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Journal ArticleDOI

Toward a Theory of Stakeholder Identification and Salience: Defining the Principle of who and What Really Counts

01 Oct 1997-Academy of Management Review (Academy of Management)-Vol. 22, Iss: 4, pp 853-886

Abstract: Stakeholder theory has been a popular heuristic for describing the management environment for years, but it has not attained full theoretical status. Our aim in this article is to contribute to a theory of stakeholder identification and salience based on stakeholders possessing one or more of three relationship attributes: power, legitimacy, and urgency. By combining these attributes, we generate a typology of stakeholders, propositions concerning their salience to managers of the firm, and research and management implications.
Topics: Stakeholder analysis (66%), Stakeholder management (66%), Stakeholder theory (62%), Stakeholder (59%), Salience (language) (56%)
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Journal ArticleDOI
Abstract: Most theorizing on the relationship between corporate social/environmental performance (CSP) and corporate financial performance (CFP) assumes that the current evidence is too fractured or too variable to draw any generalizable conclusions. With this integrative, quantitative study, we intend to show that the mainstream claim that we have little generalizable knowledge about CSP and CFP is built on shaky grounds. Providing a methodologically more rigorous review than previous efforts, we conduct a meta-analysis of 52 studies (which represent the population of prior quantitative inquiry) yielding a total sample size of 33,878 observations. The meta-analytic findings suggest that corporate virtue in the form of social responsibility and, to a lesser extent, environmental responsibility is likely to pay off, although the operationalizations of CSP and CFP also moderate the positive association. For example, CSP appears to be more highly correlated with accounting-based measures of CFP than with market-based ...

5,881 citations

Cites background from "Toward a Theory of Stakeholder Iden..."

  • ...The performance of business organizations is affected by their strategies and operations in market and non-market environments (Baron 2000)....


  • ...Instrumental stakeholder theory (for example, Clarkson 1995; Cornell and Shapiro 1987; Donaldson and Preston 1995; Freeman 1984; Mitchell et al. 1997 (the classification of these studies as exemplifying ‘instrumental stakeholder theory’ was made ex post)) suggests a positive relationship between…...


Journal ArticleDOI
Abagail McWilliams1, Donald S. Siegel2Institutions (2)
Abstract: We outline a supply and demand model of corporate social responsibility (CSR). Based on this framework, we hypothesize that a firm's level of CSR will depend on its size, level of diversification, research and development, advertising, government sales, consumer income, labor market conditions, and stage in the industry life cycle. From these hypotheses, we conclude that there is an “ideal” level of CSR, which managers can determine via cost-benefit analysis, and that there is a neutral relationship between CSR and financial performance.

5,678 citations

Journal ArticleDOI
Joshua D. Margolis1, James P. Walsh2Institutions (2)
Abstract: Companies are increasingly asked to provide innovative solutions to deep-seated problems of human misery, even as economic theory instructs managers to focus on maximizing their shareholders' wealt

4,325 citations

Journal ArticleDOI
Elisabet Garriga, Domènec Melé1Institutions (1)
Abstract: The Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) field presents not only a landscape of theories but also a proliferation of approaches, which are controversial, complex and unclear. This article tries to clarify the sit- uation, ''mapping the territory'' by classifying the main CSR theories and related approaches in four groups: (1) instrumental theories, in which the corporation is seen as only an instrument for wealth creation, and its social activities are only a means to achieve economic results; (2) political theories, which concern themselves with the power of corporations in society and a responsible use of this power in the political arena; (3) integrative theories, in which the corporation is focused on the satisfaction of social demands; and (4) ethical theories, based on ethical responsibilities of corporations to society. In practice, each CSR theory presents four dimensions related to profits, political performance, social demands and ethical values. The findings suggest the necessity to develop a new theory on the business and society relationship, which should integrate these four dimensions.

3,337 citations

Cites background from "Toward a Theory of Stakeholder Iden..."

  • ...Primary involvement includes the essential economic task of the firm, such as locating and establishing its facilities, procuring suppliers, engaging employees, carrying out its production functions and marketing products....


  • ...It has been argued that in certain conditions the satisfaction of these interests can contribute to maximizing the shareholder value (Mitchell et al., 1997; Odgen and Watson, 1999)....


