In your organization are there any conflicting tensions between external and internal stakeholders around the need for an evaluation?
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– Two Scholarly reference
– Two Peer Reply
– Be thoughtful/analytical
Please include at least 3 paragraphs and respond to 2 peers.
(K) reply 1 need
When researching this topic, I found a comment that resonated with me. Nuno Da Camara writes in his article The relationship between internal and external stakeholders and organisational alignment, "many organisations also want to live up to the values and identity that they communicate to the outside world, and ensure that behaviour is aligned and integrated with their overall strategy (p. 41). The alignment of values and identify between internal and external stakeholders often results in conflict. Eastern Arizona College is not the exception as was evident last fall when the college evaluated its football program to determine if it would continue to offer the sport in upcoming years. The evaluation was prompted when Maricopa and Pima community colleges decided to end their football programs at the conclusion of the 2018 season. This resulted in only three community colleges remaining in the conference: Arizona Western, Snow College (Utah) and EAC. Information was gathered from various departments, and an open house held in early December that allowed both internal and external stakeholders to provide input.
As you can imagine, the idea of dismantling the community college's football program was a cause of extreme conflict in the area, and over 200 people attended the open house. Information displayed at the event included cost data associated with the football program, how a lack of football would affect other programs such as the marching bands and cheerleading, the impact on student diversity on campus and residence life issues such as dorm capacity and meal plans. Additionally, attendees were provided with potential football schedules for the next two years. Questionnaires were distributed to all attendees and asked if the college should continue to subsidize the $500,000 deficit associated with the football program. A place for comments was available at the bottom of the questionnaire.
According to O'Shannassy (2003), all individuals in the organization can think strategically, and the interaction between internal and external stakeholders within an organization should be significant when conducting a sophisticated evaluation process. However, this is not always the case. Therefore, the process EAC underwent to ensure all stakeholders had a voice was impressive given that many organizations are unaware of the need to understand and to manage the impact of internal behavior on external stakeholder perceptions.
In the end, EAC eliminated its football program for several reasons. First, Arizona Western announced the day before EAC's open house that they would discontinue their football program effective immediately, which left only one college in the conference for EAC to play. Second, the college is facing a $5 million deficit this fiscal year, and recent trends in enrollment and funding sources do not favor maintaining the program.
Da Camara, N. (2006). The relationship between internal and external stakeholders and organisational alignment. Henley Manager Update, 18(1), 41–52. https://doi.org/10.1177/174578660601800104
O'Shannassy, T. (2003). Modern strategic management: balancing strategic thinking and strategic planning for internal and external stakeholders. Singapore Management Review, 25(1), 53+. Retrieved from http://link.galegroup.com/apps/doc/A98033332/ITOF?u=eazc&sid=ITOF&xid=9a886e43
Reply needed (J)
When an organization engages in evaluation they must also engage their stakeholders. Engaging stakeholders is necessary for any organization to select and achieve their goals and objectives. A stakeholder, as defined by Brun, are “those persons affected by the intervention or program and the process, results, and reports of the evaluation” (Brun, 2016). According to McCann and Paine, it is important to understand that “each stakeholder, while sharing a common interest, can have a different perspective” and therefore it is vital for an organization to ensure everyone is included each phase of a program and it’s evaluation (McCann, Paine, 2009). Stakeholders do not always agree on the best course of action to achieve a goal and with the “importance attributed to stakeholder issues in education affairs across the globe” it is important for a school to recognize the “changing nature of the relationships between education and society” (McCann, Paine, 2009). The varied perspectives can, at times, cause tension and conflict between stakeholders and their vision of goal achievement.
There are times when tension occurs amongst the stakeholders at my organization both between internal and external stakeholders and amongst the internal stakeholders. The shift in society that has created a political environment where everyone knows what is wrong with public education and how to fix it has caused much conflict. This shift has caused tension amongst the internal stakeholders in my district. Within my organization, the teachers are dictated what they have to teach, how and when by the county leadership. This has caused issues because many teachers feel their ability to personalize and differentiate the content to meet the needs of their students has been reduced. The district recognizes this to an extent and offers teachers the opportunity to work each summer on teams to adapt the curriculum for the coming year. Although this good faith effort to work with the teachers occurs each year, many do not see it as a true opportunity to drive needed change. The conflict and tension between teachers and district leadership comes down to the ability of the principal to ascertain which battles to fight and which to conceded. When the principal openly communicates with the teachers they, the teachers, are more likely to make a good faith effort at a policy or process they may not entirely agree with. Likewise, when the principal communicates with district leadership as to why something may not work, supported by data, for their school they are more likely to listen.
The tension that exists between the internal stakeholders in my district is driven by the tension that exists between the external stakeholders and internal stakeholders. As an organization publicly funded by tax dollars, our district leaders are required to adopt, react to and respond to many state mandates. Unfortunately, many mandates do not recognize the impact on the schools in achieving them. Many times they rely on the individual districts to ensure their completion without any feedback or opportunity to adapt. This creates tension between the state education department, school districts, schools, parents and teachers. For example, the state of Florida requires students to take and pass multiple end of course exams as part of the school grading system. In an effort to ensure the data is not skewed, a state mandate exists that requires schools to assess 95% of their student population. If a school does not meet the minimum assessment percentage, they lose funding. This has caused tension because many parents feel their children are over-assessed and just taught to the test and they elect to have their children opt out of the tests. School’s are placed in a tough spot because they need, for funding purposes, to test the same students whose parents refuse to allow them to be tested. Unfortunately, there is relatively little process evaluation that the state of Florida employs to collect data in able to learn and improve policies on student achievement. This creates tension at the school level as they work to balance the varied perspectives of each of their stakeholders. There are multiple instances where the goals of the state are in direct conflict with the parents. Schools must build relationships and use communication to ensure the needs of all are met.
Brun, C. (2016). A practical guide to evaluation (2nd ed.). New York, NY
McCann, R., & Paine, S. (2009). Engaging Stakeholders. Sustaining Reading First,9(6), 1-16.