How Shareholders Impact Stakeholder Interests: A Review and Map for Future Research

Mark R. DesJardine, Muhan Zhang, Wei Shi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Scopus citations


Research on how shareholders influence the interests of stakeholders has proliferated in recent years, at pace with the active debate on the merits of “stakeholder capitalism.” This research has sought to unpack: (1) the types of shareholders that affect stakeholder-relevant firm outcomes, (2) the mechanisms through which shareholders exert their influence on stakeholders’ interests, (3) the types of stakeholders that are influenced by shareholders, and (4) the factors that moderate the influence of shareholders on stakeholder-relevant firm outcomes. However, this literature is highly fragmented, as it spans the boundaries of various disciplines, draws on different theoretical frameworks, and is based on diverse assumptions. Moreover, exsiting research discusses outcome variables that are relevant to stakeholders, but not from the perspective of stakeholder interests. A comprehensive review of the literature is essential for understanding the heterogeneity of shareholders in terms of their impact on other stakeholders. In the absence of such an endeavor, we systematically review, synthesize, interpret, and critique literature published over the past three decades in leading management, sociology, finance, and accounting journals. Focusing on articles about how shareholders influence stakeholder interests through firms' decisions and outcomes, we chart a promising path for future studies to more fully unpack the complex relationships between shareholders and various other stakeholders.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)400-429
Number of pages30
JournalJournal of Management
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2023

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Finance
  • Strategy and Management


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