#ISSS2016 Boulder has ended
Monday, July 25 • 3:30pm - 4:00pm
Emerging Possibilities: Adapting Carol Sanford’s Stakeholder Pentad for the Nonprofit and Public Sectors

Sign up or log in to save this to your schedule, view media, leave feedback and see who's attending!

2767 The nonprofit and public sectors are constantly challenged to create greater impact with fewer and fewer resources. The recession of 2008 has resulted in less funding for both sectors and increased demand for their programs and services, pushing many organizations to the brink. With the likelihood of change in the current state slim, nonprofits and public agencies are eager for new approaches that will enable them to create greater value from existing resources in a socially responsible manner. This paper introduces one possible tool, which was adapted from Carol Sanford’s stakeholder pentad introduced in her book, The Responsible Business: Reimagining Sustainability and Success. Sanford’s pentad is intended to shift a business’s focus away from measuring success based purely on financial returns to one of a quintuple bottom line centered on developing relationships with the following five sets of stakeholders: customers, co-creators, earth, community, and investors. The pentad for the nonprofit and public sectors includes a slightly different set of stakeholders: beneficiaries, co-creators, earth/humanity, community, and investors/funders. Beneficiaries are those for whom programs and services are provided. Co-creators are those with whom non-profits and agencies partner and may include volunteers, staff, partnering organizations, and other stakeholders. Earth/humanity is the pentad point of the global, long-term perspective and is based in relationship to earth and to humanity. The community point in the pentad refers to how an organization’s actions impact the community, and the local perspective and social context in which they operate. The investors and funders for nonprofits and public agencies are local, state, and federal funders, taxpayers, donors, foundations, and board members, without whom these organizations could not realize their visions. Attention to these five stakeholder groups creates a strong sense of resilience in the organization’s community. A case example of how to apply the nonprofit and public sectors pentad to an existing organization is outlined in this paper. It is described through Sanford’s four phases for reconstructing an organization already steeped in its processes and culture. These four phases are (1) cultural evolution, (2) strategic direction, (3) capacity building, and (4) work redesign. This approach will enable nonprofits and public agencies to thrive in the face of scarcity and high demand. Keywords: Carol Sanford; stakeholders; stakeholder engagement; nonprofit sector; public sector; living systems; sustainability; resilience; cultural evolution; strategic direction; capacity building; work redesign; critical systemic thinking; human service organizations  


Dennis Finlayson

SIG Chair: Living Systems Science, Derbyshire, UK
SIG Chair: Living Systems ScienceThe principle purpose of the living systems (LSA) group is to investigate all things that live from the very small, such as cell, to and including societies to discover universal phenomena applicable to living things and to develop a living science... Read More →

avatar for Marty Jacobs

Marty Jacobs

PhD Student, Saybrook University
I am currently a doctoral candidate in Organizational Systems at Saybrook University in Oakland, CA. My research interests are in dialogue, meaning making, and transformative and organizational learning in multi-sector transformational change, as well as complex adaptive systems and... Read More →

Monday July 25, 2016 3:30pm - 4:00pm MDT
ECCR 265

Attendees (2)