Snap Inc. is a camera and technology company founded in the year in 2011 in the United States. The company is owned by Evan Spiegel and Bobby Murphy and at present has more than 3000 employees globally. In the age of social media, a company like Snap Inc. has earned a favorable reputation around the world for enabling people to express themselves and to capture the moment they are living in (Bayer et al. 2016). The company mainly has four products, namely Bitmoji, Snapchat, Zenly and Spectacles (Snap.com 2018). Out of the four, it is Snapchat which has emerged as a raging trend in almost all countries around the globe. It was initially known as Snapchat Inc. However, it was rebranded to accommodate the other products under the same banner.
A. Stakeholder map
The term, “stakeholder” refers to an individual or a group of individuals who are affected by changes or policies within an organization or have the power to influence the operations or performance of an organization (Verbeke and Tung 2013). In the stakeholder map below, the various stakeholders of Snap Inc. have been identified and mapped.
(Figure: Stakeholder map)
The stakeholders, as shown in the diagram, can be differentiated into two categories – internal and external. They can be defined as follows:
- Employees– The employees are the main internal stakeholders of any organization. They form the chief assets at an organization because without a skilled and trained workforce, seamless flow of operations within a firm would not be possible (Beringer, Jonas and Kock 2013).
- Management– The management at an organization is responsible for facilitating open lines of communication between the employees and the owners (Mishra, Boynton and Mishra 2014). The management also ensures smooth operations in the company.
- Owners– In case of Snap Inc., there is a board of directors consisting of Spiegel and Murphy, who are responsible for taking managerial and executive business decisions.
- Customers– A customer can be called the most important external stakeholder. In case of Snap Inc., the services provided by Snapchat and other branches are designed specifically to meet the unique needs and demands of the customers.
- Government– Decisions made by the government or policies implemented by such bodies would affect the functioning of the organization.
- Society– Any operations within an organization would have an impact on the surrounding communities and vice versa.
- Suppliers– The suppliers would play a crucial role in determining the success of the organization as a whole. Collaboration with suppliers would ensure that best quality products are distributed to the customers.
- Creditors– Creditors are expected to ensure that a business is able to meet payment deadlines in a consistent manner.
- Shareholders– Shareholders or associates are expected to share a common goal or vision with the organization, thus ensuring its success in the long run.
B. Stakeholder analysis
Four stakeholders have been selected for the purpose of this report. The two internal stakeholders selected would be the employees and the management. Two external stakeholders selected would be the customer and the society. In the following section, the stakeholder behavior and motives will be analyzed.
Suffice to say, employees are some of the most vital stakeholders within an organization (Majava, Harkonen and Haapasalo 2014). Accordingly, various measures have to be taken by the concerned organization (Snap Inc.) to ensure that the staff members are satisfied and content, in order to optimize employee engagement. In many ways, it can be said that the workforce of the organization contributes to the firm in a number of fundamental ways. Employees technically constitute the organization as a whole and are its most important resources. An employee would directly be affected by the failure or success of an organization. The role of employees as stakeholders would be shaped and developed by personal and professional relationships within the office, accrued resources, investment of specialized skills and experience and so on. For example, many employees of Snap Inc. have made substantial investments into their work, which would include change in personal relationships, geographical moves or even training. Moreover, concepts of self identity and that of self actualization would be deeply rooted in their work.
Employees too have an effect on the overall performance level of an organization. The way an employee feels towards his or her job would determine his levels of productivity. There are various motives that affect the role of employees as stakeholders at Snap Inc. They may be described as follows:
- Pay– Money is undoubtedly one of the chief motivators for employees because it promotes economic well being (Buttner and Lowe 2017). More often than not, there are other monetary advantages like benefits, bonuses, incentives and compensation packages which are lucrative for the employees.
- Job security– Apart from their base salary, another major motivator for employees at Snap Inc. would be job security. If employees are constantly living in fear of losing their job, they would not be able to love up to their fullest potential.
- Culture– The organizational culture plays a crucial role in determining the productivity levels of the employees (Azanza, Moriano and Molero 2013). At Snap Inc., an open, inclusive and collaborative organizational culture is promoted to ensure maximum production from the employees.
The role of a manager is slightly more complicated, as far as stakeholders are concerned. A manager is not the owner or an executive at an organization; he is an ordinary employee. Yet, he is often involved in decision making which would involve other stakeholders. As a matter of fact, the management acts as a sort of intermediary between the board of directors and employees at Snap Inc. The decisions taken by the board of directors is to be communicated to the employees and vice versa. As such, the management strategies implemented by the management would be crucial in determining the performance of Snap Inc. as a whole. The managers are expected to devise effective strategies and policies that would eliminate the loopholes within the operations and pave the way for seamless functioning. The behavior traits that are observed in the management at Snap Inc. would be that of leadership. Leadership practices are used by the managers to guide and aid the subordinates or the teams working on various projects (Bolden 2016). A manager is not expected to simply exert his authority. Instead, he is expected to engage his subordinates and promote active participation.
