TOWARD A CONTINGENCY THEORY OF STAKEHOLDER RELEVANCE AND THE STAKEHOLDER MAPPING PROCESS
Sosa, Nolan Andrew
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Stakeholder Theory has been defined as an “additive model”, in which all powerful, urgent and legitimate individuals and groups must be treated as important entities to engage with when evaluating important decisions for the organization. This thesis contends that stakeholder definition and the appropriate selection of important stakeholders depends, at least in part, on environmental influences. Thus, a “one definition for all environments” paradigm may lead to stakeholder mismanagement.This thesis illustrates this point with several typical examples, and proposes an alternative “subtractive model” in which situations – industry conditions as identified by a number of different authors – may compel an organization’s leaders to prioritize those stakeholders who are less than “definitive” by the classical additive model. Thus, this thesis contends that a gap exists between existing organizational theory and stakeholder management literature with regard to environmental influence and proposes an alternative stakeholder mapping process derived from the extant literature.