Learning from multi-stakeholder networks: Issue-focussed stakeholder management [Book Review]

Journal of Business Ethics 82 (1):233 - 250 (2008)
From an analysis of the role of companies in multi-stakeholder networks and a critical review of stakeholder theory, it is argued that companies practise two different types of stakeholder management: they focus on their organization’s welfare (organization- focussed stakeholder management) or on an issue that affects their relationship with other societal groups and organizations (issue-focussed stakeholder management). These two approaches supplement each other. It is demonstrated that issue-focussed stakeholder management dominates in multi-stakeholder networks, because it enables corporations to address complex problems and challenges in cooperation with stakeholders. Since deliberation is the key to issue-focussed stakeholder management, it helps to cope with numerous and at times contradictory stakeholder demands and enhances the legitimacy of corporate activities.
Keywords stakeholder management  stakeholder dialogue  multi-stakeholder network  deliberation  conflict management  corporate citizenship  issue management
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