1. Company description and stakeholders’ analysis
In my first month as the CEO of Supply Fan, a local medium sized company, situated in Dover, I got to understand in details nature of the business, the connections between different operational chains and between different categories of stakeholders. Moreover, from the beginning of my activity within this company, I also got to know the organizational culture, the company’s values, vision, direction, according to specific guidelines traced by the previous management. All these combined, determined me to critically observe the company’s social performance.
The company I now run is activating in the distribution sector and acts as a supplier for multiple beneficiary companies. Big local corporations are its main customers, but the company also activates outside Dover, as it ensures the packages’ distribution in the nearby cities, including London. Therefore, the main stakeholders of Supply Fan are the corporate clients, with which the company operates regularly.
There are other companies, smaller ones, which are requesting Supply Fan’s distribution services occasionally, most of the time when they must deliver an urgent package. This is one thing that Supply Fan is known for, besides is professionalism: never misses a deadline and customers enjoy making business with such a reliable partner.
Of course, professionalism and efficiency come with their price and this is what makes Supply Fan a premium company. Therefore, when discussing about its market positioning, I must say that the enterprise is positioned on the high segment, offering the best quality service, a high expertise and seriousness.
Another category of stakeholders of the company are, of course, its employees. Supply Fan invests responsibly in its workers, on every level. However, because of the intense workflow, the employees seem to feel unmotivated and this leads to a huge risk: losing the interest in performing their jobs with high professionalism and efficiency and breaking like this the organizational values and objectives.
The smaller distributing companies represent another category of stakeholders for Supply Fan. Through their business segment, they have a bi-dimensional approach upon Supply Fan, acting both as competitors and as partners. Because Supply Fan is positioned on another market, serving mostly the big corporations and applying other types of costs, sometimes it cooperates with the smaller companies by transferring their businesses to the smaller companies, when the activities are very intense.
The main shareholders of the company and the managerial team also represent important stakeholders that have the power to change the organizational culture, based on understanding the company’s actual positioning, its strength, its weaknesses, challenges and opportunities. The community is another important actor that can be influenced by the company’s activities. Through its business, the company can contribute to the community causes, becoming a reliable partner in different circumstances, adopting a corporate social responsibility policy.
2. Recommendations on how stakeholders can influence the business
The employee segment needs to be urgently addressed, and there must be identified solutions for triggering the employee satisfaction. Satisfied workers bring good business. Employees who are not fully satisfied or professionally challenged by their jobs might jeopardize the company’s reputation. By delivering employee satisfaction, the company will also gain its employees’ commitment.
When all employees work as one, for the same common goals, having the same organizational values established in their minds and attitudes, there is institute a new organizational behavior (Miner, 2004). This should be designed in such a manner to serve well the interests of the company. In this specific case, by changing the organizational behavior, the company should invest more in its social performance.
Regarding this particular line of stakeholders, Supply Fan has the opportunity of stimulating its social performance (into providing increased qualitative standards for its customers), by applying a new business strategy: the merger and acquisition of smaller distribution companies. This would offer Supply Fan the occasion to gain increased social performance, as it will lose some of its competitors (Sherman, 2010). Likewise, it will bring new business, new clients, hence, new business opportunities.
However, by taking in new businesses, the company will also have to take a new business strategy approach, as it will have to adapt to a new market, to reshape its activities, its objectives, values and visions on another market placement (McDonald and Dunbar, 2004). This market segmentation strategy will only contribute to growing the company’s productivity and profits.
As for the shareholders and the managerial team of the company, the main challenge is to determine them to realize that an organizational change is needed so that the company increases its social performance, in terms of reputation (brought through the qualitative services that the employees deliver) and a multi – dimensional approach on market (entering new markets, although continuing the focus on the premium, corporate clients).
3. Plan to form a stakeholders’ coalition
For increasing the company’s social performance, besides taking on the challenges that each group of stakeholder presents and transform their into business opportunities, I would also encourage a coalition between all the stakeholders of the company.
All the segments of stakeholders need to understand the significance of working together for delivering an increased productivity through a higher efficiency, which lead to an improved social performance. The employees will have to perceive the company’s social performance as a personal goal, because this will contribute to their professional development within the company.
The clients could also contribute to increasing the company’s social performance, by providing positive word of mouth around its services, recommending it to other companies, creating a network promotion for Supply Fun.
The managers and the shareholders will need to understand that satisfying the employees means satisfying the customers and this translates through increased business productivity. Therefore, they should start by creating motivational and rewarding programs and schemes for the employees. Likewise, through a change of the managerial style, the employees would have to be more challenged and encouraged to become more responsible and take on authority for their own actions. This will stimulate their activity, making them more proactive, and more engaged in their activities. Moreover, they will get involved in new tasks, requiring for more responsibilities, as they will feel that their efforts are appreciated. They should also be encouraged to develop their career within the company, strengthening like this the structures of Supply Fun.
4. Challenges in forming the coalition
The main difficulties in forming this coalition, alliance, could come from two main poles: the employees on one side and the shareholders and managerial team. If they fail to understand the benefits that an alliance would bring each of them, they could obstruct the company’s goals. For preventing such a scenario to occur, there should be created plans and graphs for the managerial team, showing how the company’s social performance would be influenced by stimulating the employee engagement. On the other side, the employees should be offered teambuilding and career growth opportunities for really feeling like belonging to a group, that they are sharing common values and that together they have the power to change Supply Fun.
The community could also represent a challenge for the company, because it can interfere with its goals, if the company is not respecting the environment or the social causes. For preventing this, the company must develop corporate social responsibility policies, becoming a concerned and active actor of the local social causes.
Hence, employee satisfaction leads to developing the feeling of belonging and employee commitment leads to satisfied customers. Satisfied customers and communities create positive reputation and so, the company will have only but to gain, by adopting this new managerial approach.
Therefore, the company’s direction through increasing its social performance should reflect upon all the actors: clients, employees, managerial teams and shareholders and communities (Cooper, 2004). They all have to find benefits out of the company’s activities, but in the end, together, they will bring increased social performance for Supply Fun.
Cooper, S. (2004), Corporate social performance: a stakeholder approach. Ashgate Publishing Limited: Hunts.
McDonald, M. and Dunbar, I. (2004) Market segmentation: how to do it, how to profit from it. Elsevier Butterworth – Heinemann: Oxford.
Miner, J., B. (2007) Organizational behavior: from theory to practice. M.E. Sharpe, Inc.: New York.
Sherman, A., J. (2011) Mergers and acquisitions from A to Z. 3rd ed. Amacom: United States.