until further notice
Number of pages
SourceEuropean Journal of Operational Research, 262, 2, (2017), pp. 402-410
12 april 2017
Article / Letter to editor
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European Journal of Operational Research
SubjectInstitute for Management Research
The role of stakeholders in organizational decision-making is gaining more and more attention. Managers find that in order to create value sustainably and ethically, it is necessary to balance the interests of various stakeholders. This trend is reflected in the management literature, where much advancement has been made in what is known as stakeholder theory. In the founding years of stakeholder theory there was a close connection and interchange of ideas between stakeholder theorists and operational researchers. Yet in recent years, the stream of papers that includes both fields has dwindled to a trickle. This lack of theoretical integration is surprising, as Operational Research is in nature a collaborative discipline. In this paper, we discuss three topics in stakeholder theory that can inform and improve studies involving working with stakeholders in Operational Research: instrumental versus moral stakeholder theory; focusing on trade-offs versus focusing on avoiding trade-offs; and focusing on the decision-making organization versus focusing on stakeholder engagement. We then conduct a systematic review of 144 Operational Research articles on the topic ‘stakeholders’. Content analysis of these articles reveals four distinct traditions of working with stakeholders: optimizing, balancing, structuring and involving. We compare the four traditions on goals, role of the analyst, type of data used, and results. Our analysis provides the basis for recommendations to Operational Research practitioners on how to work with stakeholders.
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- Nijmegen School of Management 
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