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A stakeholder refers to persons or groups that affect or are affected by an organization's decisions, policies and operations (Freeman, 2004). There are two main types of stakeholders in an organization, i.e. market stakeholders and nonmarket stakeholders (Freeman, 2004). Market stakeholders also referred to as primary stakeholders are those that engage in economic transactions with the company as it carries out its primary purpose of providing society with goods and services (Freeman, 2004). Examples of market stakeholders in business include employees, suppliers, creditors, stockholders, distributors and customers (Friedman & Miles, 2002). On the other hand, nonmarket stakeholders also referred to as secondary stakeholders are people or groups who although they do not engage in direct economic exchange with the firm (Fontaine, Haarman & Schmid, 2006). These stakeholders are affected by or can affect their actions. Examples of secondary stakeholders include the general public, communities, media, business support groups, the general public, non-governmental organizations and governments (Fontaine, Haarman & Schmid, 2006).
For this stakeholder interview, the interviewer considered four primary stakeholders from Mozilla Corporation. The interviewer selected these stakeholders as they engage directly in the economic exchange and activities which directly impact on the provision of goods and services to the society. Therefore, the primary stakeholders would provide the interviewer with a clear insight into the organization as well as its activities.
Stakeholder groups covered
The interview considered four interviewers selected from three different groups of stakeholders. These groups included customers, supplier and employees. Two employees were selected, one customer and one supplier. Mozilla Corporation is a wholly-owned subsidiary of the Mozilla foundation that coordinates and integrates the development of internet-related applications (About the Mozilla Corporation, 2019). Since this is a fully owned organization, the interviewer selected employees, customers, suppliers as the stakeholder groups. The organization sells directly to the customers thus does not depend on wholesalers, retailers or distributors. The organization distributes and promotes its products. It is important to note that the Mozilla Foundation ultimately controls the activities of Mozilla Corporation and retains 100% per cent ownership of the organization (About the Mozilla Corporation, 2019). Therefore, the primary stakeholders of the organizations do not include stockholders, as is the case of many organizations.
Which stakeholder groups are excluded?
The interviewer excluded secondary stakeholders also referred to as the nonmarket stakeholders. The main reason behind this decision was the fact that it would have been difficult to identify these nonmarket stakeholders. In addition, the primary stakeholders were in a better position to provide the much-needed insight into the organization and thus, the exclusion of the secondary stakeholders.
Interests of each stakeholder group
Stakeholder interest includes the concerns as well as the expectations of the various groups of stakeholders in an organization. Therefore, the interviewer considered the interest of each of the stakeholders selected in for this particular interview.
Customers of the organization are interested in gaining fair value for the various products which are offered by the organization. The various products offered include client applications, components, libraries, development tools, technologies and other tools such as Mozbot and Mstone. Customers felt that the organization prices for the various products were high and thus expected the organizations to lower the prices too many affordable rates. The customers compared the prices offered by the organization to other competitors in the market and thus did not feel that they were gaining a fair value. In addition, customers also expressed interest in the quality of the products and services being provided by the organization. The customers were more concerned with Mozilla Firefox and the recent updates which they have experienced challenges while updating.
Employees of Mozilla Corporation have a direct stake in the company in that they earn an income to support themselves. Employees of the organization are more interested in compensation issues. The employees are affected by the decisions of the organization management and thus would love to be compensated adequately for their roles. On the other hand, employees were also concerned about their job security as well as corporate culture. Lastly, the employees expressed interests in profit sharing and stock options. The organizations should offer benefit packages to the employees, which include stock options so as to have an additional stake in the company and its finances.
Suppliers and vendors sell goods and services to the organization. Therefore, they rely on the revenue generation of the organization and ongoing business. Suppliers are directly involved with the operations of the organization. This group of stakeholders is therefore interested in continuity of business, fair prices for products and services supplied to the organization as well as on-time payments.
Summary Description of Stakeholder Power and Position on Power-Interest Map
Mozilla Corporation activities may directly or indirectly impact on the stakeholders. Therefore, stakeholders may bring legal power against an organization. At Mozilla Corporation employees, suppliers and customers have legal power. Employees who may feel mistreated by the organization's management may bring lawsuits against the company either in class actions or alone. At the same time, customers may bring lawsuits against the organization for breach of contract on the products and services purchased. Suppliers may exercise their legal power by bringing lawsuits against the organizations for breach of supply contracts.
The stakeholder groups selected for the interview do not have political power over the Mozilla Corporation. Political power is held by the government, which is a nonmarket stakeholder.
Economic power is held by suppliers, customers and employees of the Mozilla organization. Economic power is held by anyone who can influence a business's profits and losses. In the case of Mozilla, suppliers, employees and customers are directly responsible for the business success. It is important also to note that customers hold greater economic power over the organization. Suppliers, on the other hand, hold economic power in that they may refuse to provide Mozilla with the various goods and services required for business success. Employees, particularly those who are members of unions, have great economic power which can be exercised through strikes and work slowdowns.
Only the employee stakeholder group has the voting power at the organization. However, voting power is indirect. Employees representatives during annual general meetings may cast votes to influence the organization's future actions. Both suppliers and customers do not have voting power at the organization.
Description of Coalitions
Based on the powers exercised by the various stakeholders, there is a possibility of coalitions being formed for and against the social issue. The three coalitions which are likely to be formed include;
Suppliers and Customers
Suppliers and customers of the organization can decide to form a coalition as they both have economic and legal powers. The coalition can be used to advocate for high-quality products as well as fair prices.
Customers and Employees
A coalition between the customers and employees can be formed to advocate for the rights of both parties. The two groups have both legal and economic powers and thus a likelihood of a coalition being formed.
Suppliers and Employees
Suppliers could form a coalition with the employees to help ensure that decisions on the quality of products, i.e. raw materials being supplied to the organization are high. The two groups exercise legal and economic powers and thus can use these to ensure that the organization's management is keen on quality.
About the Mozilla Corporation. (2019). Retrieved from https://www.mozilla.org/en-US/foundation/moco/.
Fontaine, C., Haarman, A., & Schmid, S. (2006). The stakeholder theory. Edlays education, 1, 1-33. Retrieved from https://pdfs.semanticscholar.org/606a/828294dafd62aeda92a77bd7e5d0a39af56f.pdf
Freeman, R. E. (2004). The stakeholder approach was revisited. Zeitschrift fur Wirtschafts-und Unternehmensethik, 5(3), 228-254. Retrieved from https://pdfs.semanticscholar.org/691c/2ee1a23154e7fd0b27de068bf961a0d9261f.pdf
Friedman, A. L., & Miles, S. (2002). Developing stakeholder theory. Journal of management studies, 39(1), 1-21. Retrieved from https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1111/1467-6486.00280
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