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Value creation in industrial clusters: the strategic nature of relationships with stakeholders and the policy environment

Subrata Chakrabarty (North Carolina A&T State University, Greensboro, North Carolina, USA)

Journal of Strategy and Management

ISSN: 1755-425X

Article publication date: 30 August 2020

Issue publication date: 13 October 2020

502

Abstract

Purpose

Given that an industrial cluster contains a high concentration of numerous stakeholders, a firm in an industrial cluster often ends up forming relationships with many of the stakeholders. The research questions are as follows: Does stakeholder-based management always lead to greater value creation? What are the moderators in this association? This paper proposes that although relationships with stakeholders can act as a “catalyst” for value-creation, they can also act as a “retardant.” A combination of (1) the strategic nature of the relationships and (2) the policy environment determines whether the relationships with stakeholders act as catalysts or retardants.

Design/methodology/approach

Using relationship-focused theory, a conceptual framework that adopts a relational view of stakeholder theory is developed. Given the high concentration of stakeholders in industrial clusters, the conceptual framework uses stakeholders in industrial clusters as a setting. A firm can form relationships with a variety of stakeholders in an industrial cluster. The strategic nature of a relationship with a stakeholder is assessed in terms of variations in strategic intent and intellectual spillover.

Findings

The key argument is the following: whether a relationship with a stakeholder becomes a catalyst or a retardant for value creation is contingent on the fit between the strategic nature of the relationship and the policy environment. For instance, in a probusiness policy environment, relying on relationships with stakeholders that maximize intellectual spillover can act as a catalyst for value creation. In contrast, in an antibusiness environment, not having to rely on intellectual spillover is a safer option.

Originality/value

Whereas the literature implicitly assumes that stakeholder theory has relational essence, the conceptual framework developed in this paper adopts a relational view of stakeholder theory in a very explicit way. This paper applies relationship-focused theory by making explicit the different forms of stakeholder relationships. Such an explicitly relational approach in theorizing can help in more in-depth research on the link between stakeholder relationships and value creation. The conceptual framework will allow future research to analyze value creation in an industrial cluster, especially in terms of how stakeholder relationships can act as either catalysts or retardants.

Keywords

Citation

Chakrabarty, S. (2020), "Value creation in industrial clusters: the strategic nature of relationships with stakeholders and the policy environment", Journal of Strategy and Management, Vol. 13 No. 4, pp. 535-550. https://doi.org/10.1108/JSMA-04-2020-0084

Publisher

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Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2020, Emerald Publishing Limited

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