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Jurnal 6

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Jurnal 6

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Artikel ilmiah ini adalah pengembangan dari tugas individual penulis saat S2 di The Hague Univ. Fokus tulisan ini adalah pada metode praktis untuk mengaplikasikan keterampilan komunikasi pada level organisasi atau perusahaan, terutama strategi pelaksanaan dialog dengan stakeholder.
Artikel ini sebelumnya telah dipublikasikan pada jurnal ilmiah inspirasi. Univ. Muhammadiyah Bengkulu. ISSN 0854-4808.

Artikel ilmiah ini adalah pengembangan dari tugas individual penulis saat S2 di The Hague Univ. Fokus tulisan ini adalah pada metode praktis untuk mengaplikasikan keterampilan komunikasi pada level organisasi atau perusahaan, terutama strategi pelaksanaan dialog dengan stakeholder.
Artikel ini sebelumnya telah dipublikasikan pada jurnal ilmiah inspirasi. Univ. Muhammadiyah Bengkulu. ISSN 0854-4808.

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Jurnal 6

  1. 1. 1 A PRACTICAL REVIEW OF EFFECTIVE STAKEHOLDER DIALOGUE Budi Santoso Dosen PNSD Kopertis Wilayah II Palembang ABSTRACT Corporate Communications or Public Relations managers cannot make organizations more effective unless stakeholder dialogue functions as an integral part of the organizations. This article explains that people who are around and by that, have strong influence towards the organizations, called stakeholders, should be treated in excellent ways. Dialogue is one ordinary method organizations usually do in dealing with stakeholders, particularly when the organizations are having problems. It is about communicating with stakeholders in a way that takes serious account of their views. Writer suggests two extensive ways how to have an outstanding dialogue to reach intended best outcomes, namely, constructing clear messages and identifying the stakeholders themselves. Writer believes that if organizations know the ins-and-outs of their stakeholders as well as send understandable and unambiguous steps before and when conducting dialogues, first-rate results will be at hands. Keywords: Corporate Communications, stakeholder, Dialogue INTRODUCTION Organization is a medium where many people interact and communicate in such expected favorable atmosphere, creating and living in a multifaceted system. An organization also functions as a medium to gather various clients with different personal purposes and objectives, even though in general they have the same organizational ones. Nonetheless, these clients are interrelated to their goals and by that, interdependence in terms of administrative and production services provided by the organization.
  2. 2. 2 Some key factors which have significant influence in an organization are stakeholders. This terminology has been popular since organizations get to know that their internal and external publics are very influential. Professional organizations especially in form of international or multinational companies usually have a corporate communications department. Before we continue to discuss about building an effective dialogue with stakeholders, we should know the basic concept of stakeholder itself. WHO ARE STAKEHOLDERS? Stakeholders can be considered of as any group or individual who can have effects on, or who can be affected by, a corporation or its routine activities, particularly related to plans, production, marketing, and distribution. We can also believe of stakeholders as groups or individuals who characterize value propositions for the organization and who consequently must be attended to as part of a sound commercial approach to building loyalty with customers, employees and investors. Stakeholders are sometimes divided into (i) primary stakeholders, or those who have a direct stake in the organization and its success, and (ii) secondary stakeholders, or those who may be very influential, especially in questions of reputation, but whose stake is more representational than the previous one. Secondary stakeholders can also be surrogate representatives for interests that cannot represent themselves, i.e., the natural environment or future generations. This should not be assumed to be a comprehensive or exclusive list. Because of the number and spectrum of stakeholders, organizations often start by defining a narrow group of key stakeholders with whom they seek to engage.
