Oxford Plastics is a plastics and resins manufacturing company. The company is located in a small town and it employs many people from that community. The company wants to expand its operations so that it can be more competitive in the global market. The company’s top management has already identified land, but it faces controversy since it is located outside the industrial zoning boundary. The management is under pressure to start the project and it cannot afford to delay. The governor of the area where the company is located supports the company’s decision to expand the factory in the same area because it would improve its economic situation considerably. Although the governor seems interested in the project, he is not willing to commit himself to it because he was once a supporter of environmental issues. Apart from the company, other people such as the public, environmentalists and other authorities are interested in the project. The plant manager is aware that various groups, especially environmental agencies will oppose the project.
Daft (2009) argues that organizations and industries must find ways of fitting the expectations of their audience. This is also true in the case of Oxford Plastics. The community has high expectations for the company. The community expects the company to make sound financial decisions, which will not harm them in any way. They would therefore be disappointed if the company decided to take action that would harm the environment they depend on for their survival. Purchasing and developing the piece of land would mean cutting down the beech trees that give the town its appeal and represents its heritage. It would also mean re-zoning the area, and this would affect many people and businesses in the area. People expect the organization to make proper and appropriate decisions, which will not deviate from the community’s values, norms and beliefs.
Companies are beginning to involve the local authorities of their plans at an early stage. This is giving them time to handle all the problems that might arise, especially if the project might raise some controversies. The plant manager was right to notify the governor of their plans from the beginning. The governor asked him to work with other government agencies early, so that they can be able to give their opinion concerning the project and hence help to prevent or manage any problems that might arise. The company’s decision to involve the stakeholders of the project in due time, shows that it values them and respects their decision (IFC, 2007)
It is important for businesses to maintain good relationships with all the stakeholders (Daft, 2009). This includes the community around which the business is located, the governing authority, related agencies, other businesses located near the organization and the people working for the organization in different capacities. Oxford Plastics Company is faced with a decision that will ultimately affect the relationship it has with other people and organizations in the society. Good relationships are marked by the trust that the various agents have. They are also based on mutual respect and understanding.
The organization and the company have to understand each other. The community should understand the need for the company to expand its operations since they will also benefit in the end. For instance, Oxford Plastics is feeling pressurized by the EPA and hence their decision to hurry with the expansion plans. EPA should understand that the company needs time to develop its project. It should not pressure the company into doing things in a hurry since this might lead the company to make poor decisions. The company has invested a lot of time and money to ensure that it maintains a good relationship with the community. It should therefore not make decisions that will jeopardize this.
Daft, L. R. (2009). Organization theory and design. New York, NY: Cengage Learning
IFC (2007). Stakeholder engagement: A good practice handbook for companies doing business in emerging markets. Retrieved from www.ifc.org/ifcext/enviro.nsf/…/ifc_stakeholderengagement.pdf