EXSITE! Who are our stakeholders?

EXSITE! Who are our stakeholders?

Stakeholders are defined as “people who participle in, are provided with, or benefit from, your products and services.”  At UW-Superior there are four main customer groups:

There are many reasons why we need to understand and address the factors that contribute to student satisfaction

  • One of the principal reasons why universities exist is to educate students
  • The competitive nature of higher education makes relational experience management a key point of competitive differentiation between universities
  • There is a direct association between student satisfaction and retention.  One way to increase retention of students is to ensure they have an enriching experience
  • The greater diversity of students now participating in higher education means greater diversity of expectations, which universities need to understand and address
  • Stakeholder expectations are rising generally as people experiencing high levels of service in one area expect higher levels of service in others
  • ‘Word of mouth advertising’-both positive and negative-operates as actively in the higher education sector as it does anywhere else

In talking about students as stakeholders, we should also acknowledge that staff are stakeholders too, in two ways.  Staff of the university are internal stakeholders, that is, people who depend on services from somewhere else in the university in order to deliver their own products.  For example, academics depend on a whole range of administrative support services to deliver classes, conduct assessment and so on.

Staff are also end user stakeholders themselves, in that they are the direct recipients of some services of the university.  For instance human resources services are provided specifically for staff.

Another important reason for regarding staff as stakeholders is that research shows a direct correlation between staff satisfaction and external stakeholder satisfaction.  That is, when staff receive high quality services from their own organization, they will be both enabled and motivated to deliver high quality service to their external stakeholders.

These are individuals who may return for athletic contests, reunions and nostalgia events, or even educational classes.  This group is also a vital source of revenue. 

External Community
These are individuals which partake in athletic and cultural events on your campus.  The local community supports your institution and benefits from the local economy generated by your campus and from the community service efforts of your institution.  Equally important, the community also contains your immediate employee pool.

Identifying your stakeholders

The following table can be used to identify the different groups of stakeholders for whom you provide a service.  Start by identifying the key service(s) you provide, and then develop a profile of the stakeholders who use or benefit from that service.  Identify stakeholder sub-groups and answer these questions:  

  • What characteristic does each group have in common?
  • What needs and expectations does each group share with respect to your service?














Adapted from 2004 Monash University ABN 12 377 614 012  Last updated: 23 May 2005 – Maintained by cheq@adm.monash.edu.au