From Power to Knowledge Relationships: Stakeholder Interactions as Learning Partnerships

  • Elena P. Antonacopoulou
  • Jérôme Meric

Abstract

Since it progressively became a major topic in Management Science from the late 1980s, the word ‘tradition’ can be used today to best describe stakeholder theory. Relations between the firm and stakeholders are ‘traditionally’ conceived on a single opposition axis introducing two main patterns of relations. On the one hand, stakeholders can intensify pressure over the firm thus, creating conflict. On the other hand, dialogue and partnership can be set through different methods, like the participation of NGOs in decision processes and strategic actions. In both cases, the patterns of relations are assumed to take place in the context of conflicting interests. This mode of conceptualizing stakeholder relations places power as a core dimension shaping stakeholder relationships. It could be argued that power relations seem to be the only imaginable relationships between the firm and those with whom it interacts — its ‘interactors’. In such a context, institutionalizing ‘fair contracts’ seems to be the only solution to overcome conflicting power relations. However, if such contracts are to be defined, it seems necessary to consider their possible content and the stakeholder relations they imply.

Keywords

Boulder Defend Stake Metaphor Meric 

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© Elena P. Antonacopoulou and Jérôme Meric 2005

Authors and Affiliations

  • Elena P. Antonacopoulou
  • Jérôme Meric

There are no affiliations available

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