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The Influence of Stakeholder Involvement, Research Paper Example

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Research Paper

Investigate the influence of stakeholder involvement in the success rates for change and development initiatives. Is some form of stakeholder involvement a more effective approach to overcome resistance and create a cohesive problem solving synergy in Blue Horizons’ situation?

Introduction

Tourism can be considered as travel of any form including recreation, leisure or business and this began when people began to travel even back from 13th century onwards. Tourism now days is considered as one of the most popular activities of leisure and cruising industry plays a major role in this. Major part of tourism industry can be attributed to cruising and during 2011 19 million tourists travelled across the world in cruise ships. Growth of this industry is so rapid and at the same pace it is also facing several problems.

Blue Horizon Cruises

Blue Horizon Cruises operates in nations of Pacific Island and they have been successful for past ten continuous years. But now company has begun to experience some issues and it is likely to affect the future growth of company and its sustainability. Today’s business of Blue Horizon Cruises is operating in a chaotic and turbulent environment full of pressure from various interest groups. Company is facing issues mainly from those demanding preservation of environment, village chiefs, tourists themselves and government. Influences from various pressure groups make it necessary that management assess such interests and evaluate them and in effect adjust corporate objectives accordingly. Hence to achieve corporate objectives it is necessary to deal with interests of stake holders. It is necessary that the expectations of stakeholders and its impact are known before taking important decisions.

Stakeholder

A stakeholder is according to Mitchell and Cohen (2006) “any group or individual who can affect or is affected by the achievement of the organization’s objectives”. Thus it can be found that outside persons are also to be considered as stakeholders even if the organization is not considering them as stake holders (Friedman and Miles, 2006). Blue Horizon is dealing with tourism industry and it is one the leading economic sector and hence it is important that stakeholder management is done perfectly for gaining success in business.

Role of Stakeholder

Stakeholders can be divided as primary and secondary on the basis of their interest and relationship with organization or as internal and external on the basis of their relationship with company (Zhao, 2006). Stakeholders are of diverse and wide range of interest and their needs, expectations and values also change accordingly. One of the easiest methods is to classify stakeholders according to their relationship with organization.

Tourism is a service sector and is labor intensive producing and selling intangible products mostly. Business in this sector is mostly based in relations and hence stakeholders play very important role in this sector. Further organizations in tourism sector are to be more responsible to concepts of sustainability in various sectors of success and growth. Tourism sector has to develop and apply the concept of strategic stakeholder management with success and growth of organization to manage various issues faced by them.

Stakeholder interest

Interests of various stakeholders are to be identified before developing collaborative planning and they must be given chance to participate in decision making when such decisions are likely to affect their interests. Interests of stakeholders differ according to their place of origin and area of function and the interest ranges from regional, local to national or international level. According to Darko, Ana, & Ninoslav (2011) tourism can be considered as a system due to interdependency nature of this industry. It is this nature that Blue Horizon Cruises is to consider while dealing with stakeholders.

According to Bramwell and Lane (2000) “stakeholder collaboration has the potential to lead to dialogue, negotiation and the building of mutually acceptable proposals about how tourism should be developed. Partnerships involved in tourism planning usually bring together interests in the same destination but in different sectors.” Further costs along with benefits can be distributed among stakeholders who were participants in the process of policy making and hence this is an equitable practice.

At present Blue Horizon is facing issues mainly from four stake holders. At first company will have to deal with the interests of environmentalists on the impact of tourism operations on reefs. As Blue Horizon is dropping their anchors near lagoons from where tourists are taken to villages. There are reefs around such lagoons and environmentalists fear about the damage that anchoring of ship is likely to cause to reefs. Blue Horizon cannot reduce their trips to villages as demand is likely to increase up to 40 cruises per week. What can be done to solve this issue is to ask environmentalist as to what company can do to solve this issue. It is not necessary that all the proposals made by environmentalists are considered as it is. What is important is to ensure their participation in decision making in this regard. One of the possible solutions is to anchor the cruises at some distance from lagoon where there is no reefs and take tourists using boat to village.

