City Research Online

Creating Common Ground: A Communicative Action Model of Dialogue in Shareholder Engagement

Ferraro, F. and Beunza, D. ORCID: 0000-0003-0164-7095 (2018). Creating Common Ground: A Communicative Action Model of Dialogue in Shareholder Engagement. Organization Science, 29(6), pp. 1187-1207. doi: 10.1287/orsc.2018.1226

Abstract

Despite growing empirical evidence on the effectiveness of dialogue between activists and corporations in stakeholder engagement, scholars have not fully accounted for the mechanisms that explain its success. We address this gap by leveraging Habermas’s theory of communicative action. In our longitudinal qualitative study, we explore the dialogue on climate change between ICCR, a coalition of faith-based investors, Ford and General Motors. We find that communicative action can emerge from strategic action as a result of three cycles of interaction: establishing dialogue, framing, and deliberation. Our study contributes to the literature on shareholder engagement by integrating communicative and strategic action, thereby offering a new interpretation of how reputational threat and dialogue come together to produce a common ground between activists and companies

Publication Type: Article
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HD Industries. Land use. Labor > HD28 Management. Industrial Management
Departments: Cass Business School > Management
URI: http://openaccess.city.ac.uk/id/eprint/21622
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