State Agency Discretion and the Radical Flank: An Examination of Stakeholder Opposition to Hydroelectric Facilities
Posted: 12 Jan 2021
Date Written: June 6, 2019
Although scholarship has highlighted how stakeholders can influence firm outcomes, relatively few studies have examined how simultaneous different tactics can interact to impact firms. Critical to understanding this interaction is the radical flank effect, which asserts that the moderate and radical elements of social activist tactics can interact to either enhance or diminish a movement’s ability to accomplish its goals. However, not only is research unclear about when and whether radical flank will enhance or diminish activist influence, but it also says little about the institutional and organizational factors that may influence its effectiveness. We seek to address these limitations by examining stakeholder opposition to new facilities in the U.S hydroelectric power sector, from 1978-2014. Drawing upon management and political sociology studies, we argue that state regulatory discretion shifts the accountability for regulatory decision making in a manner that determines the direction of the radical flank effect on government-agency decision making. The results show that greater regulatory agency discretion enhances the radical flank effect, thereby enhancing stakeholders’ influence, while lower regulatory agency discretion reverses the radical flank effect, thereby diminishing their impact on organizational outcomes.
Keywords: stakeholder management, nonmarket strategy, institutional environment, radical flank, social movements
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation