Stakeholder Salience (Mitchell, Agle and Wood)

Stakeholder Mapping
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Maurits de Jonge
Lawyer, Netherlands

Stakeholder Salience (Mitchell, Agle and Wood)

🔥NEW Mitchell, Agle and Wood expressed the importance of stakeholders’ needs and wishes to the company with the term 'salience'. Stakeholders’ salience is defined as 'the degree to which managers give priority to competing stakeholder claims' and is determined by the weighted power of stakeholders, the legitimacy of their actions, and the urgency of their needs and wishes:
  1. POWER: 'the extent to which a party has or can gain access to coercive (physical means), utilitarian (material means) or normative (prestige, esteem and social) means to impose their will'.
  2. LEGITIMACY: 'a generalized perception or assumption that the actions of an entity are desirable, proper, or appropriate within some socially constructed system of norms, values, beliefs, and definitions'.
  3. URGENCY: 'the degree to which stakeholder claims call for immediate attention'. The degree depends not just on time-sensitivity, but also on how critical the relationship is with stakeholder or the importance of their claim.
From this stakeholder mapping typology Mitchell, Agle and Wood developed a theory of stakeholder salience. The more attributes – power, legitimacy, and urgency – a stakeholder is perceived to have, the higher its salience.
The managers of any company or organization will give most priority to the needs and wishes of stakeholders they perceive to have the most power, legitimacy and urgency.
Note that the own interests of the company are not among the 3 salience criteria, because they only concern attributes of stakeholders. How could the company's own interests be integrated?

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