The purpose of this paper is to participate in the discussion of a relatively new field of corporate governance (CG) and its development. The aim of the research is to discover how well‐known Estonian business leaders perceive the purpose of business activities, corporate relations with the society and environment and who they consider the most significant stakeholders. These issues are studied and analyzed during a ten‐year period in the real‐life Estonian business environment.
The empirical part of the paper is based on the results of in‐depth interviews with 26 top Estonian managers and owners, often known as generalists. The paper discusses the results of qualitative research conducted among these business leaders, owners and top‐managers in Estonian organizations, exploring how business purposes and interests, relations with the society and environment as well as different stakeholders are perceived and how these perceptions have changed in Estonia during the period of ten years (1995‐2004).
This paper shows how business purposes, interests, corporate relations with the society and environment as well as with different stakeholders are perceived in a rapidly developing former post‐socialist and now EU member state, Estonia. It was revealed that stakeholder interests and corporate relations with the society and environment in business have not yet been considered important issues in business organizations. According to the results, the stakeholder thinking and stakeholder concepts have just recently became recognized and understood among the Estonian business leaders. There is a clear difference seen in two periods studied in this research.
The main limitation of the study is related to survey methodology. In‐depth interviews are conducted with 26 representatives; this sets limits to the possibility to generalize the results. In further research, the aim is to get more data through structured questionnaires thus enabling to conduct quantitative analysis and draw conclusions based on larger amount of respondents.
In order to stay sustainable and be able to develop further there is a need for Estonian business leaders and organizations to start paying more attention to the different stakeholders, and see the organizations as a part of the environment and society.
The main contribution of the paper can be found in the in‐depth discussion of the concept of CG particularly from the perspective of stakeholder theory.
Kooskora, M. (2008), "Corporate governance from the stakeholder perspective, in the context of Estonian business organizations", Baltic Journal of Management, Vol. 3 No. 2, pp. 193-217. https://doi.org/10.1108/17465260810875514
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