Ministry of EZK
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Stakeholder research for a society in transition

The Netherlands is facing a number of drastic changes. Consider, for example, the climate and energy transition and the digitalization of society. We all have and will have to deal with this. It has an impact on our way of living, working and doing business. And thus on our prosperity. The Ministry of Economic Affairs and Climate (EZK) thus faces a number of major social challenges.


EZK realizes that it cannot handle these responsibilities without working intensively with external stakeholders. For impactful cooperation, it is essential to know what is expected of you, what role stakeholders assign to you, how you fill it in their eyes and how the relationship is perceived.



Constructive conversations on an equal level

Blauw conducted a qualitative stakeholder study and entered into discussions with 38 stakeholders who cooperate with EZK at strategic and tactical levels. These included directors of companies, industry associations, umbrella organizations and civil society organizations/NGOs as well as experts from knowledge institutes and other governments. In these types of discussions, we are very aware of the importance of the stakeholder relationship. Therefore, we always prepare ourselves well so that we can rightly have "a good conversation. This also involves feeling and empathy. The researchers' knowledge of EZK's policy areas raised the discussions to a high and equal level. This resulted in constructive discussions in which stakeholders expressed their views on the Ministry of Economic Affairs, the way in which they believe the ministry fulfills its tasks and the stakeholder relationship.


Stakeholder research is something you do together

Throughout the process, the researchers worked closely with the EZK project team. For example, there was an online meeting every week to discuss the state of affairs and provide an update on the interviews. There was also frequent contact and consultation in preparation to involve the internal organization. For example, to determine which stakeholders to select in the research. In a short period of time, a relationship based on trust was established, working from a partnership.

Establish stakeholder management optimally

The research has given EZK rich insights for sharpening its own role and working methods. In addition to recommendations in the area of organizational development, the study has also provided tools to optimize stakeholder management. EZK now knows which role it must take in order to guide the social transitions in cooperation with stakeholders and to ensure their successful implementation. The SWOT analysis we made helps the Ministry of Economic Affairs to translate the insights into concrete actions.

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Nicole Remmers
Nicole Remmers