Bringing Managers Back into Stakeholder Theory: The Role of Practical Wisdom and Moral Agency
Extant literature presents two perspectives on how managers balance competing stakeholder interests. One points to norm-based and organization-specific general approaches, another to managers’ own perceptions and motives. We utilize a strategy-as-practice (SAP) lens and rely on mixed-methods to inductively investigate the interplay between organizations’ general approaches to stakeholder management and managers’ situation-specific balancing behaviors. Based on data from Dutch nonprofit organizations, we flesh out established practices and moral logics associated with organizations and show how managers deviate from them in situations involving competing stakeholder interests. We develop a theoretical model highlighting practical wisdom and moral agency as central for explaining the relation between general approaches to stakeholder management and managers’ situation-specific balancing behavior. We contribute to the stakeholder literature by challenging the view of managers as mere conduits of organizational approaches and by revealing new mechanisms of variation and change in stakeholder management practice. Our work also informs SAP scholarship on the micro-macro dynamics pertaining to tackling complex societal challenges. We conclude by identifying opportunities for further cross-fertilization of stakeholder theory and SAP.
Meeting ID: 930 2400 5810