Different stakeholder groups in an organization have different priorities. Each group focuses on fulfilling its priorities hence conflict may arise in the process. Conflict occurs when the needs of one stakeholder compromise the expectations of the other, because organizations have to make decisions which may not augur well with some stakeholders (Kitchin, 2010). It is thus crucial for organizations to balance their stakeholders’ interests through exercise of power.
Management entrusted to run an organization should in as much as possible strive to achieve a workable balance between conflicting stakeholders. The Obama Health Care plan which was introduced in 2012 to afford better health insurance and healthcare right to Americans was met with conflicting stakeholder interests and particularly the private sector. This arose from politicians and citizens who felt that some contractors, for instance “United Health Group’s purchase of Quality Software Services Inc., (QSSI) who were contracted to build a federal data services hub were using unfair means to gain advantage for its subsidiary, United Health Care” (Bolton, 2012).
Competitors accused United Health Group of having an upper hand in deciding the plans to be listed in the health care and designing a system omitting plans which would enable the contractor access knowledge about how the system would work that other plans might not (Bolton, 2012). Bolton, (2012) further explains that Politicians were concerned that the process of establishing a national insurance marketplace for more than thirty states lacked transparency. Politicians also felt that the health care plan would be a burden to the taxpayers and asked for its scraping. Former presidential candidate on Republican Party ticket, Mitt Romney, had echoed similar sentiments and promised the electorate that he would repeal that law if elected into office.
In order to manage stakeholder conflict, organizations need to understand clearly where each stakeholder lies in the process and decide who would need the most attention. This would help mitigate the problem to an admirable level because conflicts cannot be completely alleviated.