Exploring the organization as a transitional object : a stakeholder approach to strategic planning and management
Organizations are originated and continue to be successful as transition mechanisms which interested and powerful actors use to come together in order to define problems, issues or opportunities in a manner that increases potentials for an agreed strategy and actions that lead to successful outcomes. The three components of this process are the potential problem, issue or opportunity, the composition of interested and powerful stakeholders who comprise the organization and the universe of possible solutions that are both limited and predicted by the former two. One approach that helps to ensure the organization is properly comprised as a transitional link between the problem, issue or opportunity is a set of exercises that produce a stakeholder influence map. These exercises are designed to identify the boundaries of the problem, issue or opportunity and the set of stakeholders whose combined interest and efforts will increase probabilities for a preferred, successful outcome. This thesis explores the utility of these exercises and begins to develop the organizational theory supporting them. The process is then evaluated against three other processes that use the stakeholder approach in a case study. The intent is not to demonstrate which approach is better. Rather to give the reader a good understanding of how these approaches work so they can evaluate what would work best for them.