were viewed as constraints on the main objective of the firm and Ansoff actually rejects
the usefulness of the idea. Here there is a fundamental difference between the SRI
approach and corporate planning. Corporate planning simply recognized that stakeholders
might place limits on the action of the firm. Thus, management should understand the
needs of stakeholders in order to set the bounds of operation. However, within these
bounds management should develop strategies that maximize the benefits to a single
stakeholder group, the shareholders. In contrast SRI saw the support of all stakeholders as
central to the sucess of the firm. Therefore, successful strategies are those that integrate
the interests of all stakeholders, rather than maximize the position of one group within
limitations provided by the others.
The process of strategy development is also entirely different under these two
approaches. Corporate planning has two main elements: prediction and adaptation. First,
management carries out an environmental scan to identify trends that help predict the
future business environment. Second, management identifies the best way for the firm to
adapt to the future environment in order to maximize its position. Within corporate
planning stakeholder analysis is carried out as part of the environmental scan. As such
stakeholders can defined by their roles rather than as complex and multifaceted
individuals. Therefore, corporate planners could carry out stakeholder analysis at a
generic level, without having to develop a detailed knowledge of the actual stakeholders
in the specific firm under question. This level of abstraction led to many analytical... [continues]
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