A longitudinal study of significant change in stakeholder management

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72 Scopus citations


Despite rich theoretical development, empirical research on stakeholder management is scant, save its relationship with financial performance. Recent research shows significant intrafirm variability in stakeholder management across time. This study seeks to explain why firms would experience significant changes in stakeholder management. Adapting Wood's framework to discuss three principles of stakeholder management, the authors identify antecedents of change at the institutional, organizational, and executive levels. Pressures for legitimacy at the institutional level suggest that firm age and size, along with industry shifts in stakeholder management, will increase the likelihood of changes in stakeholder management for the focal firm. The authors posit that organizational risk and performance will also affect the likelihood of change, as will managerial discretion, ownership, and succession. The authors test their predictions using a longitudinal sample of stakeholder management data and discuss the implications of the findings for research and practice.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)63-87
Number of pages25
JournalBusiness and Society
Issue number1
StatePublished - Mar 2007


  • Corporate social performance
  • Longitudinal study
  • Stakeholder management
  • Stakeholders
  • Strategic change

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Business, Management and Accounting (miscellaneous)
  • Social Sciences (miscellaneous)


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