27. Stakeholder collaboration and stakeholder competition in value creation


Organizer: Silvana Signori, | Gianfranco Rusconi

As outlined originally in Freeman (1984), stakeholder theory conceptualizes a firm as a vehicle with a primary purpose of serving interests and rights of different stakeholders.

As noted by Wood (2010:75), stakeholder literature has focused “on the firm rather than stakeholders” primarily for better understating management strategies to identify and manage stakeholders, gain their support, and balance their interests (see Laplume et al., 2008 for a literature review).

Acknowledged the central role of stakeholders in the creation of value, more recently stakeholder scholars have explored the process of value creation from a stakeholder-centred perspective, defining which value and utility stakeholders receive from a focal organization (Harrison et al., 2010; Harrison and Wicks, 2013), exploring how stakeholders attribute value to business activities (Lankoski et al., 2016), as well as, more generally, investigating whether stakeholders have obligations and responsibilities to the firm and its other stakeholders (e.g., Goodstein and Wicks, 2007; Fassin, 2012; Rusconi, 2019).

However, little attention has been devoted to how stakeholders interact with other stakeholders and how these relationships affects value creation. Although stakeholder theory emphasizes the jointness of stakeholder interests and the need for all stakeholders to benefit over time through their cooperation (Freeman et al., 2010; Freeman, Wicks & Parmar, 2004), scholars recognize that “stakeholders do not always cooperate and their interests can conflict” (Harrison and Wicks, 2013: 117) and compete for the allocation of business resources.

Hence, to contribute to enhance stakeholder theories from a stakeholder-based view, this track welcome research that address questions regarding cooperation and conflict among stakeholders and their claims, as well as investigate how different stakeholder-stakeholder interactions can enhance (or undermine) the value creation process and contribute to corporate ethical (or unethical) practices and business excellence (or failure).