Although (the relevance of) stakeholder management receives considerable attention in literature, the problem of actual stakeholder identification is yet unresolved. This article analyses the potential contributions of critical systems thinking to solving this problem. Especially Ulrich’s notion of boundary critique, by which he focuses on stakeholder roles and particularly the role of ‘the affected’, seems a fruitful contribution. By adapting the role definitions towards a project context, including project dynamics, and adding operating instructions, a method has been developed that can be used for actual stakeholder identification in organizational projects. This method is demonstrated on two projects. The results show that this adapted version of boundary critique, which in its original form mainly is used in the context of civil society, is also relevant in an organizational profit-based context. Copyright # 2007 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
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