  3. 3. 3 Nevertheless, relationships with stakeholder groups are typically neither static nor uniform. The map of stakeholders may look dissimilar from issue to issue, and new stakeholders can emerge on the scene unexpectedly. An individual or organization may have several different stakeholder relationships with a company as well as interrelationships with other stakeholders. Moreover, in a world of networks based on internet connectivity, alliances between stakeholders in business may grow, change or fall down with equal rapidity. This is why many leading businesses focus more on developing the requisite organizational mindsets and capabilities needed to build trust-based relationships with their stakeholders than on static mapping of relationships and priorities from the company’s perspective. THE BOUNDARY OF STAKEHOLDER DIALOGUE Dialogue is an exchange of views and opinion to explore different perspectives, needs and alternatives, with a view to fostering mutual understanding, trust and cooperation on a strategy or initiative. Stakeholder dialogue offers a tool to engage people in serious discussion, and a designed and facilitated process for groups to initiate dialogue with those persons and institutions that have a stake in their activities. There are many forms of stakeholder engagement. Dialogue is about communicating with stakeholders in a way that takes serious account of their views. It does not mean involving stakeholders in every decision, or that every stakeholder request will be met. It means that stakeholder input should be acknowledged and thoughtfully considered. It is about giving stakeholders a voice, listening to what they have to say, and being prepared to act or react accordingly. Though dialogues are, in effect, simply meetings, it is important to remember that they provide a powerful
  4. 4. 4 tool to listen and learn more about stakeholders. They also offer a mechanism to share one’s own thinking and to maintain and/or strengthen relationships. Today, business has to make decisions in a more demanding and informed global society. Increasing competition, more domestic and international pressure to be transparent and changing societal expectations make it impossible for companies to operate without being in close contact with those around them. Among companies, there has been a sharp increase in stakeholder engagement activities as they have come to realize that people or groups outside the core areas of influence can also be stakeholders. The traditional circle of stakeholders has expanded. Previously, the principal groups were shareholders, employees, suppliers, customers, contractors, authorities, media, the financial and the direct community. This group has now grown to embrace a wider range of actors such as youth and religious groups, NGOs, IGOs, global institutions, and many more (Kluver, 2007). A well planned and designed stakeholder dialogue should focus on several steps, which are constructing clear messages, and identifying the stakeholders. CONSTRUCTING CLEAR MESSAGES Planning is an unavoidable requirement to obtain effective dialogue and long-lasting engagement with stakeholders. Planning is not merely about creating it but also how to maintain it. Be prepared to be as open and transparent as possible. An organization should identify the problems they have, analyze their supporting data and inventory resources, as well as determine their objectives. All those items, then, are formulated to develop effective messages to be shared with stakeholders. Determining relevant knowledge and issues that exist at the time the plan is made is
  5. 5. 5 also important, thus the messages may not be unclear and out of question. Communicating issues with stakeholders via dialogue is not a short simple activity. The organization should think about and prepare the continuity of the dialogue early. Long-term engagement is needed to establish deeper relations to them (Curtin and Gaither, 2007). Yet, this needs a consultation with them on how or if they want to keep communication after the dialogue is done. Building engagement through good messages, on my perspective, demands several things. Firstly, messages that are going to be conveyed in the dialogue must be constructed as clear and realistic as possible. If stakeholders do not get the distinct points of the dialogue or if they assume that the issues are not as important as they think, a dead end may happen. Therefore, when the process of dialogue is taking place, openness and transparency of the messages share must put ahead. This shows that organization favorably respects them and really needs their inputs. Secondly, the messages should reflect both organization’s expectations and stakeholders’ as well. Organization, of course, expects good results or constructive output from the dialogue, which meets their interests. But they must not leave the stakeholders’ behind. However, by understanding stakeholder’s expectation may facilitate organizations to predict some possibilities that may concur in the dialogue. Making prediction enables organizations to arrange some back up plans to strengthen their position in the dialogue. But still, the dialogue should be directed to get a win-win solution. Thus, stakeholders are not treated as opponents
