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Stakeholders in a nutshell : Their Motives, Roles, Strengths and Challenges

Some questions lend themselves to being discussed according to the role of various stakeholders

The Government :
The government steers the country towards econmic progress and social stability.
It can set laws; yet it must balance between using the carrot or the stick in getting things done.
It can invest to build infrastructure, provide essential services for the people, develop key sectors, educate the masses, and defend its sovereignty and wealth.
It can represent its people and the country’s interests in international or inter-governmental platforms.
It faces the daunting tasks of meeting the needs of different segments of society; thus, it is easily criticised.
It must also get the other stakeholders to cooperate or collaborate with it.
It faces critics and the opposition who can influence the people not to support the government or to vote its incumbents out of office.

The Private Sector / Private Businesses :

Businesses are profit-motivated.
Even charitable contributions to society may be done to build a good image to make more money.
Once plugged into the global economy, they can be easily affected by changes or even speculated changes in overseas markets. During such times, cost-cutting measures even to the point of overlooking the welfare of staff, or the society, can take place.
Another vital method for continued growth in business is rapid innovation and responsiveness to change.
The next is aggressive and skillful advertising – to create demand.
Businesses are bound by the laws set by the government, but are also able to hold the government at ransom because businesses represent the majority of employers in many countries.
Social entrepreneurship is a more recent movement that channels the profit motivation of traditional businesses to meet the concerns of society or help niche interest groups.

Non-profit or Non-government Organisations
& grassroots groups :

For niche interest groups.
Scale of efforts depends on the amount of money it has, the number of volunteers and the ability to get media publicity
Affected by donations i.e. can also be affected by economic crisis
Need to use the media to promote its cause, create awareness
Bound by the laws of the land, but able to lobby for change in laws.

Schools :
Formal education setting to teach skills and values.
Mobilise young people from young to do good work.
But schools face a constant tussle between focussing on academic results and other worthwhile non-academic pursuits.
Schools have too many activities, the level of participation for individual programmes can be small.
What is taught at school may or may not be practised once they leave school

Scientists :
Scientists have very specialized knowledge.
With knowledge comes responsibility; yet scientists do not have full control over how their research or innovations are applied.
Scientists can be beholden to their investors, like the government or the private sector.

The Layman :
Has free will, and can choose.
Can be influenced by the other parties, but could also just make decisions based on his most immediate experiences
Has the ability to initiate change as lone individuals, initiate a quiet trend that can change society.
As consumers and voters and donors, the ordinary folk can impact the other parties.

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