Method - Q method


A method to systematically collect information on stakeholders viewpoints and beliefs.


Categorizing stakeholders by collecting information on stakeholders viewpoints and beliefs.

Guidance on performing this method

  • The stakeholders are identified earlier.
  • Preparation:
    • Formulate statements on specific topics.
    • Select stakeholders
  • This information can be collected through for example questionnaires or an interview.
  • Develop an interview protocol or a questionnaire
  • Conduct interview or questionnaire needs to be filled in by stakeholders
    • Persons are presented with a sample of statements about some topic. They are asked to rank-order the statements from their individual point of view
  • Based on this ranking the subjective viewpoints or personal profile of the persons can be identified.
  • An analysis should be made in order to identify social discoursed and to categorise stakeholders.


Different social discourses surrounding an issue can be identified and individuals can be categorised according to their ‘fit’ within these discourses.


Does not identify all possible discourses, only the ones exhibited by the interviewed stakeholders and is time consuming, hence high costs.


References to be fully worked out (Tara)

  1. van Exel and de Graaf, 2005;
  2. Reed et al. 2009; Hermans, 2005

Further reading