Lintemeier, Klaus/Rademacher, Lars/Thiessen, Ansgar (2013): Stakeholder Management - An Introduction. - In: United Natins Global Compact International Yearbook 2013, p. 12-17.
The landscape of business and enterprise policy is subject to almost unparalleled change. An ever-increasing majority of corporate and institutional management boards find themselves operating in a networked world of interests and opportunities for influence. In addition to primary stakeholders such as shareholders, customers, suppliers, and employees, secondary and tertiary stakeholder groups are increasingly making regulatory, political, and ethical demands on businesses.
Public and social stakeholders groups are increasingly seeking to bring their influence to bear on corporate decision making and investment. Politicians have discovered social risik-management and are increasing their regulatory requirements on businesses and commercial sectors through their legislative powers; NGOs draw attentation tu abuses and irregularities by means of effective and high-quality media campaigns. At the same time, the market place of public opinion is going through fundamental and rapid changes: The established media are beginning to lose their capacity to lead; opinions are formed in ways that are more direct, digital, and decrentralized; and transparency and dialogue are the order of the day for almost all businesses. Communications with external as well as internal stakeholders rely increasingly on substantive content, and close and resilient relationships with stakeholders are an important factor for success in business.
In the future, the currently still dominant focus on shareholders and target groups will no longer be able to cope with the rapid pace of change in the business environment. Shareholders are an important stakeholder group for sustainable business success, but not the only such group. Nowadays, the task of a future-proof and sustainable strategy is rather that of weighing up the requirements of politics, society, business, and science and aligning them with corporate goals. The so-called license to trade depends not only on dialogue with all relevant interest groups and opinion leaders: Stakeholders and target groups do not simply expect information about activities and decisions from businesses, they want instead to be actively involved and integrated in discussions and decision-making processes.