Organisations are finding that not only internal stakeholders, but increasingly external stakeholders are having more of an input into organisational strategy, goals and objectives. Each stakeholder can have differing requirements that they expect the organisation to meet depending on exactly how they interface with the organisation. Have you determined your organisation's key stakeholders and their individual and collective requirements? First you need to determine who your stakeholders are! Stakeholders can include suppliers, customers, consumers, shareholders, workers, management, those living in the vicinity of the business location - neighbours, businesses, schools, hospitals, governmental and legislative bodies, certification organisations and non-governmental bodies. The requirements can include, but are not limited to, product safety, product and service consistency and compliance with specifications, health and safety, worker welfare, social accountability, and the organisations actual, or potential impact on the local or global environment, impact on biodiversity and protection of ecosystems, and if applicable animal health and welfare.
The organisation must determine these myriad requirements and develop an integrated strategy that not only addresses organisational performance and cost effectiveness but also encompasses the needs of its varied stakeholders. However at times these stakeholders may have opposing requirements and the management team will have to determine how they address this issue and this is the role of business ethics.
Another output of determining stakeholder requirements is the development of both brand protection and risk management strategies and defining those risks that are acceptable, those risks that need to be managed, risks that must be mitigated and possibly transferred to a supplier or alternative organisation and those risks that are unacceptable and must be eliminated.