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Rethinking the salience of not-for-profit and for-profit stakeholders of a firm

Rethinking the salience of not-for-profit and for-profit stakeholders of a firm PurposeAlthough Mitchell et al. (1997) recognize salience attributes as variables, the salience framework based on a dichotomous representation of salience attributes does not explain why, in some instances, a latent stakeholder is assigned more salience than a definitive stakeholder. This paper explains this riddle by bringing the debate to the organizational population level and suggests a new perspective for understanding the process of stakeholder identification and prioritization.Design/methodology/approachThe authors compare two organizational populations, i.e. “for-profit and not-for-profit” which are distinguishable from one another based on the dominant institutional logic that each endorses. The authors, therefore, mobilize the institutional theory and bring the debate of the stakeholder salience to the organizational population level.FindingsThe authors propose that members of an organizational population endorsing similar institutional logic develop salience attributes of similar potential values, which are radically different from those of the members of other organizational populations; these potential values act as precursors that determine the perceived values of salience attributes for a manager; and dominant and recessive salience attributes work, at the organizational population level, to determine stakeholder prioritization.Originality/valueThe original model of Mitchell et al. (1997) has been cited more than 9,000 times, but the process of stakeholder evaluation remains a black box (Bundy et al., 2013; Tashman and Raelin, 2013). This paper contributes to the debate and suggests a change in the level of analysis (to the organizational population) and a focus on the institutional logic perspective. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Society and Business Review Emerald Publishing

Rethinking the salience of not-for-profit and for-profit stakeholders of a firm

Society and Business Review , Volume 12 (2): 16 – Jul 10, 2017

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Publisher
Emerald Publishing
Copyright
Copyright © Emerald Group Publishing Limited
ISSN
1746-5680
DOI
10.1108/SBR-09-2016-0051
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

PurposeAlthough Mitchell et al. (1997) recognize salience attributes as variables, the salience framework based on a dichotomous representation of salience attributes does not explain why, in some instances, a latent stakeholder is assigned more salience than a definitive stakeholder. This paper explains this riddle by bringing the debate to the organizational population level and suggests a new perspective for understanding the process of stakeholder identification and prioritization.Design/methodology/approachThe authors compare two organizational populations, i.e. “for-profit and not-for-profit” which are distinguishable from one another based on the dominant institutional logic that each endorses. The authors, therefore, mobilize the institutional theory and bring the debate of the stakeholder salience to the organizational population level.FindingsThe authors propose that members of an organizational population endorsing similar institutional logic develop salience attributes of similar potential values, which are radically different from those of the members of other organizational populations; these potential values act as precursors that determine the perceived values of salience attributes for a manager; and dominant and recessive salience attributes work, at the organizational population level, to determine stakeholder prioritization.Originality/valueThe original model of Mitchell et al. (1997) has been cited more than 9,000 times, but the process of stakeholder evaluation remains a black box (Bundy et al., 2013; Tashman and Raelin, 2013). This paper contributes to the debate and suggests a change in the level of analysis (to the organizational population) and a focus on the institutional logic perspective.

Journal

Society and Business ReviewEmerald Publishing

Published: Jul 10, 2017

References