Stakeholder engagement delivers critical insight on global issues

To tackle global issues like climate change, poverty, and health and wellness, individuals acrossGlobe-Hands.jpg sectors have to work together cooperatively.

Every day at the Boston College Center for Corporate Citizenship, we work with companies to realize their full capacity to create global change, and we know that work is not undertaken alone. 

Our members think carefully about how their local engagements contribute to the bigger picture and about their impacts on a variety of stakeholders. Our members engage with those outside the corporate walls to understand where they can put their assets to work and how they can prevent negative impacts. These companies engage a broad range of supporters AND critics to ensure well-informed decisions based on a variety of perspectives.   

Stakeholder engagement is critical, and the ongoing, productive relationships companies foster with their internal and external stakeholders are beneficial to the company and to society. For example, companies with good stakeholder relations are better able to recover from poor financial performance; research on the S&P 500 found that a firm’s financial performance can fluctuate for various reasons, including factors outside of its control, but good relations with stakeholders can help offset those risks.[1] Additional research revealed that when employees and customers sense that a company has good corporate citizenship behavior, they hold more positive beliefs, trust, and intent towards a firm.[2] Proactive stakeholder engagement is a risk mitigation tool as well as a rich source of ideas to differentiate among peers and even anticipate future opportunities.

[1] Choi, J., & Wang, H. (2009). Stakeholder relations and the persistence of corporate financial performance. Strategic Management Journal, 30, 895-907.

[2] Hillenbrand, C., Money, K., Ghobadian, A. (2013). Unpacking the mechanism by which corporate responsibility impacts stakeholder relationships. British Journal of Management, 24, 127-146.