The bankruptcy of the investment bank Lehman Brothers, the Schlecker case, but also the developments related to "stakeholder mapping" at Monsanto and the "CS thriller" not only made headlines. They showed impressively that relationships between companies and their stakeholders are characterized by difficulties in many places. The effects of such "difficult" relationships are not only felt by shareholders, but also by suppliers, customers and employees. Reduced company performance, falling share prices, high transaction costs, exclusion and stigmatization up to violent and seemingly insoluble conflicts. On the other hand, it is also clear that giving up the stakeholder network is not an option! Schlecker needed its employees and Lehman Brothers also knew what was driving their share price. So the question that arose was: How can organizations succeed in turning difficult stakeholder relationships back into a positive one? Prof. Dr. Antoinette Weibel and Prof. Dr. Sybille Sachs, as part of a research project funded by the Swiss National Science Foundation (SNSF), investigated these and other questions relating to the topic of "crisis-tested stakeholder management".
The project was designed to run for a total of four years and went through four phases (with an extension of one year).
1. With the start of the project in 2017, the first phase of the project began. A sounding board with experts was set up here to continuously evaluate the (interim) results of the project.
2. In phase 2, we conducted a Switzerland-wide benchmarking study on the different stakeholder relationships and stakeholder engagement practices.
3. In phase 3, we generated new insights into how stakeholder relationships were maintained and which stakeholder engagement practices were particularly used in practice. Here we conducted case studies to explore the dynamics of difficult relationships with stakeholders. An important contribution of this phase was the identification of further stakeholder engagement practices to better manage these relationships.
4. With this suitcase of knowledge and insights into the development processes and dynamics of difficult stakeholder relationships, phase 4 was ultimately about testing in an evidence-based and quasi-experimental manner which of the identified drivers, contextual factors and outcomes shaped stakeholder relationships the most, and what consequences this had for companies.
THE PROJECT TEAM
Prof. Dr. Antoinette Weibel, Prof. Dr. Sybille Sachs, Dr. Anastasia Sapegina, Dr. Meike Wiemann-Hügler, Tiziana Gaito, Yeshi Deuss.
At the end of 2019, Innosuisse approved the research project "Agile Performance Management" (Innosuisse No. 41955.1 IP-SBM). The project started on February 15th, 2020 with the aim of adapting the performance management systems (PMS) of Swiss companies to the agility requirements of current and future work. The Innosuisse project "Agile Performance Management" (41955.1 IP-SBM) was a joint project of the Research Institute for Work and Employment Research (FAA-HSG), the Institute for Accounting, Controlling and Auditing (ACA-HSG) and the main implementation partner Avenir Consulting. Diagnostic tools have been developed that can capture the specific agility requirements of each company, determine their agility maturity and make company-specific requirements identifiable through self-analysis. Furthermore, a performance management toolbox was developed as part of the project, which provides appropriate instruments for an agile PMS to suit the requirements of the company. In a consulting approach, the instruments were used to support companies in the transformation to a performance management that meets their needs, requirements and requirements. An article on the subject, written by Dr. Meike Wiemann-Hügler and Dr. Simon Schafheitle, see this link here. (The article appeared in www.personal management.de).
It was designed for a period of 18 months, was divided into five project phases and generated three central outputs.
THE PROJECT TEAM
Prof. Dr. Antoinette Weibel, Prof. Dr. Klaus Möller, Dr. Meike Wiemann-Hügler, Dr. Franz Wirnsperger, Dr. Marcel Oertig, Dr. Anja Mücke, Jasmin Schmidt, Silvio Christoffel.
Trust, data and privacy at work?
Big data can make companies more productive and smarter. Swiss companies are therefore increasingly using new technologies to improve the performance of their employees. But such techniques can destroy trust in the employer. We wanted to show how to avoid this. In addition, Big Data raises many hopes: It should make companies more productive, more transparent and more flexible. Big data analyzes are increasingly in demand in human resources management because they allow companies to better monitor the performance of their employees. But in addition to many opportunities, Big Data in the workplace also harbors risks. Excessive control of employees can lead to a loss of trust, which nullifies the economic advantages of big data. Our NRP75 project therefore answered the following questions:
• Which big data methods were Swiss companies already using in HR management during the period under study?
• To what extent do they promote or damage trust in the employer?
• What potential for improvement is there from an HR, ethical and legal perspective?
We sought dialogue with practitioners and carried out empirical studies using various methods, including case studies, a large survey of Swiss companies and field experiments. Our work was divided into four phases:
1. First, we set up a Swiss network of practice partners in which all relevant stakeholders were represented.
2. In a large-scale survey of Swiss companies, we determined how big data was used in the workplace during the study period.
3. Detailed case studies then determined "best practices".
4. We created a model from the data, which we finally tested and further developed in dialogue with practice.
Many aspects of our project were innovative pioneering achievements: Up until the beginning of our investigation, there was no reliable data on how Swiss companies used big data methods in human resources management. The issue of trust played a key role in this. In addition, ethical and legal aspects in this context were ignored until then. With its interdisciplinary perspective, our research strengthened Switzerland as a scientific location and was also highly relevant for practice.
Our NFP75 project was a joint project of the Research Institute for Work and Employment Research (FAA-HSG) and the Institute for Business Ethics. It was divided into the following four project phases over a period of three years:
THE PROJECT TEAM
Prof. Dr. Antoinette Weibel, Prof. Dr. Isabelle Wildhaber, Dr. Christoph Schank, Dr. Ulrich Leicht-Deobald, Dr. Simon Schafheitle, Dr. Gabriel Kasper, Dr. Isabel Ebert.
This project team also owns the copyright for the graphic above.