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Enhancing Stakeholder Practice: A Particularized Exploration of Community

  • Laura Dunham, R. Edward Freeman and Jeanne Liedtka

Abstract:

Lack of specificity around stakeholder identity remains a serious obstacle to the further development of stakeholder theory and its adoption in actual practice by business managers. Nowhere is this shortcoming more evident than in stakeholder theory’s treatment of the constituency known as “community.”

In this paper we attempt to set forth what we call “the Problem of Community” as indicative of the definitional problems of stakeholder theory. We then begin the process of gaining greater specificity around our notions of community and the role of community in stakeholder theory and management. In doing so, we identify the emergence of two fairly new forms of community that we believe are particularly relevant to the stakeholder theorist and practicing manager. These two new variants of community—the virtual advocacy group and the community of practice—extend the notion of community in new directions, which have strikingly different implications for stakeholder theory and practice.

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Enhancing Stakeholder Practice: A Particularized Exploration of Community

  • Laura Dunham, R. Edward Freeman and Jeanne Liedtka

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