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The current issue and full text archive of this journal is available at
www.emeraldinsight.com/1832-5912.htm

JAOC
4,2

A rationale for stakeholder-based
management in developing
nations

136

George Joseph
College of Management, University of Massachusetts Lowell,
Lowell, Massachusetts, USA
Abstract
Purpose – The paper aims to provide a rationale for stakeholder-based managementin developing
countries. To implement the objectives, the paper contrasts the implications of agency and stakeholder
theories as they apply to developing countries and highlight “total wealth creation” and “purposive
adaptation” that support developmental goals of developing countries. This “purposive adaptation”
also implicates the use of management accounting tools in a flexible way to meetthe needs of the
strategy.
Design/methodology/approach – The paper uses conceptual analysis and the case study
approach
Findings – The Tata Steel case illustrates the normative stakeholder approach in the developing
country context. Specifically, the case highlights strategy developed through “stakeholder
engagement” and the application of the balanced scorecard to address stakeholder issuesin
implementing the strategy, illustrating the rationale underlying the stakeholder approach in
addressing developmental concerns through more dispersed and larger wealth creation.
Research limitations/implications – There is limited scope to use methods other than illustrating
the theory using specific instances of its application, as in the case approach.
Practical implications – The paperillustrates long-term implications on sustainable development.
Originality/value – Few papers consider contextualizing theoretical implications of management to
developing countries. This is important as the theory has implications on development in such aspects
as environmental costs, increasing inequality, and associated issues. The paper directs attention to the
importance of identifyingtheory that addresses the unique management challenges in developing
countries and can potentially enable further research to systematize and generalize management
approaches in developing countries.
Keywords Stakeholder analysis, Developing countries, Balanced scorecard, Wealth and income
Paper type Case study

Journal of Accounting &
Organizational Change
Vol. 4 No. 2, 2008
pp. 136-161
qEmerald Group Publishing Limited
1832-5912
DOI 10.1108/18325910810878946

Introduction
The issues facing developing countries are often quite different from those faced by
developed nations, yet management theories and associated accounting and
management techniques are often transferred without due consideration of these
differences (Reed, 2002; Mukherjee-Reed, 2002; Baydoun and Willett,1995). While such
theories are generally used to describe and gain an understanding of phenomena, they
influence behavior through the nature of normative/prescriptive focus (Sterling, 1990;
Chambers, 1993) as well as a “self-fulfilling” characteristic when certain assumptions
underlying the theory gain widespread acceptance (Ferraro et al., 2005; Ghoshal, 2005;
Cohen and Holder-Webb, 2006). Thebehavioral implications of theories and their
assumptions are particularly significant when considered in the context of developing
countries. Using relevant literature and information from a specific case study,

this paper provides a rationale for stakeholder-based management theory (in contrast
with agency theory) as consistent with the developmental needs of developing
countries.Developing countries have their unique history and associated challenges that
constrain development. Even as liberalization, globalization, and technology bring
rapid change to these countries, management models do not appear to address the
unique developmental concerns of these countries. Tracing the history of management
(and corporate governance) in India, Mukherjee-Reed (2002) finds that the...
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