International social-related accountability standards : using ANT towards a multi-stakeholder analysis

El Abboubi, Manal and Nicolopoulou, Katerina (2012) International social-related accountability standards : using ANT towards a multi-stakeholder analysis. M@n@gement, 15 (4). pp. 392-414. ISSN 1286-4892

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    Abstract

    This article illustrates and critically discusses how organizations manage, interact with, and involve stakeholders in social-related international accountability standards through the theoretical lens of actor-network theory. Theorizations on international accountability standards have largely focused on opportunities and problems related to their adoption from a macro-economic or governance perspective. The role of stakeholders and related management practices remain overlooked, with little evidence-based understanding of the interaction between internal and external organizational actors in multi-stakeholder involvement processes. Although overall generally relational approach to conceptualizing stakeholders is not new, this research focuses on the case of a well-known human-resource corporation and the way it involves stakeholders in a social-related accountability standard. The results reveal that gaining stakeholder involvement is a social innovation process supported by a strong network of stakeholders whose interests and agendas are taken into serious consideration by the corporation. The strength and the sustainability of the network established between the company and its stakeholders are subsequently dependent on the way the corporation translates its own interests and those of the stakeholders into common goals.