Follow-through is essential in CSR

23.11.2015

Fountain Park osallistui Turun ammattikorkeakoulun Corporate Social Responsibility -kurssille pitämällä vierailuluennon, jolla Anu Kokko kertoi yritysten sidosryhmäyhteistyöhön liittyvistä haasteista ja mahdollisuuksista. Osana kurssia opiskelijat kirjoittivat tekstin sidosryhmien osallistamisesta, ja tekstit on julkaistu Fountain Parkin nettisivuilla.

Follow-through is essential

Foutain Park Oy is an expert in management consultation. Through their virtual brainstorming, co-creation method, and crowdsourcing, they aim to bring the best wisdom of crowd into practice. Theirstakeholder dialogue has 3 main principles:

  • equality (not to let the loudest voice win)
  • generates concrete ideas
  • generates a full picture of the stakeholders’ expectations

In my opinion, our society will always change and the time when the small voice could earn the victory might come later when it becomes the loudest. Moreover, let’s imagine cooperation as an individual (Mbare, 2015), then as an individual, it must go crazy attempting to listen and satisfy all voices.

Cooperation will be in risk of explosion from the conflicts caused by the divergence in stakeholders’ interests and expectations. Simply, while owner and shareholders aims to maximize the profits and return on investment; whereas the other stakeholders (customers, suppliers, employees, regulators, and local communities) have eyes on other aspects, such as high salary, competitive market price, friendly environment production, etc.; which at some risk reduces the return benefits to the shareholders. Finally, as a person, we follow the strongest voice in our head; and as an organization, they decide upon the most powerful statement since it has the power to eliminate the rest.

Furthermore, follow-through is essential to any relationship, and certainly applies to relationships with stakeholders. It shows that stakeholder concerns and interests were heard, considered, and valued. It earns stakeholders’ commitment, trust and engagement. This is really important since it could give the company also a chance to widen their dialogue with stakeholders environmentally, socially, economically, and politically. It can also involve reporting on the process of stakeholder engagement itself, providing transparency about who was consulted or engaged on what topics, and with what results. As dialogue is a two-way communication, the stakeholders could hold back if they are not responded, or make it as spam if they do not feel involved to the survey.

Therefore, the company can add small hints in the emails or landing pages that their suggestions will be used. Also, it is possible that the company makes audience to be more emotionally involved in their answer. For example, in the survey, it could be include clear explanation of how importance the survey is and why their feedbacks are valued. Additionally, the company also has to be responsible to the promises and commitments which they made to their stakeholders. A withdraw of promises could lead to unexpectedly unhappy ending.

Kirjoittaja Le Thao opiskelee Turun ammattikorkeakoulussa. Blogiteksti on osa Turun ammattikorkeakoulun Corporate Social Responsibility -kurssia.