Technology and Stakeholders

Early in her talk at the University of Virginia, Professor Jennifer Griffin elicited a telling remark from a student: technology has expanded the number of stakeholders

Griffin, Professor of Strategic Management & Public Policy at the George Washington University School of Business, said that today’s technology makes communication in the business world easier and faster than in the past. In relation to stakeholders, another student said that this also presents the opportunity for more misinformation. Griffin spoke with undergraduate students in the Business Ethics Society to convey the complexities of modern business management in a world of fast-moving technology.

GriffinShe says today’s multinational corporations must operate in an environment similar to “a 3-D chess game” because networks and technology are making the world that much more complex. No longer do companies have to deal with just individual stakeholders, but they must work with sets of stakeholders. She challenged the students to think about these stakeholders’ impacts on the firm.

She stated that we’re now in an information market or marketplace of ideas, especially with the media, internet, governments. “How does that change your world? How does that change your business?” Griffin noted that it is “not just having relationships, but it’s the information with technology that changes the game.”

Griffin urged the future business managers to ask, “What business are you in? How do you co-create value?” and finally, “Why should you tend to stakeholders?” She concluded with “If you don’t do it, someone else will for you.”

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