We all have heard that “everyone is entitled to their own opinion!” Everyone is willing to give their two cents about any given topic, as America is characterized by a population with a wide variety of ideas and interests. As evidenced by my Political Typology quiz results, Americans harbor a range of opinions on every topic from the environment to personal efficacy. These spectrums certainly demonstrate why political decisions are often debated at length and involve a great deal of compromise. However, this can also demonstrate potential issues in organizations. Managers, shareholders, employees, and customers could all have different opinions on a particular issue, leading to conflict within the company. To explore how political views could affect managerial decisions, I have decided to focus on environmental issues.
For both of the questions on the quiz about the environment, I answered in favor of further environmental protection and care. Therefore, I would be interested in ensuring that every aspect of my business could be as environmentally friendly as possible. However, many people see the state of the environment as a nonissue and focus more on the quality of their product or service. Take a look at the 15 worst food and energy companies for the environment (granted, this is from 2009 so times have changed) and I’m sure you will recognize a few names. While neglect from the environment can certainly stem from desires to cut cost and maximize efficiency, it is also a product of political beliefs.
Stakeholders play a large role in changing managerial styles to suit a wide array of political beliefs. Suppose a stakeholder approached a manager at NRG and complained that their levels of pollution were too high. This stakeholder, perhaps a group of local organic farmers dependent on NRG for power, could propose that NRG is ruining their crops and harming the environment due. To appease these farmers, who have environmental protection as their core political platform, NRG would have to change. If I were a manager there, I would recognize the importance of taking stakeholder’s concerns into account, regardless of differentiating political beliefs. As a manager, I would equate ignoring stakeholders to devaluating my company. I would resort to some sort of compromise or change to reconcile the demands of the stakeholders with the beliefs of my organization. Perhaps the farmers would have to incur additional costs for a few months in order for NRG to adopt newer and more environmentally friendly facilities. Managers have the power to marry stakeholder beliefs with those of the company, especially if they are following the ideals of stakeholderism. If a manager believes that creating value for all stakeholders is the best way to manage their organization, then divergent political beliefs become less important and compromise reigns.