Creating Value by Managing Stakeholder Tension
Author(s): Tima Bansal and Tom Ewart
Institution: Ivey School of Business, Canada
Competition Year: 2007
Key words: Stakeholder analysis, Environmental business management, Negotiation, Human resources management, Canada, Forest industry
Throughout the 1990s there was increasing competition for Ontario's forest land. The forest industry, including Tembec Inc, demanded from the Ontario government more certainty in the lands available to them. To reach a consensus on strategic land use, the government launched Lands for Life process and undertook extensive public consultations. Unfortunately the consultation process resulted in a polarization of stakeholders, and the 242 controversial recommendations threatened to spark a 'war in the woods', primarily between the forestry industry and environmentalists.
Tembec's chief executive office foresaw this conflict and was determined to take a different course of action that would bring a real solution that would meet both the objectives of the forestry industry and environmentalists. He was cognizant that losing access to timber would have a devastating effect on his company, but confident that a consensus could be reached if a rational approach were followed. Students will learn to recognize the long-term opportunity associated with sustainability, and the short-term risks associated with ignoring it, to illustrate the opportunity for stakeholder consultation and partnerships, and to introduce the best practices on stakeholder collaboration and innovative problem solving.
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