Analysing the nature of relationships between organisations and their stakeholders: a stakeholder and organisational enablers relationships (SOER) framework
Little is known about how employees in New Zealand companies view their organisation’s involvement in community-based initiatives that attempt to address areas of social needs. Understanding what people and organisations think from their frame of reference (Taylor & Bodgan, 1998) on ways of contributing to enhance community wellbeing is of high importance within a nation growing in diversity, and where everyone needs to fully participate in building a harmonious society (Ministry of Social Development, 2005; Swanson, 2002). Despite abundant extant research and many models already developed, frameworks in this area are fragmented. A case study approach has been adopted using one New Zealand Company to test a preliminary framework, Stakeholders and Organisational Enablers Relationship (SOER) Model, that analyses “the nature of relationships in terms of processes and outcomes for the business and its stakeholders” (Jones & Wicks, 1999, p. 207). From investigating the company’s community involvement from the employees’ perspective, results indicate that this particular company is engaging with the community, supporting and empowering employees to participate in the company’s community programme and thereby making a difference in the community by giving to the community. However, in general terms, solving recurring social, economic, political and psychological issues that influence social wellbeing requires cooperation between public, private, and voluntary sectors of the community (New Zealand Ministry of Economic Development, New Zealand Ministry of Social Development, New Zealand Dept of Labour, & New Zealand Dept of Statistics, 2003; Roberts & King, 1989; Steane, 1999). While the results from the case company reported in this study demonstrate that community engagement is being taken seriously by exemplary private sector companies, generalisation of these findings would require further cross-sectional research across industries and organisations from all sectors: private, public and voluntary.