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Article
Publication date: 15 June 2015

Oday Kamal, David Brown, Prabhu Sivabalan and Heidi Sundin

– The purpose of this research is to understand how accounting information mobilises stakeholder salience at an industry level.

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this research is to understand how accounting information mobilises stakeholder salience at an industry level.

Design/methodology/approach

A case study method using an explanation building approach was applied to gather information surrounding dairy industry stakeholder uses of accounting information to communicate their salience, in the historical context, leading to, and the events surrounding the milk price “war” in Australia. The Mitchell et al. (1997) stakeholder salience framework was used to advance our understanding of the different ways accounting can be mobilized by stakeholders with different types of salience attributes, at an industry level.

Findings

This empirical analysis produces two insights into the relation between accounting and stakeholder salience. First, there is evidence as to how accounting information impacted on stakeholder salience at an industry level by demonstrating how accounting information (in)directly communicated and justified the increase of a stakeholder’s level of salience. Second, the Mitchell et al. (1997) model is extended by attributing levels of importance to each stakeholder attribute. It was found that, in this setting, power was the most salient attribute of the three, usurping legitimacy and urgency, leading to the outcomes observed.

Research limitations/implications

This paper acknowledged the usual method limitations related to this style of qualitative research, including investigator bias and lack of statistical generalization. In addition, a second set of limitations critiques the paper’s operating framework. While the Mitchell et al. (1997) stakeholder salience model proved to be a suitable choice for this research, it is limited in the way in which stakeholder attributes are presented and used to identify stakeholders. In addition, further light may be provided on the distinctions between the different magnitudes of power, legitimacy and urgency between stakeholders after suggesting that they are not equally weighted.

Practical implications

The milk price “war” remains a high-profile discussion amongst the general public. This research contributes to a better understanding of how different players (stakeholders) have their salience claims mobilized through accounting information. Practitioners in the dairy industry might reflect on the findings to enhance their legitimacy pursuits in future negotiations with their counter-parties, and better deploy accounting to achieve the same.

Social implications

The findings speak more broadly to notions of social equity in stakeholder relations, for the production and distribution of a product that is ubiquitously used in society (dairy – milk). The findings from this study therefore have potential to assist policymakers better understand the strategies adopted by stakeholders to impose their influence and defend their claims in a public forum, using accounting information.

Originality/value

The authors contend that the article provides evidence at an industry level, that is lacking in extant management accounting research (Collier, 2000). To this extent, an original contribution is claimed. The paper is also valuable to management accounting and management researchers studying stakeholder salience, and is one of the first to investigate this issue at an industry level, as well as express how accounting mobilises this salience.

Details

Qualitative Research in Accounting & Management, vol. 12 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1176-6093

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Article
Publication date: 8 June 2010

Supriti Mishra and Damodar Suar

This study aims to examine whether strategy towards primary stakeholders and their salience influence corporate social responsibility towards the corresponding stakeholders.

Abstract

Purpose

This study aims to examine whether strategy towards primary stakeholders and their salience influence corporate social responsibility towards the corresponding stakeholders.

Design/methodology/approach

Data were collected through a questionnaire from 150 senior level managers including CEOs. The stakeholder management strategy, salience, and corporate social responsibility were assessed in the context of employees, customers, investors, community, natural environment, and suppliers.

Findings

The favorable strategy towards stakeholders increases the corresponding corporate social responsibility towards them. The salience of all stakeholder groups also enhances the corresponding corporate social responsibility. When salience and strategy are considered, the salience of a particular stakeholder group suppresses the effect of strategy fully or partially on corporate social responsibility.

Research limitations/implications

The salience of a stakeholder is a potent antecedent of corporate social responsibility compared with strategy towards that stakeholder.

Originality/value

A questionnaire is developed to assess corporate social responsibility in the Indian context, and the link between strategy, salience, and corporate social responsibility is established.

Details

Social Responsibility Journal, vol. 6 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1747-1117

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Book part
Publication date: 23 May 2017

Ronald K. Mitchell, Jae Hwan Lee and Bradley R. Agle

In this chapter, we update stakeholder salience research using the new lens of stakeholder work: the purposive processes of organization aimed at being aware of…

Abstract

In this chapter, we update stakeholder salience research using the new lens of stakeholder work: the purposive processes of organization aimed at being aware of, identifying, understanding, prioritizing, and engaging stakeholders. Specifically, we focus on stakeholder prioritization work — primarily as represented by the stakeholder salience model — and discuss contributions, shortcomings, and possibilities for this literature. We suggest that future research focus on stakeholder inclusivity, the complexity of prioritization work within intra-corporate markets, the integration of stakeholder prioritization with other forms of stakeholder work, and the development of managerial tools for multiobjective decision making within the strategic management context.

