Managing stakeholder ambiguity

Hall, Jeremy and Vredenburg, Harrie (2005) Managing stakeholder ambiguity. MIT Sloan Management Review, 47 (1). pp. 11-13. ISSN 1532-9194

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In this article, the authors review various streams of research suggesting that although companies are increasingly under pressure to manage conflicting or difficult-to-reconcile stakeholder demands, managers are still largely behind the curve in recognizing, justifying and developing the capabilities to do so. In contrast to primary stakeholders such as customers, suppliers and shareholders, secondary stakeholders are often difficult to identify beforehand, or they may not be willing or able to engage, negotiate, compromise or clearly articulate their positions - a phenomenon the authors refer to as stakeholder ambiguity. Citing examples involving companies such as Monsanto, Conoco-Philips, Texaco and the French oil company Perenco, the authors present research indicating that managers are often ill-prepared to deal with the idiosyncratic and context-specific nature of stakeholder ambiguity and typically revert to formulaic decision-making frameworks, such as discounted cash flow and cost-benefit analysis, which misrepresent the challenges. Some research indicates that stakeholder ambiguity may actually erode the competitive advantage of large multinationals. Although such companies possess significant competencies, technological capabilities and economies of scale, they may be at a disadvantage when trying to determine and align the interests of secondary stakeholders.

Item Type: Article
Schools and Departments: University of Sussex Business School > SPRU - Science Policy Research Unit
Subjects: H Social Sciences
Depositing User: Tahir Beydola
Date Deposited: 19 Dec 2019 09:58
Last Modified: 19 Dec 2019 09:58
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