Toward a Stakeholder View of Upper Echelons: A Framework Synthesis Review and Future Research Agenda

Tessa Recendes, Jeffrey A. Chandler, Zhefan Huang, Aaron D. Hill

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


The growing literature at the intersection of executives’ characteristics and stakeholders’ evaluations argues that executives’ characteristics not only have “first-order effects” on their organizations’ actions and outcomes, as in upper echelons theorizing, but also give rise to “second-order effects” or “opportunity structures,” whereby stakeholders evaluate and react to focal executives’ organizations based on those characteristics. Despite many insights from the burgeoning literature on the second-order effects of executives’ characteristics on stakeholders’ evaluations and reactions, the literature lacks a comprehensive framework with core tenets by which stakeholders form evaluations of executives’ characteristics that drive their actions (or, reactions, as it were) based on such characteristics and the ensuing outcomes. In turn, knowledge from the proliferating literature on how stakeholders react on the basis of their evaluations of referent organizations’ executives’ characteristics is fragmented, consisting of a series of disconnected findings and attendant insights scattered across various theoretical and topical domains. We conducted a framework synthesis of the literature to iteratively derive a conceptual framework from extant research—which we call the stakeholder view of upper echelons—that synthesizes knowledge at the intersection of executives’ characteristics and stakeholders’ reactions around this framework. In doing so, we provide the foundation for future research to help extend knowledge in this important domain. We identify several avenues that are important for future work to address and provide practical implications from our framework.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2073-2118
Number of pages46
JournalJournal of Management
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jul 2024

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Finance
  • Strategy and Management

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