Strategic stakeholder communication within international organisation : the case of ASEAN, Laos and the implementation of the ASEAN’s strategic plan

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Sombounkhanh, Ongkane
Author ORCID Profiles (clickable)
Master of International Communication
Unitec Institute of Technology
Rolland, Deborah
Dodson, Giles
Masters Thesis
Ngā Upoko Tukutuku (Māori subject headings)
ASEAN Economic Community Blueprint (AEC Blueprint)
strategic planning
multinational organisations
intergovernmental organisations
communication in organisations
business communication
Sombounkhanh, O. (2014) Strategic stakeholder communication within international organisation : the case of ASEAN, Laos and the implementation of the ASEAN’s strategic plan. An unpublished thesis submitted in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the degree of Master of International Communication, Unitec Institute of Technology.
It is very important that stakeholders of an organisation should understand the vision, policies and strategic plan of the organisation that they are working for, or are involved with, in order for the strategic plan to be implemented effectively, and the organisational goals to be achieved successfully. The Association of Southeast Asian Nation (ASEAN) is a regional organisation with the nature and scope of international governance (an inter-governmental organisation) that was established on the 8th of August 1976 and consisted of 10 member states. ASEAN is a prominent organisation in the world. ASEAN has created a strategic plan named “ASEAN’s Vision 2020 strategic plan”, the plan aimed at building a single community by 2020 based on three pillars, namely the ASEAN Political-Security Community, ASEAN Economic Community and ASEAN Socio-Cultural Community. It is very interesting to do research on how ASEAN’s strategic plan is being communicated to its stakeholders. ASEAN has multiple stakeholders both internal and external, and it also has many levels of stakeholders, for instance, inter-governmental level, governmental level, private sector level, and the general public level. This project focuses on the implementation of the ASEAN Economic Community Blueprint (the AEC Blueprint). This research examines the stakeholder communication that has taken place between ASEAN Secretariat and the Lao government, and the Lao government and wider society. The literature review for this research begins by considering key concepts of stakeholder theory, strategic communication, stakeholder communication, examples of stakeholder communication in international organisations, and media roles in organisational communication process. Both a quantitative and qualitative approach were followed with the objective of gathering data from participants (the Lao ministries, Lao media and Lao businesses). The interviews and questionnaires focus on addressing the main research question and the aim of this study. Six interviews were conducted with key Lao officials from MOFA, MOIC, MICT, and LNCCI. Four interviews were conducted with key Lao media persons from two main Lao newspaper agencies, the Lao National Radio, and the Lao National television. A total of 130 copies of the questionnaire were distributed in paper copy format for voluntary participation to MOFA and MOIC; and 75 copies of questionnaires were distributed to Lao businesses in Vientiane. A high percentage of responses was received and the data collected from the survey provides information about participants. After analysing the results of this study, it can be concluded that there is a contradiction between quantitative and qualitative data. The results of the qualitative findings are not backed up by the results of the quantitative findings. The results of quantitative findings revealed that the majority of the respondents (both Lao officials and Lao businesses) were not satisfied with the communication channels used to communicate or disseminate the AEC information to them, while only key Lao government officials who work or are involved with the ASEAN matters were satisfied. However, the general Lao government officials and Lao businesses still need appropriate communication channels to be used to communicate and access the AEC information. The responses from survey questionnaires of both Lao officials and Lao businesses also revealed that the Lao government had problems in engaging and informing Lao officials and Lao businesses regarding the AEC. Although, the Lao government has followed the communication plan indicated in the AEC Blueprint, but they are not being very successful in meeting the information needs of their stakeholders.
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