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Stakeholders, the Environment and Society

Edited by Sanjay Sharma and Mark Starik

The role of stakeholders is integral to corporate sustainability as society increasingly demands that corporations play a role in achieving environmental objectives in addition to building shareholder wealth. In the first book to gather cutting-edge research on the interactions between stakeholders and organizations within the context of corporate sustainability, the contributors to this volume provide a diversity of perspectives from North America, Europe, and Oceania.
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Chapter 4: Stakeholder Influence Strategies for Smarter Growth

Duane Windsor


4. Stakeholder influence strategies for smarter growth Duane Windsor INTRODUCTION This chapter seeks to advance sustainable development by examining how concerned stakeholders can influence more effectively firms and their other stakeholders toward smarter growth options that will evolve over time into truly sustainable business models. ‘Special forum issues’ of The Academy of Management Review gave theoretical attention to ecologically sustainable organizations (1995) and the related role of time (2001). Understudied is the as yet weakly exploited potential for more effective stakeholder influence efforts and stakeholder coalition or network governance arrangements. The sustainable development context often generates mixed conflict and cooperation situations for a firm and its stakeholders. Relationships among firms, concerned stakeholders and other stakeholders will involve sometimes tradeoffs of stakeholder interests and sometimes possibilities for win–win collaboration. Stakeholder influence strategies and governance arrangements can have significant implications for moving the balance from tradeoffs toward collaborations (Gray, 1989; Svendsen, 1998). Stakeholder influence strategies are approaches by which concerned stakeholders can affect the actions of firms and other stakeholders. Governance arrangements concern how coalitions and networks can function more effectively over time (Dickerson, 1998). A coalition is a temporary relationship among stakeholders with different interests. A network is a permanently structured relationship among such stakeholders. (Time is a key feature of the distinction.) More effective stakeholder coalitions and networks and influence strategies are needed for generating valid scientific and technical information, political...

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