Journal of Business Ethics 87 (1):353-365 (2009)

The popular view of shareholder activism focuses on shareholder resolutions and the shareholder vote via proxy statements at the annual meeting, which is treated as a “David vs. Goliath” showdown between the small group of socially responsible investors and the powerful corporation. This article goes beyond the popular view to examine where the real action typically occurs – in the Dialogue process where corporations and shareholder activist groups mutually agree to ongoing communications to deal with a serious social issue. Use of the capitalized word “Dialogue” is intended to distinguish this formal process between corporations and shareholders from all the other forms of dialogue or two-way communication exchanged between a corporation and its stakeholders. The phenomenon of Dialogue between a corporation and dissident shareholders has not been analyzed in the academic literature or in the popular press because it occurs behind the scenes and out of sight from media scrutiny. Yet this is where a great deal of social change initiated by shareholder activists is negotiated. This article contributes both theoretically and empirically to the study of Dialogues between shareholder activists and corporations. We explain how Dialogues occur in the context of the shareholder resolution process and examine two Dialogues that focus on international labor issues in two industries. Then data on Dialogues during the period, 1999–2005, from the Interfaith Center on Corporate Responsibility are analyzed. This research contributes to knowledge about the Dialogue process and the emerging literature on corporation–stakeholder engagement
Keywords corporate social responsiveness  dialogue  ethical investing  shareholder activism  shareholder resolutions  socially responsible investing  stakeholder engagement  Interfaith Center on Corporate Responsibility
Categories (categorize this paper)
DOI 10.1007/s10551-008-9807-z
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Request removal from index
Revision history

Download options

PhilArchive copy

Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy     Papers currently archived: 62,401
External links

Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
Through your library

References found in this work BETA

Toward Effective Stakeholder Dialogue.Muel Kaptein & Rob Van Tulder - 2003 - Business and Society Review 108 (2):203-224.

View all 15 references / Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

View all 9 citations / Add more citations

Similar books and articles

Changing the World Through Shareholder Activism?Joakim Sandberg - 2011 - Nordic Journal of Applied Ethics 5 (1):51-78.
Corporate Targets of Shareholder Resolutions: What Do Green Resolutions and Poor Employee Relations Mean?Sara A. Morris - 2009 - Proceedings of the International Association for Business and Society 20:36-46.
A Network Analysis of Shareholder Activism.Donald H. Schepers - 2007 - Proceedings of the International Association for Business and Society 18:351-356.
Shareholder Activism: A Multidisciplinary View.Maria Goranova & Lori Verstegen Ryan - 2012 - Proceedings of the International Association for Business and Society 23:160-169.


Added to PP index

Total views
9 ( #919,739 of 2,445,528 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
1 ( #457,040 of 2,445,528 )

How can I increase my downloads?


My notes