Intra-stakeholder alliances in plant-closing decisions: a stakeholder theory approach

Yves Fassin, Simone de Colle, R. Edward Freeman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

19 Citations (Scopus)


This article discusses plant-closing decisions by multinational enterprises (MNEs) applying a stakeholder theory approach. In particular, we focus on the emergence of “intra-stakeholder alliances,” that is, alliances among the various stakeholder groups of a specific corporation. We analyze the emergence of stakeholder alliances in reaction to MNEs' decisions to terminate production locally and discuss their influence on the outcomes of such decisions. Our research is inspired by two exceptional case studies of two multinational breweries that announced their decisions to close niche breweries in small towns in Italy and Belgium. In both cases, the initial decision was ultimately reversed through the actions of intra-stakeholder alliances. We combine insights from stakeholder theory and the social movement literature to analyze the action and influence of intra-stakeholder alliances in seven cases of plant-closing decisions. We conclude by formulating four general propositions that can provide guidance to MNE management in plant-closing decisions. Our findings extend managerial stakeholder theory, show how this approach can improve strategic management analysis, emphasize the importance of the relationships among (local) stakeholders in the (global) value-creation process, and shed light on the collective action and influence of intra-stakeholder alliances.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)97-111
Number of pages15
JournalBusiness Ethics: a European review
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1 Apr 2017
Externally publishedYes

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