Minggu, 31 Januari 2010

System Thinking, Conflict and Perceptions

System Thinking, Conflict and Perceptions

Executive Summary
By: Ika Putri Larasati, Ce Hu, Fei Yan, Jie Lu

Conflict of interest has been an inherent part of companies that have multiple stakeholders. The multiple stakeholders signify that each stakeholder has different interests which are vulnerable to create conflict. The condition requires effective management to solve the conflicts which satisfies stakeholders. The effective management is influenced by system thinking. System thinking is a mind framework to consider every case in various standpoints based on cognition that people basically have interrelationship (Senge 1990). It indicates that companies require cognition that their activities give impact on stakeholders. Companies also realize that their stakeholders’ actions have essential influences. However, several companies preclude the system thinking which gives consequence to unsolved conflict and even creates worse problems. Gunns Limited Company (Guns) is one of example of these companies.

Gunns is a hardwood forest products manufacturer which has been operated in Tasmania forest since 1875. Gunns’s activities in the Tasmania forest have generated criticisms from public and environmentalists because Gunns has been considered deteriorate environment, human’s health and communities’ job. Higher criticisms have emerged because Gunns has proposed a pulp mill project in Tama Valley of $ 1.8 billion investment. Gunns states that the main objective of the project is to create numerous jobs and to increase the state’s economy. The Tasmanian government supports the project because it is forecasted to generate essential economy and social benefit for the state. Conversely, communities and environmentalists argue that the project has detrimental impacts on environment.

According to the case, this report attempts to analyze main causes and characteristics of conflicts of interests. This report also evaluates Gunns’s and the Tasmanian government’s practices to manage the conflict in term of system thinking. This report is derived into four parts of analysis. The first part is conflict of interest among stakeholders. The second part focuses on system thinking. The third part analyzes conflict among stakeholders and Gunns’ failures to preclude system thinking. Finally, the fourth part will recommend solutions. These solutions are basically determined by a requirement of system thinking to solve the conflict of interests which leads to ethical practices. There are several ethical practices as solutions. The first is a sustainable environmental management. The second solution is considerable government performances. The third is negotiations with primary stakeholders. The fourth is improvement of corporate governance. The final solution is building good relationships with communities and environmentalists.


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