Stakeholder Mismanagement and Corporate Social Responsibility Crises

European Management Journal, Vol. 24, No. 1, pp. 59-72, 2006

33 Pages Posted: 4 Apr 2006

See all articles by Ans Kolk

Ans Kolk

University of Amsterdam Business School

Jonatan Pinkse

University of Manchester - Manchester Business School

Abstract

In the past decade, the stakeholder approach has gained much acceptance among academics and practitioners. Noticeably, there has been little consideration of the motivations and processes used by businesses to avoid or neglect stakeholder power and pressures. This is all the more remarkable in the light of recent corporate social responsibility scandals in which these mechanisms seem to have been at work. In order to shed some light on the background, organizational mechanisms and strategies underpinning stakeholder mismanagement, this paper reports two studies involving businesses that have gone through a severe integrity crisis, one that focuses on a single company (Ahold) and one on an entire industry (the Dutch building industry). While taking place in a country well-known for its stakeholder-oriented polder model, various stakeholders groups saw their basic interests violated in both cases.

Focusing on the nature of the corporate practices that have facilitated stakeholder mismanagement, mechanisms to reduce stakeholder power and to increase management power can be discerned in both cases, although the peculiarities and dynamics differ per case. Specific to Ahold is the impact of geographical diversification and its focus on customers, using various cueing mechanisms to present itself as socially responsive. The construction industry case points at a strategy of setting up industry-wide structures to manage relationships with a variety of stakeholders and building an environment that supports continuity.

Keywords: Ahold, Albert Heijn, Construction industry, social responsibility, stakeholders, stakeholder mismanagement

JEL Classification: F23, G38, G38, M14

Suggested Citation

Kolk, Ans and Pinkse, Jonatan, Stakeholder Mismanagement and Corporate Social Responsibility Crises. European Management Journal, Vol. 24, No. 1, pp. 59-72, 2006. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=894320

Ans Kolk (Contact Author)

University of Amsterdam Business School ( email )

Plantage Muidergracht 12
Amsterdam, 1018 TV
Netherlands
+31 20 525 4289 (Phone)
+31 20 525 5281 (Fax)

HOME PAGE: http://www.anskolk.eu

Jonatan Pinkse

University of Manchester - Manchester Business School ( email )

Booth Street West
Manchester, M15 6PB
United Kingdom

Register to save articles to
your library

Register

Paper statistics

Downloads
812
Abstract Views
3,032
rank
29,415
PlumX Metrics