A key stakeholder perspective, informed by illustrative quantitative and qualitative data, is developed for hospital administrators. These data provide answers to the questions, Who matters to hospitals? and Why do they matter? A tool kit for assessing stakeholders also is presented to help hospital executives identify their institutions' key stakeholders, determine the power of these stakeholders and their core values, and define who within their institutions should be responsible for the routine management of different stakeholders. These tools facilitate the management of each key stakeholder, ensuring that each strategic decision is examined in terms of the likely reaction of key stakeholders and is supplemented with plans for gaining stakeholder acceptance. Managers should recognize that the answers to Who matters? and Why? will vary by type of hospital and by the specific issue being addressed.