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Stakeholder Multiplicity: Toward an Understanding of the Interactions between Stakeholders

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  • Benjamin Neville

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  • Bulent Menguc

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    Abstract

    While stakeholder theory has traditionally considered organization’s interactions with stakeholders in terms of independent, dyadic relationships, recent scholarship has pointed to the fact that organizations exist within a complex network of intertwining relationships [e.g., Rowley, T. J.: 1997, The Academy of Management Review 22(4), 887–910]. However, further theoretical and empirical development of the interactions between stakeholders has been lacking. In this paper, we develop a framework for understanding and measuring the effects upon the organization of competing, complementary and cooperative stakeholder interactions, which we refer to as stakeholder multiplicity. We draw upon three forms of fit (i.e. fit as matching, fit as moderation, and fit as gestalts; Venkatraman, N.: 1989) to develop a framework for understanding stakeholder multiplicity based upon the direction, strength, and synergies of the interacting claims. Additionally, we draw upon the theory of stakeholder identification and salience of Mitchell et al. (1997), which we argue provides a more relevant and significantly more illustrative explanation of the nature and effects of stakeholder interactions upon the organization than the network approach of Rowley (1997). Furthermore, we ground our framework through reference to three stakeholder groups (i.e. governments, customers, and employees) and the stakeholder issue of concern for the natural environment. We propose a hierarchy of the multiplicity strength of influence of these three stakeholder groups. Potential measurement and implications are discussed. Copyright Springer 2006

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    Bibliographic Info

    Article provided by Springer in its journal Journal of Business Ethics.

    Volume (Year): 66 (2006)
    Issue (Month): 4 (07)
    Pages: 377-391

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    Handle: RePEc:kap:jbuset:v:66:y:2006:i:4:p:377-391

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    Web page: http://www.springerlink.com/link.asp?id=100281

    Related research

    Keywords: corporate social responsibility; stakeholder networks; stakeholder multiplicity; stakeholder salience; stakeholder theory; strategic fit;

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    Cited by:
    1. Päivi Myllykangas & Johanna Kujala & Hanna Lehtimäki, 2010. "Analyzing the Essence of Stakeholder Relationships: What do we Need in Addition to Power, Legitimacy, and Urgency?," Journal of Business Ethics, Springer, vol. 96(1), pages 65-72, August.
    2. Enrique Bigné Alcañiz & Alejandro Alvarado Herrera & Rafael Currás Pérez, 2009. "Epistemological evolution of corporate social responsibility in marketing," International Review on Public and Nonprofit Marketing, Springer, vol. 6(1), pages 35-50, June.
    3. Frances Bowen & Aloysius Newenham-Kahindi & Irene Herremans, 2010. "When Suits Meet Roots: The Antecedents and Consequences of Community Engagement Strategy," Journal of Business Ethics, Springer, vol. 95(2), pages 297-318, August.
    4. Y. Fassin, 2011. "A dynamic perspective in Freeman’s stakeholder model," Working Papers of Faculty of Economics and Business Administration, Ghent University, Belgium 11/727, Ghent University, Faculty of Economics and Business Administration.
    5. Carmen Nastase & Carmen Chasovschi & Mihai Popescu & Adrian Liviu Scutariu, 2010. "The Importance of Stakeholders and Policy Influence Enhancing the Innovation in Nature Based Tourism Services Greece, Austria, Finland and Romania Case Studies," European Research Studies Journal, European Research Studies Journal, vol. 0(2), pages 137-148.
    6. Vallaster, Christine & von Wallpach, Sylvia, 2013. "An online discursive inquiry into the social dynamics of multi-stakeholder brand meaning co-creation," Journal of Business Research, Elsevier, vol. 66(9), pages 1505-1515.
    7. Clodia Vurro & Angeloantonio Russo & Francesco Perrini, 2009. "Shaping Sustainable Value Chains: Network Determinants of Supply Chain Governance Models," Journal of Business Ethics, Springer, vol. 90(4), pages 607-621, December.
    8. Elisabet Garriga, 2009. "Cooperation in Stakeholder Networks: Firms’ ‘Tertius Iungens’ Role," Journal of Business Ethics, Springer, vol. 90(4), pages 623-637, December.
    9. Jose Lopez-De-Pedro & Eva Rimbau-Gilabert, 2012. "Stakeholder Approach: What Effects Should We Take into Account in Contemporary Societies?," Journal of Business Ethics, Springer, vol. 107(2), pages 147-158, May.
    10. Christoph Kneiding & Paul Tracey, 2009. "Towards a Performance Measurement Framework for Community Development Finance Institutions in the UK," Journal of Business Ethics, Springer, vol. 86(3), pages 327-345, May.
    11. Gordon Liu & Teck-Yong Eng & Wai-Wai Ko, 2013. "Strategic Direction of Corporate Community Involvement," Journal of Business Ethics, Springer, vol. 115(3), pages 469-487, July.
    12. Benjamin Neville & Simon Bell & Gregory Whitwell, 2011. "Stakeholder Salience Revisited: Refining, Redefining, and Refueling an Underdeveloped Conceptual Tool," Journal of Business Ethics, Springer, vol. 102(3), pages 357-378, September.
    13. Christoph Kneiding & Paul Tracey, 2007. "Towards a Performance Measurement Framework for Community Development Finance Institutions in the UK," Working Papers 0008, Gesellschaft für Arbeitsmarktaktivierung (GfA).
    14. Yves Fassin, 2010. "A Dynamic Perspective in Freeman’s Stakeholder Model," Journal of Business Ethics, Springer, vol. 96(1), pages 39-49, August.
    15. Johanna Kujala & Anna Heikkinen & Hanna Lehtimäki, 2012. "Understanding the Nature of Stakeholder Relationships: An Empirical Examination of a Conflict Situation," Journal of Business Ethics, Springer, vol. 109(1), pages 53-65, August.
    16. Pia Lotila, 2010. "Corporate Responsiveness to Social Pressure: An Interaction-Based Model," Journal of Business Ethics, Springer, vol. 94(3), pages 395-409, July.

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