Stakeholder Engagement beyond the Tension between Idealism and Practical Concerns

Risultato della ricerca: Contributo in rivistaArticolo in rivista


This paper digs into the existing controversial literature on stakeholder engagement (SE) to understand and critically confront with ambivalence in the concept. This is done by exploring how SE is conceptually framed and pragmatically pursued in the representations of current business practices. The study is designed according to a qualitative interpretive approach based on depth interviews with a purposively selected theoretical sample of key informants with established expertise in stakeholder relationship management practices. According to our findings, SE appears torn between an idealistic impetus on the fringe of a utopian vision of the business, and its often trivial translation into practice urged by the pragmatic necessity to meet accountability requirements. This tension stems from corporate governance logics and organizational business models of firms, which are often not prone to guarantee the participatory and genuinely dialogic exchange between company and stakeholders advocated by the idealistic mandate of SE. In terms of contribution the paper provides a critical inductive reconstruction of current meanings and clashes embedded in enacting SE.
Lingua originaleEnglish
pagine (da-a)14-26
Numero di pagine13
Stato di pubblicazionePubblicato - 2017


  • business-society relations
  • moral engagement
  • stakeholder dialogue
  • stakeholder engagement
  • strategic engagement


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