Understanding the Constituents: A Business Leader’s Priority

 

Organizational culture, climate and practices are determined by the people in the organization.  This is evident in the following scenarios:

  • People are differentially attracted to careers as a function of their own interests and personality. (Attraction)
  • Organizations select people who they think are compatible for many different kinds of jobs. (Selection)
  • When people do not fit an environment they tend to leave it. (Attrition)

Indeed, organizations can get a much better sense of their image by conducting research with constituencies.  This research should be both qualitative and quantitative in nature and should try to determine how consistent an identity is across constituencies.

Using the media to get information out is good, but it’s more important to communicate with your employees, sales staff, organized leadership, site security, operators, and receptionists.  These will be the media’s best sources in the crisis.  External constituencies need to be contacted and informed as well.  These include the other three key constituencies besides employees — customers, shareholders, and communities — as well as suppliers, emergency services, experts, and officials.  Use all available technologies to communicate with them including e-mail, voice mail, faxes, direct satellite broadcasts, and on-line services. (Argenti, 2000)

Constituent analysis determines:

  1. Who your organization’s constituents are
  2. What each constituent thinks about the organization
  3. What each constituent knows about the communication in question

A business leader should bear in mind that the best corporate advertising creates goodwill by letting constituents in on what the organization is all about.

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