University of Technology Sydney

570001 Stakeholder Engagement and Storytelling

Warning: The information on this page is indicative. The subject outline for a particular session, location and mode of offering is the authoritative source of all information about the subject for that offering. Required texts, recommended texts and references in particular are likely to change. Students will be provided with a subject outline once they enrol in the subject.

Subject handbook information prior to 2024 is available in the Archives.

UTS: Communication: Strategic Communication
Credit points: 6 cp
Result type: Grade and marks

There are course requisites for this subject. See access conditions.


Stakeholder engagement and storytelling are human-centred strategies key to driving digital transformation in all areas of business. In business consulting contexts, stakeholder engagement and storytelling aim to build connection, trust and shared understanding to help ensure technical solutions meet business requirements. This subject explores how engagement strategies and processes, including eliciting and developing relatable narratives, can be used to understand and address complex business problems. Students are provided with opportunities to map their stakeholder relationships and apply concepts, methods and tools relevant to business consultancy in local, national and global contexts.

Subject learning objectives (SLOs)

a. Demonstrate understanding of theories, tools and practices relevant to stakeholder engagement and storytelling in business contexts 
b. Identify and reflect on the capabilities and skills required to work effectively with and for First Nations peoples and businesses  
c. Demonstrate understanding of engagement with diverse stakeholders in local, national and global contexts for professional practice
d. Create a well-reasoned stakeholder engagement plan that addresses identified key stakeholders
e. Apply listening, writing and presentation skills to communicate effectively in business contexts 

Course intended learning outcomes (CILOs)

This subject engages with the following Course Intended Learning Outcomes (CILOs), which are tailored to the Graduate Attributes set for all graduates of the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences:

  • Utilise information technology, business and communication theoretical and technical knowledge to select methodologies and configure appropriate solutions to complex problems (1.1)
  • Apply advanced critical thinking and analytical skills to evaluate information, develop creative insights and make recommendations for business and operational improvement (2.1)
  • Demonstrate sensitive and critical understanding of intercultural aspects of professional practice in local, national and global contexts (3.1)
  • Critically reflect on Indigenous Australian contexts to inform professional cultural capability to work effectively with, and for, Indigenous Australians in business consulting contexts (4.1)
  • Employ interpersonal skills and communication strategies to effectively engage and influence diverse stakeholders at multiple levels (6.1)

Teaching and learning strategies

This subject is made up of six modules delivered online over six weeks (one module per week), in addition to Orientation week. Students work through each module at their own pace, with asynchronous interactive activities attached to each module/topic. Activities provide opportunities to learn, apply and discuss the knowledge gained in a practical manner. Within each module, content is delivered through a mixture of reading material, short videos, interactive activities and both essential and suggested readings. Online synchronous sessions are held four times during the session – in Orientation week, and weeks, 2, 4 and 6 – to allow students to interact, ask questions of teaching staff, and receive clarification for assessments.

Content (topics)

This subject develops relevant and practical communication skills for graduates who will work as Business Consultants. Students learn how to develop a Stakeholder Engagement Plan to support the successful implementation of new processes and practices and cultural change that arise with upgraded and new technology. This includes how to identify and categorise stakeholders and how to engage with them.

The subject starts with a review of what is stakeholder engagement. This is based on current academic analysis and industry best practice. Before students learn how to develop a Stakeholder Engagement Plan, the subject addresses inclusivity and diversity to ensure all stakeholders are engaged with fairly and respectfully, with particular attention to Indigenous businesses and communities. After the modules on developing a Stakeholder Engagement Plan, the subject focuses on the key communications skills and insights that can facilitate the interaction Business Consultants have with their stakeholders, including presentation skills.


Assessment task 1: Stakeholder Map for Clientís external stakeholders


a, c and e

Weight: 20%

500 words

Criteria linkages:
Criteria Weight (%) SLOs CILOs
Understanding of the client and the issue for engagement 30 a 2.1
Relevance and application of selected map methodology from the literature 30 a, c 1.1
Suitability of identification and prioritisation of clientís stakeholders 30 a, e 1.1
Professionalism of presentation 10 e 6.1
SLOs: subject learning objectives
CILOs: course intended learning outcomes

Assessment task 2: Reconciliation Action Plan analysis report


a, b and c

Weight: 20%

800 words

Criteria linkages:
Criteria Weight (%) SLOs CILOs
Understanding of RAP levels and their purpose 15 b 4.1
Insightfulness of analysis of stakeholder engagement 25 c 2.1
Evidence of critical reflection in relation to how the analysis will influence a studentís future professional practice 25 b 4.1
Relevance and application of concepts from the literature 20 a 1.1
Application of culturally appropriate terminology/ language, utilising correct grammar and punctuation 15 a, b 4.1
SLOs: subject learning objectives
CILOs: course intended learning outcomes

Assessment task 3: Stakeholder Engagement Plan and Presentation


b, c, d and e

Weight: 60%

Plan 1500 words

Video presentation 5mins

PPT slides 5.

