Creating Common Ground: A Communicative Action Model of Dialogue in Shareholder Engagement

Organization Science, Vol. 29, No. 6, 2018, pp 1187 - 1207

43 Pages Posted: 10 Apr 2014 Last revised: 12 Apr 2019

Date Written: April 30, 2018

Abstract

In explaining how activists engage corporations, social movement theory has provided a compelling account of contentious activism and tempered radicalism. The growing use of dialogue, by contrast, has not received a comparable level of attention. On the basis of a four-year qualitative study of a faith-based coalition of investors, we develop a process model of how shareholder dialogue leads to corporate change. Through repeated engagement activists leverage internal corporate political debate to achieve synthesis. Such dialogue requires raising awareness, building coalitions, and reframing. We contribute to social movement theory by extending the open polity perspective to dialogue, and by outlining how contentious tactics, tempered radicalism, and dialogue are complementary.

Keywords: Shareholder Engagement, Sociallly Responsible Investing, ESG Investing, Climate Change, Shareholder Stewardship

Suggested Citation

Ferraro, Fabrizio and Beunza, Daniel, Creating Common Ground: A Communicative Action Model of Dialogue in Shareholder Engagement (April 30, 2018). Organization Science, Vol. 29, No. 6, 2018, pp 1187 - 1207. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2419571 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2419571

Fabrizio Ferraro (Contact Author)

IESE Business School ( email )

AV.da Pearson 21
Barcelona, 08034
Spain
932534200 (Phone)

HOME PAGE: http://https://blog.iese.edu/ferraro/

Daniel Beunza

Cass Business School ( email )

London
United Kingdom

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