Beyond the final consumer: The effectiveness of a generalist stakeholder strategy

A. Grinstein, Arieh Goldman

Research output: Contribution to JournalArticleAcademicpeer-review

Abstract

Purpose: Managers often face a number of dilemmas with respect to their stakeholders: Who are the most salient ones? How many should they target? How to allocate attention/efforts among them? Based on stakeholders and market orientation research this paper aims to address these dilemmas. Design/methodology/approach: The study is based on a survey of managers in a cross-industry sample of 115 firms. The authors first identify a specific group of salient stakeholders - those providing the firm with revenues and financial support. The article then studies the conditions under which firms should adopt a key approach to stakeholders' management - a "generalist" stakeholder strategy, that is, deal with a larger number of revenue and funding producing stakeholder types, and/or more evenly spread attention/efforts among them. Findings: The findings suggest that a generalist stakeholder strategy has a positive effect on firms' performance among resource-rich firms and among firms who face dissimilar ("unrelated") stakeholders. Also, degree of environmental volatility was not found to moderate the relationship between a generalist stakeholder strategy and firms' performance. Research limitations/implications: The study contributes to the marketing and stakeholder literatures by identifying and studying a group of important stakeholders beyond final consumers - those providing the firm with revenues and financial support, and by studying the conditions under which firms benefit from one key approach to stakeholders - a "generalist" stakeholder strategy. The study's limitations characterize most cross-sectional survey research (e.g. single informants, subjective performance assessments). However, substantial efforts were made to ensure the validity and robustness of the findings. Practical implications: The study offers managers insight into the organizational and environmental conditions under which firms should adopt a generalist stakeholder strategy. Originality/value: This is one of the few papers that integrate into the marketing literature the study of stakeholders. Specifically, it introduces the concept of a generalist stakeholder strategy.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)567-595
Number of pages29
JournalEuropean Journal of Marketing
Volume45
Issue number4
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2011

Fingerprint

Stakeholders
Revenue
Managers
Marketing
Firm performance
Financial support
Performance assessment
Design methodology
Environmental conditions
Stakeholder orientation
Robustness
Stakeholder management
Industry
Funding
Firm resources
Survey research
Market orientation

Keywords

  • Consumers
  • Management strategy
  • Marketing strategy
  • Stakeholder analysis

Cite this

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title = "Beyond the final consumer: The effectiveness of a generalist stakeholder strategy",
abstract = "Purpose: Managers often face a number of dilemmas with respect to their stakeholders: Who are the most salient ones? How many should they target? How to allocate attention/efforts among them? Based on stakeholders and market orientation research this paper aims to address these dilemmas. Design/methodology/approach: The study is based on a survey of managers in a cross-industry sample of 115 firms. The authors first identify a specific group of salient stakeholders - those providing the firm with revenues and financial support. The article then studies the conditions under which firms should adopt a key approach to stakeholders' management - a {"}generalist{"} stakeholder strategy, that is, deal with a larger number of revenue and funding producing stakeholder types, and/or more evenly spread attention/efforts among them. Findings: The findings suggest that a generalist stakeholder strategy has a positive effect on firms' performance among resource-rich firms and among firms who face dissimilar ({"}unrelated{"}) stakeholders. Also, degree of environmental volatility was not found to moderate the relationship between a generalist stakeholder strategy and firms' performance. Research limitations/implications: The study contributes to the marketing and stakeholder literatures by identifying and studying a group of important stakeholders beyond final consumers - those providing the firm with revenues and financial support, and by studying the conditions under which firms benefit from one key approach to stakeholders - a {"}generalist{"} stakeholder strategy. The study's limitations characterize most cross-sectional survey research (e.g. single informants, subjective performance assessments). However, substantial efforts were made to ensure the validity and robustness of the findings. Practical implications: The study offers managers insight into the organizational and environmental conditions under which firms should adopt a generalist stakeholder strategy. Originality/value: This is one of the few papers that integrate into the marketing literature the study of stakeholders. Specifically, it introduces the concept of a generalist stakeholder strategy.",
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Beyond the final consumer : The effectiveness of a generalist stakeholder strategy. / Grinstein, A.; Goldman, Arieh.

In: European Journal of Marketing, Vol. 45, No. 4, 04.2011, p. 567-595.

Research output: Contribution to JournalArticleAcademicpeer-review

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