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Strategies for Assessing and Managing Organizational Stakeholders

Grant T. Savage, Timothy W. Nix, Carlton J. Whitehead and John D. Blair
The Executive
Vol. 5, No. 2 (May, 1991), pp. 61-75
Published by: Academy of Management
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/4165008
Page Count: 15
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Strategies for Assessing and Managing Organizational Stakeholders
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Abstract

To cope with the environmental turbulence and uncertainty facing many U.S. industries, business executives must effectively manage their stakeholders. Stakeholders include those individuals, groups, and other organizations who have an interest in the actions of an organization and who have the ability to influence it. The stakeholder approach systematically integrates executives' concerns about organizational strategy with the organization's interests in marketing, human resource management, public relations, organizational politics, and social responsibility. This integrative perspective assumes that an effective organization strategy requires consensus from a plurality of key stakeholders about what it should be doing and how these things should be done. By assessing each stakeholder's potential to threaten or to cooperate with the organization, managers' may identify supportive, mixed blessing, nonsupportive, and marginal stakeholders. The 1989 strike at Eastern Airlines illustrates these different types of stakeholders. An analysis of the case underscores the importance of four generic strategies for managing different stakeholders. The case also demonstrates that executives should use an overarching strategy to change relationships with stakeholders from less favorable categories (e.g., nonsupportive) to more favorable ones (e.g., mixed blessing).

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