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Stakeholder Management for Organizational Learning: Establishing Networks for Knowledge Exchange

Claude Meier and Sybille Sachs
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Claude Meier: HWZ University of Applied Sciences Zurich, Switzerland
Sybille Sachs: HWZ University of Applied Sciences Zurich, Switzerland

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Abstract: In this paper we aim to explore whether and how stakeholder management can support organizational learning. Drawing on stakeholder and organizational learning literature, the authors build a theoretical framework that combines the establishment of coordinated networks through stakeholder management with organizational learning. The stakeholder approach implies that a common ground has to be built between stakeholders concerning their perceptions and expectations on interaction platforms before technical knowledge can be exchanged. Subsequently, knowledge exchange networks, consisting of coordinated interaction platforms, allow an organization to enhance its absorptive capacity by facilitating the exploration of new knowledge. In order to validate this framework empirically, we provide a case analysis of a stakeholder management project at the Swiss Federal Statistic Office (FSO). The project aimed at tapping the potential of an organization’s stakeholders concerning organizational learning. The FSO is an appropriate case because it is a decentralized expert-organization and knowledge is a central strategic resource. The insights are drawn from a rich qualitative data set that consists of interview data with participating stakeholders, minutes of workshops and results of an evaluation survey. Our findings suggest that the conditions for tapping the potential of stakeholders at the FSO are good and the project has contributed to an exchange between them. A limiting factor was the restricted discussion culture in the FSO. Interesting considerations were made for specific plans to establish networks for technical knowledge exchange. Overall, we conclude that a systematic stakeholder management can indeed support organizational learning by providing coordinated exchange platforms.

Keywords: Stakeholder management; organizational learning; knowledge exchange network; case study (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2016
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