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Organization‐stakeholder relationships: exploring trust and transparency

Julia Jahansoozi (Lancashire Business School, University of Central Lancashire, Preston, UK)

Journal of Management Development

ISSN: 0262-1711

Article publication date: 1 December 2006




The purpose of this study is to explore the organization‐stakeholder relationship between oil and gas operators and community members involved in the Sundre Petroleum Operators Group (SPOG) in Alberta, Canada. After a crisis of trust, the SPOG was established to increase transparency, and attempt to rebuild trust and healthy community stakeholder relationships.


This research paper is a result of interviews with both SPOG industry and community members (n=18). A qualitative phenomenological orientation was adopted because of its focus on the individual experience of the relationship. Key relational elements such as trust and transparency were examined in relation to the importance for relationship building. The research is limited by the number of interviews that were obtained during the time allotted for data collection.


The results indicated that after a crisis, transparency is crucial for rebuilding trust and maintaining healthy community stakeholder relationships. An interesting finding in the research was the apparent influence of The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People on the development and maintenance of shared values within the relationship. Further research is recommended into the impact of Covey's leadership and management style and on organization‐stakeholder relationships.


Shell provides an excellent example of an organization that experienced a loss of trust with key stakeholders and used transparency to begin to rebuild important stakeholder relationships.



Jahansoozi, J. (2006), "Organization‐stakeholder relationships: exploring trust and transparency", Journal of Management Development, Vol. 25 No. 10, pp. 942-955.



Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2006, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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