Stakeholders in strategy: their 'invisible' but significant presence

Colin Eden, Fran Ackermann, Peter McKiernan

Research output: Contribution to conferenceAbstractpeer-review


Stakeholders are critical to the strategy process but, in much of the strategy literature, they are rarely seen or heard. This appears to contradict practice - where experienced strategy makers and their advisors hold them in eminent positions. These contrasting perceptions are the focus of the research in this paper. Herein, we investigate the content of academia’s pedagogy and contrast that with the significance of stakeholders to members of senior management teams seeking to develop strategy. This paper reports on the analysis and outcome of this empirical research, where the purpose of the research was to understand i) the significance of stakeholders about what matters for the strategic future of the organisation in the initial views of a management team, and ii) the characteristics of stakeholders mentioned. The research shows that stakeholders (and actors in general) were very significant to public/not-for-profit senior managers when thinking about their strategy and that the majority are stakeholders with an interest in the strategic future of the focal organisation. These finding are important as, in strategy development, explicating and exploring the response of stakeholders to proposed strategic action can be crucial to the success of the strategy.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Aug 2019
EventAoM 2019: 79th Annual Meeting of the Academy of Management. Boston, MA - Boston, United States
Duration: 9 Aug 201913 Aug 2019


ConferenceAoM 2019: 79th Annual Meeting of the Academy of Management. Boston, MA
Abbreviated titleAoM 2019
Country/TerritoryUnited States
Internet address


  • stakeholders
  • strategy
  • strategy development


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