The Effects of the Web as a Form of Stakeholder Communication: An empirical case study of a co-operative
Zhao, J. Y. (2007). The Effects of the Web as a Form of Stakeholder Communication: An empirical case study of a co-operative (Thesis, Master of Management Studies (MMS)). The University of Waikato, Hamilton, New Zealand. Retrieved from http://hdl.handle.net/10289/2485
Permanent Research Commons link: http://hdl.handle.net/10289/2485
This research aims to add some understanding to the existing stakeholder management literature with a focus on the management of stakeholder communication. It explores how the Web can assist the management of the communication between a dairy co-operative and its farmer supplier-shareholders. An exploratory case study and semi-structured in-depth interview research design is used to collect, analyse, and present the perceptions of interview participants. This research highlights a paradox, which results from the inconsistent needs of the farmers as both suppliers and shareholders of the co-operative. A number of factors that have influenced farmer interviewees' decisions to either reject or embrace the Web are also identified. These factors are divided into two categories, those closely associated with individual characteristics, namely, perceived values, perceived self-efficacy, and awareness; and these outside the individual's control, namely, infrastructure and media conflict. These findings suggest that the Web adds flexibility to organisations' stakeholder communication strategies by offering an additional communication form. In particular, this research shows that the Web contributes to overall management of stakeholder communication through 1) increased accessibility to personalised and up-to-date information, 2) added flexibility to self-service programs, and 3) a recreated sense of 'conventional' community. Furthermore, the Web should be used as a complement to, rather than a replacement for, conventional communication forms in stakeholder communication strategies. Although the Web may not be the answer for all stakeholder communication challenges; what seems undeniable is the tremendous potential of the Web in facilitating and leveraging the management of stakeholder communication. Three considerations are proposed for organisations planning to include the Web as part of their stakeholder communication strategy: organisational needs, stakeholder characteristics, and communication media factors. Research limitations are discussed, and recommendations for further study are outlined in the conclusion.
The University of Waikato
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