  • ...…determine the best practice in corporate stakeholder relations (Bendheim et al., 1998), stakeholder salience to managers (Agle and Mitchell, 1999; Mitchell et al., 1997), the impact of stakeholder management on financial performance (Berman et al., 1999), the influence of stakeholder network…...


  • ...As Windsor (2001) has pointed out recently, ‘‘a leitmotiv of wealth creation progressively dominates the managerial conception of responsibility’’ (Windsor, 2001, p. 226)....


Posted Content
01 Jan 2012-
Abstract: The 2008 crash has left all the established economic doctrines - equilibrium models, real business cycles, disequilibria models - in disarray. Part of the problem is due to Smith’s "veil of ignorance": individuals unknowingly pursue society’s interest and, as a result, have no clue as to the macroeconomic effects of their actions: witness the Keynes and Leontief multipliers, the concept of value added, fiat money, Engel’s law and technical progress, to name but a few of the macrofoundations of microeconomics. A good viewpoint to take bearings anew lies in comparing the post-Great Depression institutions with those emerging from Thatcher and Reagan’s economic policies: deregulation, exogenous vs. endoge- nous money, shadow banking vs. Volcker’s Rule. Very simply, the banks, whose lending determined deposits after Roosevelt, and were a public service became private enterprises whose deposits determine lending. These underlay the great moderation preceding 2006, and the subsequent crash.

3,316 citations

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Journal ArticleDOI
Abstract: In this paper we draw on recent progress in the theory of (1) property rights, (2) agency, and (3) finance to develop a theory of ownership structure for the firm.1 In addition to tying together elements of the theory of each of these three areas, our analysis casts new light on and has implications for a variety of issues in the professional and popular literature, such as the definition of the firm, the “separation of ownership and control,” the “social responsibility” of business, the definition of a “corporate objective function,” the determination of an optimal capital structure, the specification of the content of credit agreements, the theory of organizations, and the supply side of the completeness-of-markets problem.

45,832 citations

Book ChapterDOI
Abstract: What makes organizations so similar? We contend that the engine of rationalization and bureaucratization has moved from the competitive marketplace to the state and the professions. Once a set of organizations emerges as a field, a paradox arises: rational actors make their organizations increasingly similar as they try to change them. We describe three isomorphic processes-coercive, mimetic, and normative—leading to this outcome. We then specify hypotheses about the impact of resource centralization and dependency, goal ambiguity and technical uncertainty, and professionalization and structuration on isomorphic change. Finally, we suggest implications for theories of organizations and social change.

30,905 citations

Journal ArticleDOI
Abstract: Many formal organizational structures arise as reflections of rationalized institutional rules. The elaboration of such rules in modern states and societies accounts in part for the expansion and i...

21,423 citations

Book ChapterDOI
R. Edward Freeman1Institutions (1)
01 Mar 2010-

17,781 citations

"Toward a Theory of Stakeholder Iden..." refers background in this paper

  • ...Thus, although Freeman's (1984) definition is widely cited in the literature, it is not accepted universally among scholars working in the stakeholder minefields....


  • ...Since Freeman (1984) published his landmark book, Strategic Management: A Stakeholder Approach, the concept of "stakeholders" has become embedded in management scholarship and in managers' thinking. Yet, as popular as the term has become and as richly descriptive as it is, there is no agreement on what Freeman (1994) calls "The Principle of Who or What Really Counts....


  • ...Since Freeman (1984) published his landmark book, Strategic Management: A Stakeholder Approach, the concept of "stakeholders" has become embedded in management scholarship and in managers' thinking....


R. Edward Freeman1, R. Edward Freeman2Institutions (2)
01 Jan 1984-
Abstract: Part I. The Stakeholder Approach: 1. Managing in turbulent times 2. The stakeholder concept and strategic management 3. Stakeholder management: framework and philosophy Part II. Strategic Management Processes: 4. Setting strategic direction 5. Formulating strategies for stakeholders 6. Implementing and monitoring stakeholder strategies Part III. Implications for Theory and Practice: 7. Conflict at the board level 8. The functional disciplines of management 9. The role of the executive.

17,390 citations

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