Second issue is from tourists itself who are complaining about the behavior of villagers. Those travelers complaining about the behavior of villages have come to this place earlier and are concerned about the commercial nature of interaction of villagers. To solve this issue Blue Horizon will have to discuss with local authorities, hotel owners, tour operators and tourist guides about this problem. They must be informed that if the situation persists there are chances that tourists will hesitate to come to this place and it is likely to affect the economy.

Community leaders will be looking for economic development and guides are concerned about visitor concerns. Hotel owner’s looks for gaining more visitors and tour operators about security and comfort of visitors along with logistical matters. These entire stakeholders will thus develop ideas to solve this issue which will be of benefit to Blue Horizon Cruises.

Another threat is from government who is planning for development of area. Blue Horizon will have to inform government that is the area is developed with luxury resorts and other amenities tourists will not be this much attracted to this place. Government is aiming for further development only on considering high number tourists visiting this area. But with the developments government is proposing number of tourists is likely to reduce. They need to be informed that tourists are not arriving at this place to enjoy golf or luxury stay but to enjoy the pristine nature of this place and its reefs. Blue Horizon Cruises can take a decision in this regard in consultation with government and small developments that are beneficial to tourists and company can be made with the help of government. This must be in a way beneficial for both stake holders and must be satisfactory to environmentalists and local authorities.

Village chief and other elders of the place are concerned about the traditional face of this place. Business of Blue Horizon Cruises will also be affected if traditional face of this place is changed. So it is for the company to ensure to them and educate them about the need to preserve traditions and their suggestion of funding to village fund must also be approved at least partially. Seniors of village must be ensured that tourist visiting village can provide job opportunity to youngsters. It is beneficial for the economy of the village as it can provide them with money, job, development etc. by preserving traditions and values. Seniors of village including village chief are to be made part off decision making as it will provide them with a feeling that what is done by the company is beneficial for them also. Thus various stakeholders have varying interests and most of them are competing or conflicting in nature. For an organization to be successful it is necessary that such conflicting interests are turned in to constructive ideas beneficial for organization.

Conclusion

Tourism is one of the most important sectors generating job along with revenue. Tourism also operates as a development catalyst. Tourism can create economic development and prosperity even to those places that are not considered and hence is of great importance when it comes to growth and development issues. Tourism is used by developing countries mostly as a regional development tool. It is this factor that Blue Horizon will have to give importance. Company must inform government, local governing bodies like village chief, tour operators, tourist guides and environmentalists that they are aiming for the benefit of village and their business is in no way going to cause any harm to their interests. Further they have to be allowed to participate in decision making when it comes to areas that are of their concern. Blue Horizon Cruises will be able to increase their business in the area only with the support of these stakeholders. Hence it is necessary that these stakeholders are made aware that they can progress only with tourism and operations of Blue Horizon Cruise are the best option available for the development of the area. Government is to be made aware that development of any type that is likely to destroy the pristine beauty of the place will reduce tourist operations. They are also to be assured that tourist operations in the area is not going to cause any harm to their environment or culture and on the other side it will benefit their economy and will lead to the prosperity of the village.

References

Bramwell, B., & Lane, B. (2000). Collaboration and Partnerships in Tourism Planning. Cleverdon: Channel View Publications.

Darko, S., Ana, T., & Ninoslav, L. (2011). Stakeholder approach in tourism management: implication in Croatian tourism . 30th International Conference on Organizational Science Development. Portorož, Slovenia: 30th International Conference on Organizational Science Development.

Friedman, A., & Miles, S. (2006). Stakeholders: Theory and Practice. USA: Oxford University Press.

Mitchell, R., & Cohen, B. (2006). Stakeholder theory and the entrepreneurial firm. Journal of Small Business Strategy , 1 – 15.

Zhao, J. (2006). Employees’ interests in the knowledge society: a progressive argument in legal perspective. Retrieved November 28, 2012, from www.crrconference.org: Http://www.crrconference.org/downloads/2006zhao.pdf

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