Shareholder communication and issue salience: corporate responses to ‘social’ shareholder activism

Informa UK Limited
Publication Type:
Journal Article
Journal of Applied Communication Research, 2018, 46, (2), pp. 179-201
Issue Date:
Full metadata record
© 2018 National Communication Association. This study focuses on corporate engagement when shareholder activists raise concerns about social issues during annual shareholder meetings. Building upon strategic communication, social activism, and management research, the study combines Stakeholder Salience Theory (SST) and Issues Management Theory to explain corporate responses to shareholder activism. The researchers constructed a dataset of 844 shareholder actions in the U.S., all concerning environmental issues from 2006 to 2014. The analyses revealed that the urgency of the shareholder requests was the main driver of saliency. Moreover, shareholder activism strategies that engage corporations in private negotiations appeared to be effective in eliciting positive corporate responses. The findings contribute to applied communication theory and research by advancing SST with an issues management perspective in the context of shareholder activism.
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