Shake Your Stakeholder: Firms Leading Engagement to Cocreate Sustainable Value

Publication Type:
Journal Article
Organization and Environment, 2018, 31 (3), pp. 223 - 241
Issue Date:
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© The Author(s) 2017. While most extant scholarship has focused on how stakeholders influence firms, we propose that firms play a critical role in “shaking” stakeholders. Shaking stakeholders means to proactively initiate cooperation with those affected by a firm to alter awareness, behavior, and networks so as to catalyze change in society and the marketplace to reward cocreated innovations in core operations of the firm that improve social and environmental impacts. Two previously underappreciated aspects of stakeholder relations are highlighted. First, the firm can be the entity that leads engagement that shakes stakeholders out of complacency. Second, firms can catalyze collaborative relationships to cocreate sustainable value that is shared with stakeholders. We offer several cases to illustrate this strategy. While stakeholder shaking may be useful in any business environment, global ecological crises, societal problems, and governance failures heighten the need for firms to take action to bring about profound and systemic changes.
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