“Why Talk?” – The Process of Dialogue in Shareholder Engagement

Abstract: In explaining how activists engage corporations, social movement theory has provided a compelling account of contentious activism and tempered radicalism. The growing use of dialogue, by contrast, has not received a comparable level of attention. On the basis of a four-year qualitative study of a faith-based coalition of investors, we develop a process model of how shareholder dialogue leads to corporate change. Through repeated engagement activists leverage internal corporate political debate to achieve synthesis. Such dialogue requires raising awareness, building coalitions, and reframing. We contribute to social movement theory by extending the open polity perspective to dialogue, and by outlining how contentious tactics, tempered radicalism, and dialogue are complementary.

Read the Paper:http://bdti.mastertree.jp/f/i6avzygp

Fabrizio Ferraro
University of Navarra, IESE Business School

Daniel Beunza
London School of Economics & Political Science (LSE) – Department of Management

March 26, 2014

The Board Director Training Institute (BDTI) is a "public interest" nonprofit in Japan dedicated to training about directorship, corporate governance, and related management techniques. It is certified by the Japanese government to conduct these activities as a regulated nonprofit. Read a summary about BDTI here, and see a menu of its services for both corporations and investors here.

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