The Roles of Empathetic Competency and Participative Design in Organizational Stakeholder Relationships
The objective of the present article was to encounter empirical evidence of the use that companies make of the empathetic competency and participative design for relationship development with their interest groups. Empirical comparison occurred by way of a case study in a Colombian family business group composed of three companies. A mixed research design was applied, using a questionnaire to measure the use of empathy, as was an in-depth interview, to learn the use of participative design in stakeholder relationships. Results show acceptable use of the empathetic competency, and that the participative approach, characteristic of design, is partially employed, although the upper level of co-creation is not achieved. It is concluded that, if the empathetic competency is not made to form the base of the participative approach, organization relational capital is wasted. Further, companies may improve stakeholder relationships if they are able to apply participative design methodologies, techniques, and tools, as these reduce resistance to change, and improve the work environment, leadership, and productivity.
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