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BU111 Individual Case-WRITE UP.docx

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Wilfrid Laurier University
Leanne Hagarty

BU111 Fortis Inc. and the Chalillo Dam Project Andreea Fatu B19dent ID TA Name Nov 5, 2012 [STAKEHOLDER RELATIONSHIP IMPROVEMENT ACTION PLAN] A number of initiatives Fortis Inc. could have implemented in the planning and developmental stages of the Chalillo Dam Project to istakeholders.older management and maintain them as supportive & mixed blessing Stakeholder Relationship Improvement Action Plan Andreea Fatu Memo To: Mr. H. Stanley Marshall & Mr. John Evans From: Andreea Fatu Date: August 15, 2003 Re: Suggestions on how the Chalillo Dam Project could have been handled in order to achieve a better relationship with stakeholders The decision of whether or not to proceed with the Chalillo Dam caused massive outcry on the part of stakeholders, with the primary problem being the dam’s impact on the external environment (Belize Fortis Campaign, pp 13-20). Taking this into account, it was possible for the Chalillo Dam to be built and stakeholder concerns to be assuaged if Fortis had taken the approach of pinpointing where the biggest stakeholder issues arose (the primary problem) and then addressed those issues individually. Specific initiatives would have then helped turn non-supportive stakeholders into supportive and mixed-blessing ones. Some of these targeted initiatives should have been:  Disclosing CIDA, AMEC, and other reports on the dam to the public (increase transparency)  Entertaining one hour public interviews at scheduled increments during the planning and building phase to answer any of the public and media’s questions concerning the project (increase transparency and flow of information, beneficial to concerned stakeholders)  Emphasizing the environmental initiatives Fortis has contributed to (strengthen reputation for ethical leadership)  Surveying the Belizean people, public outcry groups, and government on what they see as their main issues, and then targeting them o Destroying Mayan ruins accusation –research and disclose findings o Threatening endangered species -donate money to/help with conservation efforts aimed at those specific fauna & flora o Reduced water quality concern –follow the Natural History Museum’s recommendation of oxygenating water before releasing downstream o Biased CIDA report –involve a second independent research group to analyze/re-affirm findings 1 | P a g e Stakeholder Relationship Improvement Action Plan Andreea Fatu To screen this action plan for its efficacy, five decision criteria were used: 1. Mitigating Environmental Impact 2. Increasing Public and Stakeholder Input on the Project 3. Maintaining or Increasing the Positive Image of Fortis Inc. 4. Benefitting the Belizean People 5. Economical in Nature Along with this course of action, three other alternatives also existed:  Focusing on the benefit of a water dam as opposed to other sources of energy, and establishing that as the main platform for the project  Adding activist group representatives onto the Board of Directors in hopes of collaboration  Targeting current economic objections to the project and offering financial incentives to the Belizean people in an effort to entice them into supporting the project Nevertheless, these alternatives all perform worse than the recommended action plan because of their failure to meet two or more of the decision criteria. As the criteria were formed with a well-rounded solution in mind, the alternatives’ focus on one particular stakeholder and/or concern leads them to ignore other pressing issues. Because of its focus on the external environment as a whole, the recommended action plan addresses many more stakeholders and concerns. See Exhibit 1 for an overview of how each of the four courses of action address the five decision criteria. Mitigating Environmental Impact Satisfies Environmentally-Focused Stakeholders by ensuring that all recommendations offered by the Natural History Museum (Sexty, 2011) were followed, and by implementing conservational efforts for the endangered species living within the Chalillo Dam’s parameters. Re-oxygenating the water prior to release ensured water quality and maintained the necessary oxygen levels for the ecosystem (Sexty, 2011). Investigating the Mayan ruins situation also displayed the commitment of Fortis to maintaining the integrity of the environment and exploring all possible impacts they may have on it. Unlike the others, this 2 | P a g e Stakeholder Relationship Improvement Action Plan Andreea Fatu alternative is the only one to take direct steps towards environmental damage prevention –alternatives one and three do not– and to consider several areas of environmental impact –which none of the other alternatives do. Increasing Public and Stakeholder Input on the Project Better Addresses External Concerns by surveying the Belizean people, public outcry groups, and government on their views, and entertaining