Any business expansion would likely lead to an increase in the number of stakeholders who can affect it or be affected. Fernando (2021) provided the examples of typical corporate stakeholders, which included investors, employees, customers, suppliers, governments, and local communities. In that regard, Ben’s Big Bins (BBB) expansion case gives an insight into how careful even a small company should be in relationships with its stakeholders.
Stakeholders Interested in BBB’s Expansion
According to the presented case, BBB, a small company that provides waste collection services, plans to expand its operation scale. Ben, the company’s owner, is quite, if not overly, optimistic about the expansion. However, BBB would have to consider stakeholders’ interests even if the scope of expansion does not seem significant. Ben might be unaware yet, but those stakeholders will have their expectations and influence over the BBB’s future.
The local community represents the customer base of BBB, so their attitude would heavily influence the company. So far, the locals have had a steady interest in BBB’s services, which encouraged Ben to expand his business. The BBB’s expansion would satisfy the growing demand; however, it might also annoy those residents who already complain about the noise. BBB would be expected to address that problem while also providing waste collection to home and business owners. Overall, the local community’s reaction would be critical for BBB’s future.
Local authorities have already given BBB resource consent for the operation, despite the negative reaction of some residents. As a result, the possible BBB’s expansion might cause extra dissatisfaction among the community members. Therefore, the authorities would be expecting that BBB addresses the situation with the locals. Local authorities have a crucial influence on Ben’s project since BBB’s expansion would likely demand another resource consent. In other words, Ben should not annoy them or fail their expectations.
BBB’s expansion would positively affect the senior administrator from the financial perspective since increasing profits would likely increase his salary. After all, Ben’s staff consider him a great boss, so he is unlikely to be greedy. However, the senior administrator might need to influence Ben first because he is not concerned about chemical runoff into the local stream. A possible ecological scandal would be disastrous for a small company, so the BBB’s senior administrator must approach Ben and be persistent.
A local bank has a clear interest in BBB’s expansion and its eventual success. The bank will be giving BBB a loan for purchasing extra trucks and hiring more drivers. The expansion means profit for the bank, and the failure is a risk. Therefore, the bank will be expecting BBB’s success to return its investments. Needless to say, that without a loan, Ben would be struggling to expand at all.
BBB’s expansion would be interesting for a local union since new drivers would likely join it, as most of their colleagues. Therefore, BBB would be expected to treat them well, but it should not be a problem for a boss like Ben. The union’s positive attitude would be beneficial for BBB’s public image. After all, the community is relatively small, so is known as a good company would be highly beneficial for BBB’s reputation.
The expansion would create a perfect workplace for a sister of one of the BBB drivers. She would be expecting to be treated equally to male drivers. There could be two possible outcomes: either BBB would hire a competent female truck driver and show that it does not support gender-based discrimination, or the driver’s sister would show her incompetence. The information provided in the case leaves both possibilities open.
Most Important Stakeholders to Engage with Over BBB’s Proposal
- Desired achievement: appeasement of local community and increase of customer base;
- Way of engagement: digital platforms (social media), personal (meetings);
- Information disclosed: solutions against noise and chemical runoffs, offers for customers;
- Information not disclosed: confidential commercial data;
- Outcome communication: public announcements via social media.
- Desired achievement: obtaining a resource consent;
- Way of engagement: personal, at the local authorities’ premises;
- Information disclosed: project details regarding environmental safety;
- Information not disclosed: financial details, since they are irrelevant for the purpose;
- Outcome communication: social media, to assure the community that BBB acts legally;
- Desired achievement: obtaining a loan for expansion;
- Way of engagement: personal (meeting with a manager);
- Information disclosed: commercial business plan, to convince the bank;
- Information not disclosed: anything irrelevant for getting a loan should not be brought into the conversation;
- Outcome communication: not required.
- Desired achievement: identification and troubleshooting of issues, which can hamper the expansion;
- Way of engagement: personal;
- Information disclosed: every piece of information is necessary for dialogue with a second person in the company;
- Information not disclosed: in a dialogue with that stakeholder, all information should remain open;
- Outcome communication: within the staff; the engagement should result in Ben reconsidering his stance on environmental concerns;
Examples of Ben’s Professional and Ethical Behavior
- Positive professional behavior: staff events organization, maintaining high morale in staff;
- Positive ethical behavior: decent attitude to employees, readiness to work with union representatives;
- Negative professional behavior: unnecessary prejudice against hiring female truck drivers.
- Negative ethical behavior: neglection of possible chemical runoff into a local stream;
Priority Stakeholders and Plan of Relationships
|Stakeholder||Engagement Purpose||Importance||Timeframe||Method and Location||Preparation|
|Local Community||Appeasement, Advertising||High||Continual||Digital (Social media, advertising) |
Personal meetings with community members
|The development of a new work schedule to mitigate noise complaints is highly advisable.|
|Local Authorities||Resource consent obtaining||Critical||Before anything else||Personal, at the authorities’ premises (presenting data about the project)||A solution for routine truck cleaning without chemical runoff into a local stream is necessary|
|Local Bank||Getting a loan||High||After getting a resource consent||Personal (meeting with a manager)||A proper business plan of expansion is required|
Fernando, J. (2021). Stakeholder. Investopedia. Web.