The authors review the concept of building relationships with Shapeholders,: a broad group of players that have no financial stake in the company yet can substantively influence it. The process for doing this is the subject of a new book by Mark Kennedy, Shapeholders: Business success in the age of social activism.
The authors examine Mark Kennedy’s framework for managing the firm’s shapeholders, a model composed of seven basic steps (7A’s): Align with a purpose, Anticipate, Assess, Avert, Acquiesce, Advance common interests, and Assemble to win.
Managing corporate reputation in alliance with enlightened shapeholders is a potential defense against self-aggrandizing schemes to wantonly maximize shareholder value in the short run.
Managing shapeholders is part of the messy democratic process that works when power is apportioned fairly among those affected by a firm’s decisions, and this process underpins the winning business models of true market leaders.
Stakeholders previously discredited as mere “mosquitos” have gained new power, particularly when their legitimate concerns and unfair treatment resonate with the interests of a significant segment of the public and influential shapeholders.
Shapeholders can create enormous opportunities for smart managers capable of effectively engaging with them.
Osiyevskyy, O. and Biloshapka, V. (2017), "Shapeholders: managing them as allies, partners and significant constituents", Strategy & Leadership, Vol. 45 No. 5, pp. 41-48. https://doi.org/10.1108/SL-07-2017-0064Download as .RIS
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