Details

Stakeholder Management
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78714-407-1

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Article
Publication date: 6 November 2017

Pavithra Siriwardhane and Dennis Taylor

The purpose of this study is to investigate the relationship between the degree of stakeholder salience and the degree of emphasis placed on accountability dimensions for…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this study is to investigate the relationship between the degree of stakeholder salience and the degree of emphasis placed on accountability dimensions for infrastructure assets (IFAs) as perceived by mayors and chief executive officers (CEOs) of local government authorities (LGAs). Comparisons are drawn between the salience accorded to two broad stakeholder groups at the public level and at the government level.

Design/methodology/approach

Perceptions of mayors and CEOs are examined through a mail questionnaire survey administered among LGAs in Australia.

Findings

Overall accountability for IFAs by the LGAs is influenced by the salience accorded to the demands and needs of public stakeholders (PSs) but not the salience accorded to government stakeholders (GS). It is evident that public and managerial accountabilities are impacted by PS salience, whereas political accountability is impacted by the salience of GS. Thus, it emphasises that the establishment and implementation of policies, processes and systems that render transparency and responsiveness to the public, as well as service quality and the disclosure of performance measures, are positively affected by the salience accorded to PS groups.

Research limitations/implications

The results of the study may be affected by the inherent weaknesses associated with mail surveys.

Practical implications

Accountability of LGAs for IFAs to GS needs enhancement, specifically stronger policy incentives.

Originality/value

This paper contributes to the literature, providing evidence on how mayors and CEOs of LGAs perceive the salience of different stakeholders of IFAs and its impact on the perceived accountability.

Details

Pacific Accounting Review, vol. 29 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0114-0582

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Article
Publication date: 26 August 2014

Pavithra Siriwardhane and Dennis Taylor

The purpose of the study is to investigate differences between the perceptions of the Mayors and Chief Executive Officers (CEOs) of local government authorities (LGAs…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of the study is to investigate differences between the perceptions of the Mayors and Chief Executive Officers (CEOs) of local government authorities (LGAs) with regards to the attributes of power, legitimacy and urgency of different identified stakeholder groups regarding their claims and needs concerning infrastructure assets. Stakeholder groups are categorised into those at the public level and those at higher-tier government level.

Design/methodology/approach

A survey of 420 LGAs throughout Australia was undertaken using an instrument developed from the constructs in Mitchell et al.’s (1997) theory of stakeholder identification and salience.

Findings

The results first reveal that there are more similarities than differences between the perceptions of the Mayors and CEOs with regard to stakeholder attributes of different stakeholder groups. Second, both Mayors and CEOs view stakeholders in infrastructure decision-making as largely “expectant dependant”. However, there is evidence that some biased priority may be accorded to the “public stakeholder” category over “higher-tier government” category because the CEO’s perception of the power of “public” stakeholders, together with the Mayor’s managerial values, is significantly positively related to their perceptions of the salience of these “public” stakeholders, but not “higher-tier government” stakeholders. However the results of the analysis change in the combined sample of the Mayor and CEO, making both categories of stakeholders as “definitive” in infrastructure decision-making.

Research limitations/implications

The results of this study are subject to the usual limitation of mail surveys, including biases that can arise in respondents’ rating based on their perceptions. The findings have implications for the process of infrastructure decision-making in local governments.

Originality/value

This paper contributes to the literature, providing evidence on how Mayors and CEOs of local governments prioritise the needs, interests and claims of different stakeholders with respect to infrastructure assets.

Details

Journal of Accounting & Organizational Change, vol. 10 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1832-5912

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Article
Publication date: 1 January 2006

Eleanor R.E. O'Higgins and Joseph W. Morgan

To study relationships between focal organisations and their stakeholders in a generic way, beyond the agency/transaction cost approach usually used in business research…

Abstract

Purpose

To study relationships between focal organisations and their stakeholders in a generic way, beyond the agency/transaction cost approach usually used in business research. The domain was political parties and their stakeholders.

