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There is increasing awareness among both managers and researchers that companies play a significant role in causing contemporary economic, environmental, and social challenges. These challenges arise at least in part because companies are managed with the primary aim of making profits, an approach based on economic theory. Stakeholder theory, which states that companies must create value for all stakeholders, offers a different perspective on management, but is not sufficiently developed to serve as a comprehensive alternative to economic theory.

This PhD project aims to contribute to the empirical and theoretical development of stakeholder theory, as an alternative to economic theory, and specifically examines how managing firms based on stakeholder theory affects the behavior of stakeholders. The project aims to investigate if and how a firm’s stakeholder management affects stakeholder cooperation and explicitly focuses on the stakeholder-firm relationship and the interdependencies among stakeholders. Also, the research project investigates how managers deal with trade-offs among stakeholders. The project employs a combination of quantitative and qualitative research methods.