Suggested answer a involving stakeholders in decision

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Suggested answer: (a) Involving stakeholders in decision making through proper consultation brings many benefits to an organisation. The act of identifying stakeholders and assessing the level of power and interest of each group gives the organisation knowledge about where its support and challenge lies. (1) This in turn will inform the consultation strategy adopted by the organisation to make sure that consultation is aimed at the right people, in the right way and at the right time (1) An example might be in a local authority, where the leaders and politicians invite local tax payers and residents to help shape priorities for local spending and cuts. Often this is done before setting the council tax for the authority. (1)This would give the authority insight into what its residents and constituents feel is important for them and can allow spending decisions to be made based on their feedback. (1) Through consultation, the local authority can use the knowledge acquired to inform their decisions and the process of involvement should encourage acceptance of decisions by those consulted (1). It can give the local authority some additional rationale for decisions made (1) Another example of consultation is around the proposed closure of some units at Lewisham Hospital. Lewisham residents were given 30 days to present their views on the proposals from Trust Special Administrator Matthew Kershaw, who recommended that their A&E and maternity units be closed to help reduce the South London Healthcare NHS Trust’s growing debt . (1) In theory, offering those affected (residents, members of the public, doctors and medical staff) the opportunity to comment on the proposals, which would have an impact on the provision of emergency health care, amongst other things, over a large area of South London, is good. It gave the Trust, on behalf of the Secretary of State for Health, the opportunity to set out their case for closure and explain the benefits and invited feedback from affected parties.(1) The expectation was that this would at the least remove opposition to the closure and at best, provide support. (1) Internal consultation is also important for an organisation. An example of this is where an employer is planning an office move. (1) All staff are affected and the potential for uncertainty is high. Through identifying stakeholders and inviting all staff groups to elect representatives to work with the project team on some of the details of the move, the organisation hopes to do a number of things: first of all, improve communication, as details of timings and proposals are shared with staff (1); second, provide feedback to leaders about how staff think and feel about the move (1); third, provide ideas for the move that could lead to a better outcome by taking into account the suggestions from staff at all levels of the organisation (1). Through being involved in consultation, staff are more likely to feel ownership of the solution and support it in practice (1).
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