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 May 18, 2011
Maritz Institute and Cornell White Paper Explains The New Relationship-Oriented Business Landscape

 A new white paper from the Cornell Center for Hospitality Research presents an analysis of the changes in the current business environment that have resulted from people's desire for greater meaning and connection. The analysis, "The Game Has Changed: A New Paradigm for Stakeholder Engagement," is written by Mary Beth McEuen, vice president and executive director for The Maritz Institute. The Maritz Institute is focused on underpinning Maritz' people-first business solutions with the most current discoveries from the human sciences, particularly neuroscience.

The paper is available at no charge from the CHR at

"The new paradigm that we have identified involves a mutual effort to create value for all stakeholders," McEuen said. "This replaces the approach of extracting value from stakeholders at any cost. Although customers, suppliers, and employees will reluctantly do business with an old-style company, what they really seek is what I call 'true engagement.' This is the route to mutually beneficial relationships."

McEuen presents three foundations of this contemporary business model: (1) Explore deep insights into human motivation and behavior; (2) Recognize that one size doesn't fit all---meaning is personal; and (3) Genuinely see people as the center of strategy. Based on research into human psychology, the paper outlines the human drives that create a level of engagement needed to unlock the potential of each stakeholder.

As examples of stakeholder-oriented companies that create mutual value, McEuen presents the programs and attitudes found in three companies: Maritz, Barry-Wehmiller Group, and Embassy Suites. From its inception, Maritz has treated its employees and clients as people first, McEuen said, and Barry-Wehmiller likewise puts people and performance at the center of its strategy. Embassy Suites maintains a company culture "squarely focused on the goal of positively influencing the lives of guests, team members, and community stakeholders," she added. This extends beyond recognition and reward programs to grants that support community-service projects.

The Maritz Institute

The Maritz Institute is a network of thought leaders advancing human science in business. Through a deeper understanding of people, Maritz solutions deliver better business and better lives.

The Center for Hospitality Research

A unit of the Cornell School of Hotel Administration, The Center for Hospitality Research (CHR) sponsors research designed to improve practices in the hospitality industry. Under the lead of the center's 81 corporate affiliates, experienced scholars work closely with business executives to discover new insights into strategic, managerial and operating practices. The center also publishes the award-winning hospitality journal, the Cornell Hospitality Quarterly.