-472. Kahn. Si (1991). Organizing: A Guide for Grassroots Leaders. Washington, DC: National Assn of Social Workers. Kahn, Si (1994). How People Get Power, Revised Edition. Washington, DC: National Assn of Social Workers. Kaufman, Jerome L. (1986). Making Planners More Effective Strategists in Barry Checkway, ed., Strategic Perspectives on Planning Practice. Lexington, MA: Lexington Books. Kotler, Philip and Eduardo Roberto (1989). Social Marketing: Strategies for Changing Public Behavior. New York: Free Press. Majone, Giandomenico (1989). Evidence, Argument, & Persuasion in the Policy Pocess. New Haven, CT: Yale University Press. Mintzberg, Henry, Bruce Ahlstrand, and Joseph Lampel (1998). Strategy Safari: A Guided Tour Through the Wilds of Strategic Management. New York, NY: The Free Press. Nutt, Paul. Theories of Search. Pre-publication draft. Nutt, Paul, C. and Robert W. Backhoff (1992). Strategic Management of Public and Third Sector Organizations: A Handbook for Leaders. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass. Pfeffer, Jeffrey (1996). Managing with Power. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press. Riker, William (1986). The Art of Political Manipulation. New Haven, CT: Yale University Press. Rittel, Horst and Melvin Webber (1973). Dilemmas in a General Theory of Planning. Policy Sciences, 4, 155-169.

23 Roberts, Nancy (1997). Public Deliberation: An Alternative Approach to Crafting Policy and Setting Direction, Public Administration Review, 57, 124-132. Roberts, Nancy (2000). Wicked Problems and Network Approaches to Resolution. International Public Management Review, 1(1), 18 pp; accessed at Roberts, Nancy and Paula King (1991). The Stakeholder Audit Goes Public, Organizational Dynamics, Winter, 63-79. Roberts, Nancy and Paula King (1996). Transforming Public Policy: Dynamics of Policy Entrepreneurship and Innovation. San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass. Rochefort, David A. and Roger W. Cobb, eds. (1994). The Politics of Problem Definition: Shaping the Policy Agenda. Lawrence, KS: University of Kansas Press. Rowley, Timothy J. (1997). Moving Beyond Dyadic Ties: A Network Theory of Stakeholder Influences, Academy of Management Review, 22(4), 887-911. Sabatier, Paul A., and Hank C. Jenkins-Smith (1999). The Advocacy Coalition Framework: An Assessment. In Paul Sabatier, ed., Theories of the Policy Process. Boulder, CO: Westview Press, 117-166. Stone, Deborah (1997). Policy Paradox: The Art of Political Decision Making. New York, NY: Norton. Thompson, Leigh (2001). The Mind and Heart of the Negotiator, Second Edition. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Prentice-Hall, Van Der Heijden, Kees (1996). Scenarios: The Art of Strategic Conversation. New York: Wiley. Vickers, Geofrey (1965). The Art of Judgment: A Study of Policy Making. New York: Basic Books. White, Joseph L. and James H. Cones, III (1999). Black Man Emerging: Facing the Past and Seizing a Future in America. New York, NY: W. H. Freeman and Company. Wildavsky, Aaron (1979). Speaking Truth to Power: The Art and Craft of Policy Analysis. Boston, MA: Little, Brown and Company. Wilson, William Julius (1980 The Declining Significance of Race: Blacks and Changing American Institutions. Chicago, IL: The University of Chicago Press. Wilson, William Julius (1987). The Truly Disadvantaged: The Inner City, the Underclass, and Public Policy. Chicago, IL: The University of Chicago Press.


