Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to offer an explanatory process model of stakeholder management. The model shows how and why path dependence is manifested in stakeholder management issues. Design/methodology/approach – The paper integrates stakeholder theory with key ideas from path dependence literature. The resulting propositions are examined in the context of a longitudinal case study of the United Airlines and US Airways abandoned merger in 2000‐2001 Findings – The paper's analysis demonstrates that initial conditions are accentuated by the sequence of actions, offering a plausible explanation for process outcomes. Practical implications – On the practical side, the paper provides a problem‐solving tool for stakeholder management to analyze the stakeholder linkages during strategic initiatives. Originality/value – The paper addresses an important research gap, exploring how stakeholder‐related path dependencies influence the process of conflict escalation.
Management Decision – Emerald Publishing
Published: Jun 20, 2008
Keywords: Stakeholder analysis; Case studies; Airlines; Acquisitions and mergers
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