It can be firmly asserted that Snap Inc.’s most important stakeholders would be the customers who regularly use their products and services. In short, the company would cease to exist without its customers. For example, without people using the Snapchat application, the company’s overall revenue would fall. In an era of technological advancement, most consumers are turning to social media platforms like Bitmoji or Snapchat (Piwek and Joinson 2016). The advent of mobile applications have changed consumer preferences and buying motives. Here are some motives that trigger consumers to opt for Snap Inc.:
- Snapchat and the other platforms introduced by Snap Inc. are new and happening and are in compliance with the emerging new trend of social media. It offers the customers a way to connect with the rest of the world through a simple application (Gu and Ye 2014). Moreover, it also enables the users of the platforms to express themselves in any manner they want (Vaterlaus et al. 2016). This immediately appeals to the millennial population, attracting new users every day.
- Brand loyalty is another factor in this case. Users who have been a part of the company’s journey from Snapchat Inc. to Snap Inc. would prefer this social media platform over others, thus establishing their loyalty.
- Consumers today have changing preferences and have half the attention span they did even five years ago. Thus, applications like Snapchat which are based on pure entertainment would be alluring for such consumers.
Any company would have a responsibility towards the surrounding communities and society. The operations of Snap Inc. would either positively or negatively affect the communities. Similarly, cultural values, traditions, beliefs and the attitudes of people in the neighboring communities would have an impact on the mode of operations at the organization. Community stakeholders would involve people, organizations and groups who have an interest in the community and would stand to be affected by the objectives, policies and actions of the company.
- Communities would prefer to support organizations that affect their people in a positive way. For example, applications and software like Snapchat and Bitmoji are widely used in communities around the world, thus proving the permeating influence of social media (Saxton and Waters 2014).
- The environmental impacts of Snap Inc.’s operations also need to be taken into account. The company’s corporate social responsibility would determine the attitude of the surrounding communities towards the firm (Saeidi et al. 2015).
C. Category identification and generic strategic policies
The four stakeholders in the above section can be segregated into two categories – internal and external stakeholders (Pinheiro 2015). The employees and the management form the internal stakeholders of the company whereas the customers and the society form the external stakeholders of the company.
Strategic programs for the stakeholders
- Employees- Snap Inc. has a very basic and straightforward strategic program for employee management. The CEO and the board of members ensure a top secret policy is followed within the organization. The employees are updated about the goals and the aims of the business and their operations are aligned with the business objectives. There are also rewards and recognition programs in place which serve to motivate the employees. Since the work of the employees would directly impact user experience of people using the applications, it is important for Snap Inc. to ensure that each employee is pulling his weight. Accordingly, training programs are also incorporated into the business strategy.
- Management– Efficient and talented managers are appointed by the company. These managers are not only dedicated to their roles but are also trained in leadership practices that would effectively lead the teams to success.
- Customer– Customer satisfaction is of the utmost importance for Snap Inc. A strategy of innovation is followed by the company to retain old customers and lure in new ones. For example, a few years ago, Snapchat rolled out a series of new stickers and filters which immediately created uproar on social media. In a matter of few days, Snap Inc. observed the highest number of logins and new registrations, as compared to its past records. The company ensures that only state of the art technology is used and regular innovations are implemented from time to time.
- Society– Snap Inc. has acquired an international reputation for its charitable functions, which are a step towards strategic corporate social responsibility. Moreover, a number of people use Snapchat and such social media platforms to spread awareness about social issues that plague the world. The executives at Snap Inc. promote the use of the platform for such causes.
D. Recommendations for strategic programs
- A sense of team work and collaboration between the various teams at Snap Inc. would have to be promoted. Only through an efficient system of coordination can the quality of service provided to the customers be improved.
- Training programs may be implemented for the people in managerial positions so as to help them work on their management and leadership roles and facilitate smooth flow of operations in the organization.
- Customer feedback systems need to be improved. Although customers can provide feedback even now, they are rarely incorporated into the strategic programs. Snap Inc. needs to analyze customer feedback and integrate the recommendations into their operations.
- To further improve the relationship the company shares with the neighboring societies, Snap Inc. may include certain environmental policies and strategies for greener operations that would enhance their reputation in the market. It would also provide them with a competitive edge.
To conclude, it can be said that stakeholder engagement is one of the most important aspects of strategic management at any organization. At Snap Inc., the main internal and external stakeholders would be the employees and management and the customer and communities respectively. The company, founded by Spiegel and Murphy, does have certain strategic programs for management of stakeholders. However, it must be realized that a social media company like Snap In. is entirely based on customer service and the quality of customer experience. In order to optimize this, the aforementioned recommendations can be incorporated into the existing business strategies
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