Design/methodology/approach

Study participants were officials and activists in five major Irish political parties. They were asked to nominate their most important stakeholders, to rate these stakeholders on salience as represented by power, legitimacy and urgency and to describe extent and intensity of their party engagement with these stakeholders.

Findings

Stakeholders considered more important to the organisation receive higher levels of engagement from the parties than those stakeholders thought to be less critical. The results suggest that high levels of stakeholder engagement can yield beneficial electoral results for political parties. The importance of looking after “internal stakeholders” is also supported. The three attributes of power, legitimacy and urgency do not seem to describe completely the salience of stakeholders to all organisations in a generic sense. The adequacy of the three attributes is most supported in mainstream organisations with a focused pragmatic orientation toward “winning”. However, it appears that more ideologically oriented organisations may assign higher salience to stakeholders who fit their ideology, as opposed to those who possess power, legitimacy and urgency.

Research limitations/implications

The ideological dimension of stakeholder salience which emerged in this study is worthy of further exploration, especially in its implications for actual stakeholder engagement and behaviour with respect to corporate social responsibility.

Practical implications

In the business arena – the study suggests that high levels of stakeholder engagement can yield beneficial results. It also demonstrates the importance of looking after internal stakeholders.

Originality/value

Discovery of dynamics between a focal organisation and its stakeholders in a more generic way than offered in traditional business research.

Details

Society and Business Review, vol. 1 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1746-5680

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Article
Publication date: 17 February 2020

Bruce H. Bader, M. Affan Badar, Suhansa Rodchua and Alister McLeod

This research brings together two streams of thought applied to decision-making: lean thinking and stakeholder theory. Both have been identified as ways to improve…

Abstract

Purpose

This research brings together two streams of thought applied to decision-making: lean thinking and stakeholder theory. Both have been identified as ways to improve organizational value. Previous studies disagree regarding whether they can work together. This study investigates if managers balance stakeholders and lean thinking in decision-making.

Design/methodology/approach

This research investigates if both lean thinking and stakeholder salience share common literature by using data mining. It surveys organizations that perceive themselves as lean and have multiple diverse stakeholders to determine whether waste and salience are considered when making decisions. An ANOVA is done to see if organization type, management level, organization size, geographic location, or lean maturity has an effect on the priority of stakeholder salience or lean thinking's waste variants when making decisions.

Findings

Findings of this research are: 1) stakeholders salience criteria are considered more often than lean thinking's waste variants in decision-making by managers as a whole and in particular by middle-level managers and senior managers. However, lean thinking's waste variants are considered as often as stakeholder salience criteria by first-line managers. 2) The ranking of stakeholder salience in making decisions is not affected by organization type, respondent position, organization size, perceived lean experience, or geographic location. The organization type, organization size, lean experience, and location do not affect the ranking of lean thinking variants either. But the ranking of lean thinking's waste variants is significantly different for first-line, middle-level, and senior managers. Middle-level managers rank lean thinking higher than that of either first-line or senior-level. Because of this, middle managers have a more balanced approach in using lean thinking and stakeholder salience than other managers. 3) Stakeholder salience criteria have a significantly higher ranking than lean thinking variants in making decisions for all organization types: manufacturing and nonmanufacturing.

Originality/Value

This research demonstrates a significant disconnect exists between lean thinking and demands of stakeholders that impacts the value of an organization, and only middle-level managers bring balance and awareness of both streams of thought. An empirical instrument has been developed to balance the stakeholder salience criteria with the lean thinking variants.

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Article
Publication date: 10 July 2017

Shahzad Khurram and Florent Pestre

Although Mitchell et al. (1997) recognize salience attributes as variables, the salience framework based on a dichotomous representation of salience attributes does not…

Abstract

Purpose

Although Mitchell et al. (1997) recognize salience attributes as variables, the salience framework based on a dichotomous representation of salience attributes does not explain why, in some instances, a latent stakeholder is assigned more salience than a definitive stakeholder. This paper explains this riddle by bringing the debate to the organizational population level and suggests a new perspective for understanding the process of stakeholder identification and prioritization.

Design/methodology/approach

The authors compare two organizational populations, i.e. “for-profit and not-for-profit” which are distinguishable from one another based on the dominant institutional logic that each endorses. The authors, therefore, mobilize the institutional theory and bring the debate of the stakeholder salience to the organizational population level.

