“for every public sector organization including ours, our community is our key primary stakeholder. Our Shareholders are also considered as the primary stakeholders for sustainability assurance because stakeholders are any group, individual or body that in one way or the other is either affected by what we do as an organization. Our employees are also our stakeholders and not to leave out our regulators. These form the core of our primary stakeholders. We also make sure that these key stakeholders are always satisfied. You can only operate smoothly, and without any legal constraints or social constraints if we can meet the needs of the stakeholders along the value chain” Ideally, the current study finds that primary stakeholders of firms for sustainability assurance range from community, regulatory bodies, customers and employees. This is not different from the claims made by Darnall, Seol, and Sarkis (2009) that primary stakeholders were most likely to influence audit. stakeholders were identified based on the power and authority the stakeholders exercise over the operations of the firm. Secondary stakeholders as defined by Clarkson (1995) are those who influence or affect, or are influenced or affected by an organization, but are not engaged in transactions with the organization and are not essential for survival.
4.5 Identified Stakeholder Engagement Practices There was variety of approaches to how public sector companies engaged their stakeholders. All interviews in government ministries concerns highlighted that engaging stakeholders effectively in the sustainability process builds trust, a long lasting relationship and ensures continuity of the business. Thus to ensure the business stays in operational existence into the unforeseen future, the firm should engage its stakeholders effectively and regularly. This is further explained by one of the theoretical underpinnings of this chapter, the legitimacy theory. In the legitimacy theory, the behaviour of the firm is explained with a generalized perception or assumption that the actions of an entity are desirable, proper, or appropriate within some socially constructed system of norms, values, beliefs, and definitions according to Suchman (1995). The two service concern firms however, engaged their stakeholders mainly through training, request for their feedback and for that matter can be seen as being proactive. Notable stakeholder engagement practices cited included community empowerment, user education, workshops, understanding clients' needs, being proactive, request for feedback. In the course of the interview, some stakeholder engagement practices came up. The above listed were the most common engagement practices cited by case companies. In addition to the stakeholder engagement practices currently employed by government ministries in their sustainability practices, a number of other practices were also suggested and recommended by respondents. Keeping an open door policy was the most acknowledged stakeholder engagement practice in the sustainability practice. This was expressed
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- Fall '18
- DR MAAME ADWOA GYEKYE JANDO
- researcher, Corporate social responsibility