Criteria linkages:
Criteria Weight (%) SLOs CILOs
Appropriateness of stakeholder engagement plan design 40 d, e 2.1
Effectiveness of supporting PPT slides in pitch to client 15 e 6.1
Clarity and persuasiveness of the video pitch to client of SEP 20 c, d 6.1
Understanding of need and considerations for engaging with diverse stakeholders 25 b, c, d, e 3.1
SLOs: subject learning objectives
CILOs: course intended learning outcomes

Minimum requirements

As Assignment 2 addresses the UTS Indigenous Graduate Attribute for the Graduate Certificate in Business Consulting and Technology Implementation, passing this assignment is a Minimum Requirement for passing this subject. In addition, as Assignment 3 addresses the Course Intended Learning Outcome ‘International and Intercultural Engagement’, students must pass the relevant criterion in A3. Students who do not pass A2 and the A3 criterion (4), will be awarded an X grade, irrespective of reaching more than 50% in their overall assignment performances.

Required texts

There are no required texts for this subject. Recommended readings will be available via the UTS Library and through the subject Canvas site.


Ah Sam, I., & Quilliam, W. (2017). Reconciliation: Connect, collaborate and empower. Company Director, 33(10), 48-49.

Aakhus, M., & Bzdak, M. (2015). Stakeholder engagement as communication design practice. Journal of Public Affairs, 15(2), 188-200.

Asik-Dizdar, O., Maden-Eyiusta, C. & Esen, A. (2019). How to deal with diverse voices. In A. Lindreen, F. Maon, J. Vanhamme, B. Palacios Florencia, C. Vallaster, & C. Strong (Eds.), Engaging with stakeholders: A relational perspective on responsible business (pp. 91-101). Routledge.·

Australian Institute of Health and Welfare. (2022, July). Culturally and linguistically diverse Australians.

Bambacas, M., & Patrickson, M. (2008). Interpersonal communication skills that enhance organisational commitment. Journal of Communication Management (London, England), 12(1), 51–72.

Bosse, & Coughlan, R. (2016). Stakeholder Relationship Bonds: Stakeholder Relationships.. Journal of Management Studies, 53(7), 1197–1222

Crawford, T., Villeneuve, M., Yen, I., Hinitt, J., Millington, M., Dignam, M., & Gardiner, E. (2021). Disability inclusive disaster risk reduction with culturally and linguistically diverse (CALD) communities in the Hawkesbury-Nepean region: A co-production approach. International Journal of Disaster Risk Reduction, 63, 1-7.

Dawkins, C. E. (2014). The Principle of Good Faith: Toward Substantive Stakeholder Engagement. Journal of Business Ethics, 121(2), 283–295.

Eskerod, & Jepsen, A. L. (2016). Project stakeholder management. Routledge.

Evans, M., Polidano, C., Moschion, J., Langton, M., Storey, M., Jensen, P., & Kurland, S. (2021) Indigenous Businesses Sector Snapshot Study, Insights from I-BLADE 1.0 . The University of Melbourne.

Gearhart, C. C., & Maben, S. K. (2021). Active and Empathic Listening in Social Media: What do Stakeholders Really Expect. International Journal of Listening, 35(3), 166–187.

Greenwood. M. (2007). Stakeholder Engagement: Beyond the Myth of Corporate Responsibility. Journal of Business Ethics, 74(4), 315–327.

Hall, J. A., & Knapp, M. L. (Eds.). (2013). Nonverbal communication. De Gruyter, Inc..

Hoffmann, C. P., & Lutz, C. (2015). The impact of online media on stakeholder engagement and the governance of corporations. Journal of Public Affairs, 15(2), 163–174.

Huemann. M., Eskerod. P., & Ringhofer. C. (2016). Stakeholder Theory and Stakeholder Management. In P. Eskerod & C. Ringhofer (Eds.), Rethink: Project Stakeholder Management (pp. 23–44). Project Management Institute, Inc.

Johansen, T. S., & Ellerup Nielsen, A. (2011). Strategic stakeholder dialogues: a discursive perspective on relationship building.?Corporate Communications,?16(3), 204–217.

Koschmann, M. A. (2016). A communication perspective on organisational stakeholder relationships: discursivity, relationality, and materiality.?Communication Research and Practice,?2(3), 407–431Lloyd. C. (2018). Reconciliation Action Plans: Origins, innovations and trends. Journal of Australian Indigenous Issues 21(4), 10–45.

Macnamara, J. (2015, June). Creating an 'architecture of listening' in organisations: The basis of engagement, trust, healthy democracy, social equity, and business sustainability Sydney, NSW: University of Technology Sydney.

Mitchell, R.K., Agle, B.R. & Wood, D.J. (1997). Toward a theory of stakeholder identification and salience: Defining the principle of who and what really counts. Academy of Management Review, 22(4), 853-886.

Mouton, Kjærbeck, S., & Rasmussen, R. K. (2018). Storytelling. In The International Encyclopedia of Strategic Communication (pp. 1–10). John Wiley & Sons, Inc.

Schepis, D. (2020). Understanding Indigenous Reconciliation Action Plans from a corporate social responsibility perspective. Resources Policy, 69, 101870.

Schneider, B., Ehrhart, M. G., & Macey, W. H. (2013). Organizational climate and culture.?Annual Review of Psychology,?64(1), 361–388

Sibierska, M. (2017). Storytelling without telling: The non-linguistic nature of narratives from evolutionary and narratological perspectives. Language & Communication, 54, 47–55.

Taylor. M. (2018). Reconceptualizing public relations in an engaged society. In K.A. Johnson & M. Taylor (Eds.),?The handbook of communication engagement. (pp. 103-114). Wiley Blackwell, Hoboken.