Findings

The authors propose that members of an organizational population endorsing similar institutional logic develop salience attributes of similar potential values, which are radically different from those of the members of other organizational populations; these potential values act as precursors that determine the perceived values of salience attributes for a manager; and dominant and recessive salience attributes work, at the organizational population level, to determine stakeholder prioritization.

Originality/value

The original model of Mitchell et al. (1997) has been cited more than 9,000 times, but the process of stakeholder evaluation remains a black box (Bundy et al., 2013; Tashman and Raelin, 2013). This paper contributes to the debate and suggests a change in the level of analysis (to the organizational population) and a focus on the institutional logic perspective.

Details

Society and Business Review, vol. 12 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1746-5680

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Article
Publication date: 8 June 2015

Sridevi Shivarajan, Thomas DuBois and Aravind Srinivasan

Can marginalized stakeholders whose issues with the firm are unaddressed because of their resource and legitimacy constraints (low salience) increase their salience by…

Abstract

Purpose

Can marginalized stakeholders whose issues with the firm are unaddressed because of their resource and legitimacy constraints (low salience) increase their salience by capitalizing on certain inherent properties of their stakeholder environment? The purpose of this paper is to examine this question using a real life case of the Coca-Cola controversy in Kerala, India, where a group of local aboriginals succeeded against all odds in shutting down a Coca-Cola plant which was allegedly polluting their water resources. The analysis of the longitudinal data collected in this case supported the hypotheses that the ability of marginalized stakeholders to increase their salience by influencing other stakeholders depends both on the attributes of other stakeholders (favorable, unfavorable and indifferent), and the triadic relationships among them. The triadic relationships among stakeholders show a tendency toward balance, and become particularly relevant when the marginalized stakeholder’s issues are perceived to have low legitimacy due to their normative nature (which makes them difficult to be translated into economic terms). The findings offer important insights to both marginalized stakeholders and firms, on proactively managing their stakeholder environments.

Design/methodology/approach

The authors use a single case: the controversy surrounding Coca-Cola in Kerala, India, and conduct a longitudinal study examining both qualitative and quantitative data.

Findings

The findings indicate that marginalized stakeholders can capitalize on certain inherent properties of their stakeholder networks and increase their salience to influence the focal firm. Specifically, the authors find that stakeholder salience is a function of both the dyadic relationships between stakeholders, and the triadic relationships among them. These triadic relationships tend to a state of balance over time. The authors also find that when the stakeholder issue is normative in nature the triadic relationships are more important in increasing stakeholder salience.

Originality/value

The authors conduct an original case study research, with primary qualitative data collected by the authors. The authors also develop a quantitative model to examine this data to arrive at the findings. Therefore the authors contribute both theoretically and empirically to stakeholder salience literature.

Details

Annals in Social Responsibility, vol. 1 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2056-3515

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Article
Publication date: 16 May 2016

Giacomo Boesso and Kamalesh Kumar

The purpose of this paper is to examine the association between stakeholder culture, stakeholder salience and firm response to stakeholder demands, based on the stakeholder

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to examine the association between stakeholder culture, stakeholder salience and firm response to stakeholder demands, based on the stakeholder culture framework.

Design/methodology/approach

The study was conducted in a field setting involving 292 mid-level managers who completed measures of stakeholder culture and stakeholder engagement activities (SEAs) in their organizations.

Findings

Results show that managers in organizations with different stakeholder cultures differentially ascribe and weigh the three attributes of power, legitimacy, and urgency when determining stakeholder salience. In addition, stakeholder culture is also associated with how managers respond to stakeholder issues in terms of SEAs.

Research limitations/implications

Findings of the study justify the need to extend the stakeholder salience theory beyond the values of senior managers to include organization-level factors. This study is largely exploratory and the relationships that have been observed are associational in character.

Practical implications

Results show that both ascription of stakeholder salience and the nature of SEAs are associated with stakeholder culture prevalent in an organization. This implies that managers may face constraints in managing stakeholder relationships, regardless of their personal values and beliefs, and may have to make deliberate efforts to modify the culture.

Originality/value

Despite the fact that researchers have been urged to examine how organization-level phenomena guide managerial thinking and decision making with respect to stakeholder relationships, empirical research on the topic is lacking. This study contributes to the emerging research on firm-level perspective on stakeholder management.

Details

Management Decision, vol. 54 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0025-1747

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