  6. 6. 6 Thirdly, messages should be formulated as being flexible and open to improvising in the program based on stakeholder desire. Flexible does not mean that organization easily change their plans or decisions. It is more to adjust favorably the position to the most profitable existing circumstances. Previous Insightful comments (if any) from involved stakeholders must be seriously considered as useful input for organization’s needs. And also important to allow enough time for planning, planning and more planning. IDENTIFYING STAKEHOLDERS Organizations, especially the big ones, deal with various stakeholders. This stakeholder ranges from the most influential to the less ones. As what Freeman (1984) in Coady (2007) said that investing time and resources in addressing stakeholders interests is viable managerial activity. This means that organizations should really pay attention in describing their relations with stakeholders who relate closely to the problems they are facing. It is because not all stakeholders will be equally likely to communicate with or affect the organization (Grunig & Repper, 1992). However, it is important to know that identifying stakeholders is not as easy as it might seem. Start thinking about the longer-term engagement process early and consult your stakeholders on how or if they want continued communication Given that stakeholders are various and even multilayer, an organization should clearly classify their stakeholders’ involvement. Identifying stakeholders by prioritization may be very useful. This fact requires an organization to carefully choose them by making priorities according to their relative importance to the organization (Curtin & Gaither, 2007). Therefore, knowing the key stakeholders by their involvement to the issues or problems is a must. What concerns they have and what
  7. 7. 7 consequences an organization could possibly have on them. Grunig and Hunt (1984) in Coady (2007) framed a linkage model which is useful to distinguish different position of stakeholders. This model may be utilized to assort stakeholders into several segmentations, and thus, easing organization to prepare good treatment for each. Harrison (1982) in Grunig and Repper (1992) suggested that practitioners in the organizations can scan the environment from conducting or using public opinion polls, studying the mass media and specialized media, reading scholarly or legal journals to calling on experts in the organization. Focusing on the quantity of stakeholders is not recommended. Stakeholders should be invited on the basis of their attributes and ability to be thought provoking. Categorizing stakeholder’s level of power, legitimacy, dependency, support or urgency, for example, can give clear data for organization about stakeholder’s positions. Organizations should prioritize the most significant stakeholders that hold all the attributes. Mitchell et al (in Coady, 2007) called them definitive stakeholders. This kind of stakeholder has power to shape organizations’ decisions as well as influence others to change their positions. Besides that, an organization should also take into account the fast changing of situation and other influential publics that may influence the stakeholder’s position. Media coverage on social-political issues, for instance, may possibly intertwine stakeholders’ opinions and attitude. Stakeholders may support the organization’s plan at first but can potentially endanger it if they are carried away by and believe in media analysis. Important to know that media themselves are intervening public an organization may deal with.
  8. 8. 8 CONCLUSION To sum up, I concluded that constructing clear messages and identifying stakeholders before communicating issues with stakeholders as elaborated in this paper are very important in achieving effective dialogues. However, Communicating the issues through dialogue does not mean that an organization involve the stakeholders in any decisions or meet with their all requests. It is more about providing them with favorable situation to get distinct information. But last but not the least, Focus on quality not quantity. It means that participants should be invited on the basis of their credibility and ability to be thought provoking Bibliography Coady, A. (2007, November 15). Lecture on Stakeholder Relations. Stakeholder Relations. The Hague, The Netherlands: The Hague University of Professional Education. Grunig, J., & Repper F.C. (1992). Strategic Management, Publics, and Issues? In J. Grunig (Ed.), Excellence in Public Relations and Communicaition Management. New Jersey: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates. Kluver, R. (2007). Globalization, Information, and Intercultural Communication. Retrieved Januari 22, 2008, from acjournal: www.acjournal.org Patricia A Curtin, TK Gaither. (2007). International Public Relations: Negotiating Culture. Identity, and Power. UK: Sage Publications. WBCSD. 2007. Stakeholder Dialogue: The WBCSD Approach to Engagement retrieved on 23 November 2007 from The World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD) Website: http://www.wbcsd.org/DocRoot/sY0gbwlH9OPo3doLXocI/stakeholder.pdf

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