Week 34

Accommodating Various Constituencies in a Mission


We know that single-purpose institutions tend to be the most effective. Yet the executive has to meet the needs of a number of separate groups, and meeting these needs very often requires executives to make trade-offs. The short-term interests of stockholders, for example, weigh very heavily on the executive and often create pressures against investing in the development of people and in innovation—both required to support the long-term viability of the organization. How then can the executive reconcile the demand for short-term performance with the demand to care for tomorrow?

Clearly, the executive must meet the short-term requirements for profitability. Those who advocate ...

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