the one hour interviews with those interested. These were all in an effort to show that Fortis is committed to meeting customer needs –a critical success factor (Hagarty, 2012)– whatever they may be. It shows that Fortis cares about the opinions of its stakeholders, and gives it opportunities to become aware of new concerns, needs, and opinions. The other three alternatives either don’t consider external input (first and third alternative), or focus on only select sources for it (second alternative). Maintaining or Increasing the Positive Image of Fortis Inc. Improves External Acceptance of Project through the persistent efforts of Fortis to involve stakeholders in the decision process for the Chalillo Dam project. The many initiatives taken would have displayed the company’s efforts to collaborate with mixed blessing stakeholders, and the particular campaign of advertising Fortis’s previous environmental and social contributions would have increased perceived trust, credibility, and awareness of Fortis’s dedication to corporate social responsibility. While all three alternatives address this criteria, this action plan is the most involved and assertive method, highlighting both Fortis’s adherence to its mission and values, as well as their willingness to collaborate with all stakeholders. Benefitting the Belizean People Creates the External Justification for the Project is the purpose of the Chalillo Dam project, so the dam’s part in increasing electrical output, preventing floods, increasing Belize’s self- sufficiency and productivity of the Mollejon plant, and reducing reliance on petroleum-based fuel (thereby reducing greenhouse gases) should have been emphasized (Sexty, 2011). The many interactive initiatives Fortis could have implemented would have increased public awareness of the quality and value of the project (another critical success factor (Hagarty, 2012)). Conversely, alternatives two and three would have either jeopardized perceived benefit (through activist objections) or monetized it (through implied bribery). 3 | P a g e Stakeholder Relationship Improvement Action Plan Andreea Fatu Economical in Nature Maintains Fortis’ Ability to Deal with Future External Environment Issues –though initiative costs added on to the dam’s own are not minimal in the short term, long term rewards from this action plan far outweigh any extra costs incurred at the start. Costs would have been covered once the dam was operating, and Fortis would have been repeatedly rewarded through the continued support of stakeholders and potential for future investment, due to their expert handling of a precarious situation. Conversely, alternative one requires advertising funds and does not look to secure future stakeholder support, alternative two increases the likelihood of inaction (which is costly), and alternative three is not only expensive, but a continuous cost at that. The Steps to Implementation, and What Actions to Take If Complications Arise Table 1: Steps to Implementation Short Term Medium Term Long Term  Created an “Environmental  Conducted the scheduled public  Maintained open Relations” team interviews communication with  Looked into endangered  Conducted additional research stakeholders wildlife conservation efforts requested by stakeholders (found  Implemented Natural History  Conducted and analyzed through the survey) Museum’s environmental the aforementioned public  Implemented wildlife conservation recommendations and surveys efforts previously researched continued with your own once  Disclosed any reports  Investigated additional the dam was operational received so far environmental and social (oxygenating water, wildlife initiatives, etc.)  Scheduled the first public initiatives that could have been interview/ Q&A sessions carried out to mitigate any  Periodically reviewed public with project managers negative effects/ address opinion of the dam  Begun advertising Fortis’ stakeholder concerns previous environmental and social contributions Table 2: Contingency Plan Problem Course of Action Mayan ruins found at Chalillo Dam location. Offered funding to historical initiatives in the country. Organized excavation of area during construction. Stakeholders continued to protest construction of Acknowledged their concern and created a contest the dam. that allows stakeholders to suggest solutions for ongoing issues. This is a way to promote innovation and creativity –another critical success factor (Hagarty, 2012). Implementation of initiatives became too costly. Reviewed which initiatives have had the best results, and focus efforts on maintaining them. Report gave negative opinion on dam (should still Released the report and addressed the stated release to the public?). concerns by adding Fortis’ solutions to them when disclosing. 4 | P a g e Stakeholder Relationship Improvement Action Plan Andreea Fatu Appendix Exhibit 1 –Overview of All Possible Alternatives and their Fulfillment of the Decision Criteria Alternatives
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