Strategic Management: Formulation and Implementation

Stakeholder Management Approaches

Freeman (1984) has argued that corporate strategy can be understood as a corporation's mode of relating or building bridges to its stakeholders (e.g., customers, employees, suppliers, owners, financial institutions, or governments). According to Freeman a corporate strategy will be effective only if it satisfies the needs of multiple groups. Moreover, he suggests that changes in the current business environment require that other political and social actors must be considered as well.

Local economic development planners would be wise to identify key stakeholders, their interests, and strategies and tactics that might work in dealing with them (Kaufman 1979). Bryson, Freeman, and Roering (1986) argue that an organization's mission and values ought to be formulated in stakeholder terms.

The strengths of the stakeholder model are its recognition of the many claims placed on organizations by insiders and outsiders and its awareness of the need to satisfy at least the key stakeholders if the organization is to survive.

The weaknesses of this model are the absence of criteria with which to judge competing claims and the need for more advice on how to develop strategies to deal with divergent stakeholder interests.