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Stakeholder management and path dependence in organizational transitions

Juha‐Antti Lamberg (Department of Industrial Management, Helsinki University of Technology, Espoo, Finland)
Kalle Pajunen (Department of Management Studies, University of Tampere, Tampere, Finland)
Petri Parvinen (Department of Management and Marketing, Helsinki School of Economics, Helsinki, Finland)
Grant T. Savage (Department of Health Management & Informatics, University of Missouri, Columbia, Missouri, USA)

Management Decision

ISSN: 0025-1747

Article publication date: 20 June 2008




The purpose of this paper is to offer an explanatory process model of stakeholder management. The model shows how and why path dependence is manifested in stakeholder management issues.


The paper integrates stakeholder theory with key ideas from path dependence literature. The resulting propositions are examined in the context of a longitudinal case study of the United Airlines and US Airways abandoned merger in 2000‐2001


The paper's analysis demonstrates that initial conditions are accentuated by the sequence of actions, offering a plausible explanation for process outcomes.

Practical implications

On the practical side, the paper provides a problem‐solving tool for stakeholder management to analyze the stakeholder linkages during strategic initiatives.


The paper addresses an important research gap, exploring how stakeholder‐related path dependencies influence the process of conflict escalation.



Lamberg, J., Pajunen, K., Parvinen, P. and Savage, G.T. (2008), "Stakeholder management and path dependence in organizational transitions", Management Decision, Vol. 46 No. 6, pp. 846-863.



Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2008, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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