Concept of strategic analyses of actors (foresight)
The strategic analysis of actors (fosesight) consists in the analysis of the relations of influence/dependence that they maintain with each other, in relation to a certain strategic focus.
A strategic focus is understood as the object in relation to which a strategic prospective exercise is carried out. It can be a company, a sector, a country.
Objetivos da análise estratégica de atores
Analyzing the actors strategically is to analyze how the main actors – the alliances, the conflicts and the strategies – are positioned in relation to them.
The objectives of the Strategy are as follows:
- identify and characterize the different key actors;
- to perceive the possible conflicts and alliances between the different actors and in what way they can guide the evolution of the system;
- contribute to a greater participation/involvement and strategic reflection by the different actors;
- confronting the projects in hand and evaluating the existing power relations;
- elaborate a series of strategic recommendations and specify the feasibility of its implementation.
The actor strategy methodology, also called the MACTOR method (Method, ACTors, Objectives, Relations) is an interactive and pluralistic type, since in addition to identifying and characterizing the different key actors, it is the confrontation of their projects and of the existing relations of force, that a series of strategic recommendations are elaborated.
This methodology allows us not only to identify concrete, systematic and objective strategies of different actors – thus distancing themselves from simple ‘opinion-taking’ to achieve this objective, such as the identification of divergences and convergences as to the priority of the objectives and ways of managing, implementing and disseminating policies by the different agents/institutions. It also allows the formation of groups of actors, taking into account their strategic objectives and building a typology of objectives, taking into account not only the degree of mobilization but also the degree of conflict. It should be noted that the interdependence between these objectives is never taken into account, which must be taken into account and can be considered as a limitation.
When analyzing the different strategies we call for a greater motivation and participation of the various actors, being a propitious instrument for the strategic reflection. It is fundamental that actors take ownership so that ideas pass, actors must be involved, motivated. Like the structural analysis, the analysis of the actors’ game must be captured in an interactive way. However, the application of a methodology such as the actors’ strategy is very demanding from the methodological point of view, since it requires, not only on the part of the working group but also on the part of the actors involved, their adhesion and appropriation. The entire information collection phase, in particular through non-directive interviews, implies that the team has a thorough knowledge of what is at stake: one must know how to read between the lines; not reveal strategies to other actors; and knowing how to conduct the interviews in order to detect consensuses and alliances, conflicts and obstacles. If there is no stakeholder participation, it is difficult to obtain relevant information, the stakeholder analysis can be compromised if certain actors refuse to give information, or simply block the process.
An actor is a group of organized individuals, be it a group of organizations, with a number of common projects and having common reaction capacities. It is essential to take into account that the networks of relations of the actors have a dynamic and unstable character. If at any given moment they have a certain configuration, they form and change throughout the analysis of the strategies of actors. It can be considered that the process itself contributes to a change and moulding of the strategies, can make alliances, change its strategy in function of the other actors in order to achieve its objectives.