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Stakeholder management - Essay Example

Stakeholder management is a central part of any organisation. Stakeholders act as agents, sponsors and partners in the business strategy and change process. Stakeholders include the customers, employees, suppliers, creditors and the society in general. Stakeholders interests differ from those of the shareholders thus organisations should balance the two conflicting interests in order to ensure long term growth and survival of the business. This paper will discuss stakeholder management at Unilever and how the stakeholders have responded to the approach. Stakeholder management at Unilever Introduction Stakeholder management ensures that all those affected by the decisions of the company are considered in the decision making process (Huber & Pallas, 2006). Examples of stakeholders include the employees, the government, the suppliers, creditors, trade unions, customers, and the general community. On the other hand, shareholders are the real owners of the business since they have provided the capital thus their major interest is maximise their wealth through increased profitability and share prices. According to the modern stakeholder management theory, managers are considers as agents of the stakeholders. Stakeholders may be individuals or constituencies that contribute either directly or indirectly to the wealth creation activities of the firm and who also act as potential beneficiaries or risk bearers depending on the strategic decisions made by the management. Stakeholder management is therefore geared at developing and implementing organisation-wide practices and policies that address the needs, concerns and goals of all relevant stakeholders (Huber & Pallas, 2006). One of the leading companies in stakeholder management is Unilever. The company’s brands aim at assisting billions of people improve their health and wellbeing. Some products include affordable bathing soaps, ice creams and luxurious shampoos that care for the households. Some brands such as Lifebuoy, Omo, Blueband and Sunlight have attained global recognition and customer loyalty. Sustaining close relationships with stakeholders is one of the priorities of Unilever. The management of stakeholders involves building and strengthening relationships with all stakeholders through identifying the stakeholders’ needs and monitoring the changing needs. The company has implemented the Sustainable Living Plan that enables the company identity the needs of the stakeholders, diverse tastes and provides information on new products (Kazmi, 2008). The company operates consumer care lines, websites and campaigns that aim at collecting information from consumers. The company has strengthened relationships with the civil society and local governments through engaging the governments on matters such as nutrition and public policy. Unilever has partnered with non-governmental organisations such as Oxfam, UNICEF and World Food Programme in improving the hygiene, sanitation and access to clean drinking water thus satisfying the interests of the local communities. Unilever has addressed the interests of the direct stakeholders such as the customers, suppliers, employees and market partners. For instance, employees receive fair salaries, bonuses and commissions for their efforts in the organisation. Unilever treats all employees with dignity and respect and ensures individual interests are aligned with the overall strategic objectives of the organisation. Employees are assisted with credit facilities such as mortgages, short term loans and sick leave pay that also extend to the immediate dependants. The company has improved the working conditions through implementing properly documented health and safety policies and procedures that aim at reducing work related accidents. The job design and career growth opportunities aim at ensuring all workers attain self esteem and self actualization through exploiting their full potential. For the suppliers, Unilever has business policies that ensure equality in ...Show more
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Stakeholder management is a central part of any organisation. Stakeholders act as agents, sponsors and partners in the business strategy and change process. Stakeholders include the customers, employees, suppliers, creditors and the society in general…
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