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Stakeholder Engagement: Keeping Business Legitimate in Austria’s Natural Mineral Water Bottling Industry

Anna Katharina Provasnek (), Erwin Schmid () and Gerald Steiner ()
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Anna Katharina Provasnek: University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences Vienna
Erwin Schmid: University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences Vienna
Gerald Steiner: Harvard University

Journal of Business Ethics, 2018, vol. 150, issue 2, 467-484

Abstract: Abstract Stakeholder maneuvers such as Internet media attacks or consumer boycotts can have devastating effects on companies. By contrary, vital relationships between companies and their stakeholders can be highly beneficial. A review of the existing stakeholder-management literature suggests to engage stakeholders in business activities in a positive manner. However, the types of successful engagement activities differ across industries. The purposes of this article are to develop an explanatory framework based on the literature findings, to introduce stakeholder-engagement literature to a segment of the water sourcing industry, and to unfold industry’s stakeholder-engagement measures. Based on a content analysis of 11 cases, we investigate if and how companies in the natural mineral water bottling industry in Austria inform, communicate, and therefore engage with stakeholders. It became evident that fewer than three of eleven companies published information on sustainability or corporate social responsibility reports, open house days, workshops, or international community activities. Most companies maintained a website for their bottled natural mineral water or communicated quality consciousness. We conclude that most companies in the Austrian mineral water industry could increase their stakeholder-engagement activities to positively respond to challenging business environments.

Keywords: Bottled water; Corporate responsibility; Engagement; Legitimacy; Natural mineral water; Stakeholder theory (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2018
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