The actual policy maker(s) of organizations, indirectly, are the individuals and groups it seeks to serve. Any policies have to made with these end users in mind. If not, these policies will be somewhat faulty or non-producing because they will not address their issues and concerns. Therefore, these end users of products and/or services dictate the corporate policies of organizations.
Now, directly, the actual policy makers of organizations are the management individuals and teams that a company employs. This consists of Presidents, Chief Executive Officers, Chief Financial Officers, Chief Operating Officers, Human Resource Managers, mid-level managers, and Boards of Directors that various companies employ. Working and meeting together, these employees design various corporate policies, with higher management typically having the final say.
These direct policy makers study data that an organization captures to help them make informed decisions that result in a particular policy or group of policies. Consider, though, that this data is often gleaned from information provided by an entities end users, the above-mentioned individuals and groups that comprise a business’s customer base. So, again, you see here the influence of end users and why I believe they are the actual policy makers when you really study how an organization really sets its policies.
Consider a company like Whole Foods Market, a purveyor of high-quality natural, organic, and other products. One of the Company’s major policies is to provide its target market with top-notch products, at convenient locations in major markets. It has a policy of providing its customers fresh and innovative ready-to-serve meals from its prepared food counters, along with offerings from its other premium quality departments, such as its in-store bakeries.
Is this a policy they made up on a whim? No. It is a policy developed by way of market research that conveyed to the Company that this is what its customers wanted and continue to demand. So, we have this particular Whole Foods Market policy, but the instigator and, in essence, maker of this policy is the firm’s end users – the customers that spend the money in their retail food stores and provide Whole Foods Market its revenues and profits and finances that result in dividends paid to its shareholders’.