Stakeholder relationships in an international retailing context: an investment bank perspective

Mark Palmer (Aston Business School, Aston University, Birmingham, UK)
Barry Quinn (School of Business, Retail and Financial Services, University of Ulster, Coleraine, UK)

European Journal of Marketing

ISSN: 0309-0566

Publication date: 1 September 2005



In the stakeholder marketing literature, there have been calls by several researchers to expand the stakeholder domain to incorporate a broader array of stakeholders. In developing this argument in this paper the authors aim to explore a set of stakeholder relationships in an international retailing context, notably those which exist between retail firms and investment banks.


Theoretical ideas are subject to empirical scrutiny from 34 in‐depth interviews with investment banks and senior retail executives from two retail multinationals.


Exploratory findings suggest that US investment banks' ideals were at odds with European retail firms – and both occupied “different thought worlds”. It is concluded that the relationships between financial stakeholders and the retail firm cannot be explained simply by reference to stylised economic interactions, but must also be examined in the light of the cultural contexts and different forms of market system within which different firms emerge, operate and interact.


New strategies such as internationalisation stretch resources and capabilities to a point where retailers invariably will be exposed to different stakeholder issues and stresses. Towards this end, this paper contends that the significant international re‐orientation under way in retailing must be understood within the wider context of stakeholder theory. The paper argues that the full potential of applying stakeholder marketing theory to the internationalisation process of retailers has yet to be realised. From this exploratory research, five research propositions are put forward that might serve as a guide to future research in this area.



Palmer, M. and Quinn, B. (2005), "Stakeholder relationships in an international retailing context: an investment bank perspective", European Journal of Marketing, Vol. 39 No. 9/10, pp. 1096-1117.

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