The role of leadership in stakeholder management cannot be minimized. Organizational leaders have a primary responsibility to their stakeholders regardless of the level of involvement that they have on everyday operations. The decisions made by leadership directly affect everyone in the company, so it is their job to make sure that stakeholders are informed of decisions made by managers and that those decisions are reflective of the general consensus of everyone with a stake in the company. These decisions should always be ethical because poor decisions made by leadership have a ripple effect that infiltrates the company at every level.
Proper communication channels must always be in place for successful stakeholder management and stakeholders should have the means and opportunity to share their views with management in the discussion and decision making process. Management should be prepared for stakeholder opposition and with strategies in place to deal with it to arrive at positive solutions. The stakeholders also have a responsibility to uphold the ideals of the company and support leadership whenever possible It is when one side decides to take matters into their own hands where problems occur.
The healthiest and honest way to handle this is to have a system in place where stakeholders are informed of all potential issues that face the company. They should be given the opportunity to respond or vote. To completely neglect this process alienates the stakeholders and perpetuates the division that companies are struggling to mend. Stringent standards need to be in place so there can be more trust and cooperation between management and stakeholders.
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