Does stakeholder management have a dark side?

Carmelo Cennamo, Pascual Berrone, Luis Gomez-Mejia

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

92 Scopus citations


This article is a first attempt to line out the conditions under which executives might have a real selfinterest in pursuing a broad stakeholder management (SM) orientation to enlarge their power. We suggest that managers have wider latitude of action under an SM approach, even when this is instrumental to financial performance. The causally ambiguity of the performance effects of idiosyncratic relationships with stakeholders not only makes SM strategy difficult for competitors to imitate but also increases managerial discretion. When managers use this situation for their own benefit, they can undermine the purported goals of the SM approach. By analyzing some of the factors that might lead to such disfunctionalities, this article advances a theory of the potential dark side of SM.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)491-507
Number of pages17
JournalJournal of Business Ethics
Issue number4
StatePublished - Mar 2009


  • Causal ambiguity
  • Corporate governance
  • Managerial discretion
  • Stakeholder management
  • Stakeholder theory

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Business and International Management
  • General Business, Management and Accounting
  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)
  • Economics and Econometrics
  • Law


Dive into the research topics of 'Does stakeholder management have a dark side?'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this