Table 1: Sample Statistics for Various Outcome Categories

2000 Census Data: Hennepin County population 1,116,200 White 898,921 (80.5%) Black 99,943 (8.95%) American Indian 11,163 (1%) Asian or Pacific Islander 54,086 (4.84%) Other 23,046 (2.1%) Two or more races 29,041 (2.60%) Hispanic all races 45,439 (4.07%) (Hispanics are included in other totals) Economic Status 1997 Males earning below the poverty level in Hennepin Co.: AA men 33.2% White men 17.6% 1997 Median income for AA families is 61.2% of that for white families: AA $28,602 White $46,754 1997 Unemployment rates (18-30 males): AA 36.6% White men 14.9% Males all ages without diploma: AA 19.4% White 9.5% In 1999. 63% of MFIP recipients live in these 15 neighborhoods 2000 Mpls schools 8th grade males Math test - passed AA males 28% White males 78% Reading test AA males 43% White males 76% 1990 Percent of people living in poverty AAs 29.1% White 9%

Concentrations of Poverty

In 1999 there were 42,616 MFIP clients in Hennepin County 98-99 Drop Outs Henn Co. 13% AA (31% of all male dropouts) 3% white MPS 15% AA (47.5% of all male dropots) 8% Whites 1999 - 4,161 AA males used emergency medical services 2,918 white males used same

In 1999. 72.2% of AA in HC live in 15 of 83 neighborhoods in Mpls. 98-99 Mpls Schools Suspended from school AA males 42% White males 14%


In 1999. 42% of all MFIP recipients in Mpls were AA from these 15 neighborhoods Enrollment change 89-90 (estimated) Henn. Co. White males 51.7% AA males 28.2% 98-99 white males 28.2% AA males 43.2%


Mortality rate for young AA men is 3 times that of general population and 4 times for whites

27% of men who died aged 18-30 were AA Homicide is #1 cause of death for AA young men


Housing (cont.)

Criminal Justice

72.2 % of AAs live in 15 of the 83 neighborhoods in Minneapolis. In 7 of the 15 neighborhoods average home value is > $70,000 The 2000 Census says there are 456,129 housing units in Hennepin County 1998 3000 AA men in adult probation system

In all but 2 of the 15 neighborhoods the assessed home value is > $100,000

Average rent in these 15 neighborhoods is less than any other part of Hennepin County

Percent of deaths by Homicide for AA young men Henn County - 64% Mpls 93% AA homicides 95 White homicides 30 In 10 of the 15 neighborhoods 30-82% of housing units were rated below average

Of the 391,416 units occupied by white, 71.1% owned their unit 5960 AA men booked in Hennepin County adult corrections

Of the 33,998 units occupied by blacks, 31.9% owned their unit 52% of all Part I crimes in Hennepin County occurred in Minneapolis

Blacks are as likely to own their own homes

1/3 of these crimes (17% of all Part I crimes) occurred in these 15 neighborhoods


Figure 1: Power Versus Interest Grid


Figure 2: Stakeholder Influence Diagram


Figure 3: Bases of Power Directions of Interest Diagrams


Figure 4: Finding the Common Good and the Structure of a Winning Argument


Figure 5: Tapping Individual Stakeholder Interests to Pursue the Common Good


Mark Stenglein, a Hennepin County commissioner, was the source of the idea for the African American Men Project. He was bothered by seeing AA men not working and wanted to figure out what the county could do about it. He met with Gary Cunningham, director of the countys Office of Planning and Development, to discuss what might be done. An in-depth analysis was proposed and the AAMP was the result. The cluster analysis was performed by first entering the stakeholder influence diagram into a special software called Decision Explorer ( The software includes a number of analysis routines, including cluster analysis. Cluster analysis seeks out groups of items that are well-connected internally as a group, but are not very well-connected to other groups (Banxia Software, 1997). Centrality is calculated by counting the numbers of links (including chains of links) going to or from the stakeholder across bands around the stakeholder. Links directly to or from the stakeholder are in the first band; links connected to those links are in the second band; and so on (Banxia Software, 1997)

The diagrams are an adaptation of Eden and Ackermanns star diagrams (1998, pp. 126-128, 346-349).