To analyze the need to balance the interests of a variety of stakeholder groups, what questions should management ask? 

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Ashley Kannan | Middle School Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

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I think that one of the most important questions which needs to be addressed in analyzing management's need to balance the interests of a variety of stakeholder groups is how voices are being validated. Management has a responsibility to ensure that the stakeholder voice is incorporated in decisions and actions taken.  It is important to ensure this process is being recognized in the decisions that management undertakes.

Another question that might have to be posed is what happens when profit and stakeholder voices compete with one another.  It is important for organizations to ask the critical question of whether profit should be placed ahead of stakeholder voice.  Naturally, this does not pose as much of an issue if the stakeholder stands to make a profit or money from a particular path. However, organizations have to ask the question of which element—stakeholder voice or profit—has to be valued if both should come into conflict with one another.

A third critical question that must be asked is what avenues the organization possesses to ensure that stakeholder voice is present.  When organizations silence the means through which stakeholder voice can be heard, it stifles this voice.  Ensuring that organizations have avenues where stakeholder voice can be heard and acted on is critical.  Asking this question is critical to ensure that management can balance the interests of a variety of groups.

A final question that needs to be asked in order to balance the interest of a variety of stakeholder groups is if management is visible to the different stakeholders.  Management must ensure that they are "walking around” and can be seen by different stakeholders.  Management must ask itself if stakeholders "see" its presence.  Stakeholders that see management most visibly will feel that their voice can be validated, thereby balancing the various interests they possess. 

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