An examination of the applicability of the extended stakeholder strategy matrix model to marketing


Polonsky, Michael Jay. (1999). An examination of the applicability of the extended stakeholder strategy matrix model to marketing [Thesis].
AuthorsPolonsky, Michael Jay
Qualification nameDoctor of Philosophy (PhD)

AIMS: This thesis develops and empirically examines whether an expanded stakeholder strategy matrix model holds within marketing. This is achieved by examining Australian marketing managers' perceptions of the appropriateness of approaches to address various stakeholders' interests within a hypothetical ""green"" new product development situation and determining whether these vary based on the stakeholder group considered, stakeholders' influencing abilities or the interaction between these two factors. In examining this issue, the thesis has two main aims, to: 1) extend the stakeholder theory by developing a model that addresses deficiencies in other models (In doing so, the marketing literature, by more solidly integrating stakeholder theory into it) and 2) empirically test the expanded model developed in this thesis, as well as the original model. SCOPE: To undertake this examination, the stakeholder literature was reviewed to determine existing approaches for the inclusion of stakeholders' interests in marketing activities. A model was then developed which expanded on a stakeholder strategy matrix model suggested in the stakeholder literature, which had never been empirically tested. This stakeholder strategy matrix model suggests that organisations can address stakeholders' interests by using a set of generic strategies. The appropriate strategies can be determined by identifying stakeholders' ability to cooperate and their potential ability to threaten organisational activities. This model and the associated strategies were, however, deficient as they did not include stakeholders' abilities to indirectly influence organisational activities. An expanded three-dimensional model was posited, which considered stakeholders' ability to directly cooperate, directly threaten and indirectly influence organisational activities.;To empirically test this model, an equal number of eight versions of a hypothetical scenario were distributed to 1376 members of the New South Wales branch of the Australian Marketing Institute (i.e. 172 of each version of the scenario). The hypothetical scenario placed respondents in the situation of a manager responsible for the development of a new product line of environmental cleaning products within a company that produces competing products. A scenario methodology had the benefit that it placed respondents in a common context and controlled for a range of possible moderating factors. The scenario had two sections. The first section contained the core scenario, which was constant across the eight versions of the instrument and established the context of the hypothetical situation. Within this section of the survey, respondents were asked to evaluate eight stakeholder groups' general influencing abilities, using seven-point scales. The second section of the instrument contained one of the eight versions of the expanded scenario. Within each version of the expanded survey, different extended descriptions of the eight individual stakeholder groups were provided. These descriptions varied the stakeholders' influencing abilities within the three-dimensional matrix. Respondents were then asked to indicate how appropriate sixteen alternative approaches were for addressing each of the eight groups' interests, using seven-point scales. The data was analysed to determine whether there was: 1) non-response bias; 2) empirical support for the expansion of the model from two to three dimensions; 3) a preliminary examination of the original model using a subset of the data; and 4) an examination of the hypotheses associated with the expanded model, using mixed Anova's and post hoc testing.;CONCLUSIONS: Besides theoretical support for expanding the stakeholder strategy matrix from two to three dimensions, there was also empirical support for this extension. Using mixed Anova's, the analysis identified that the mean perceived appropriateness of the set of approaches varied across stakeholder groups, with their position within the three-dimensional matrix (i.e. their three influencing abilities) and for the interaction between these two factors. Additional analysis focusing on the individual approaches found that some were affected by the stakeholder group examined and/or the stakeholder's position within the expanded matrix. Post hoc testing was undertaken to examine all pairs of stakeholder groups and all pairs of positions. It was found that there were differences between most pairs and no approaches were perceived to be uniquely appropriate for a group or a position within the matrix. While the overall findings identified that the set of approaches varied between positions of the matrix, it was also found that the specific group examined affects the mean perceived appropriateness for the set of approaches. This finding suggested that marketers may be attributing stakeholders with specific influencing abilities no matter how they were described and might reflect the fact that marketers may not truly understand their stakeholders. Thus, any approaches that might be used to address stakeholders' interests may be less effective than anticipated. No approaches were perceived to be uniquely applicable, but rather, approaches were perceived to be appropriate for a range of positions or stakeholder groups. As such, there was qualified support for the expanded model.

PublisherAustralian Catholic University
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)
Final version
Publication dates01 Jan 1999
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