Managing indigenous relations

Stevina U. Evuleocha (Department of Marketing and Entrepreneurship, California State University, Hayward, California, USA)

Corporate Communications: An International Journal

ISSN: 1356-3289

Publication date: 1 December 2005



The purpose of this paper is to examine how shadow constituents are redefining corporate social responsibility (CSR) through activism, and how oil companies in Nigeria are responding to this development.


This paper contributes to the conceptual framework of CSR which asserts that whereas all stakeholders of a company do not have an equal say in its strategic direction, they are affected by such direction, and must hence be considered.


The findings reveal these points: activists are gaining a strong foothold in forcing oil companies to cooperate with their vision of social change; Nigeria lacks legislation compelling oil companies to contribute to the development of their host communities; and although internal oil company documents suggest efforts to help their hosts communities have been made, no meaningful agreement between the oil companies and the indigenous communities have been reached.

Research limitations/implications

The paper encourages a broader conception of CSR. Shadow constituents have become such influence wielding stakeholders in organizations today that we need to explore more fully the role they play in dictating public agenda and influencing policy globally.

Practical implications

Multinational corporations can develop a better understanding of strategies and techniques that can enable them to balance the interests of a wider group of stakeholders and manage the interconnected social, environmental and economic impacts of their businesses.


This paper enriches the research database on CSR.



Evuleocha, S. (2005), "Managing indigenous relations", Corporate Communications: An International Journal, Vol. 10 No. 4, pp. 328-340.

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Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2005, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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