The weakening of the traditional management hierarchy, the hollowing out of corporations, and an increasing management emphasis on boundarylessness have created a new mind set concerning external stakeholders. Increasingly, organizations are moving beyond traditional stakeholder management techniques to partnering tactics that lead to the achievement of common goals. In spite of these trends, there has been very little effort in the management literature to tie stakeholder management and partnering tactics. This article demonstrates how successful partnerships with stakeholders create such valued benefits as increased product success rates, increased manufacturing efficiency, the development of distinctive competencies arising from partnerships with local communities or government agencies, reduced unfavorable litigation, reduced levels of negative publicity, and favorable regulatory policies.

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Copyright © 1996 Academy of Management. This article first appeared in The Academy of Management Executive (1993-2005) 10, no. 2 (May 1996), 46-60.

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