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This week's topic-- Managing and Prioritizing Stakeholders-- talks in further detail about the stakeholder theory and some of the challenges and benefits associated with stakeholder management.
There are two dominant justifications for the stakeholder theory: the instrumental approach (because it will pay off in the end) and the normative approach (because it is simply the right and moral thing to do).
The normative or moral approach to stakeholder management suggests that organizations must have a sense of empathy towards their various stakeholders. Empathy is often used synonymously with compassion, altruism, and sympathy. Empathy requires that individuals (or corporations) consider the consciousness, feelings, or humanness of the individuals with whom they interact or upon whom they have influence. Empathy requires us to consider the essential humanness of our stakeholders simply because it is the right thing to do (normative) and not necessarily because it will pay off in the end (instrumental).
The instrumental approach, on the other hand, suggests that the notion of empathy is not necessarily needed for an organization to manage their stakeholders. Instead, an organization should manage their various stakeholder groups to maximize the eventual return to the organization. These two views have the potential to lead to very different stakeholder management practices and outcomes.
What is your view of the role/necessity/relevance/importance of empathy in the contemporary corporate world? Is there even a place for empathy in the corporate world? Is empathy a "need to have", "a nice to have" or "not needed at all"? What are some of the challenges of integrating empathy into the corporate world?
Be sure to support your response with quality elements including the integration of readings, videos, and/or real-world examples. You should also attempt to provide examples of organizations that do or do not integrate empathy into their operations.