Who and what really count? An examination of stakeholder salience in not-for-profit service delivery organizations

Jinhua Chen, Graeme Harrison, Lu Jiao

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Motivated by the importance of understanding how managers of not-for-profit organizations (NFPs) in Australia perceive and prioritize their stakeholders, this study tests and applies Mitchell et al.'s (1997) stakeholder salience framework, enhanced by Neville et al.'s (2011) developments to the framework, in the not-for-profit context. The study examines the salience of six key stakeholder groups in NFPs, as perceived by top management, and the relation between three stakeholder attributes of power, legitimacy and urgency, and salience. Data were collected from 260 Australian NFPs in the education and health service areas. It was found that managers in sampled NFPs weighted the three stakeholder attributes differently. In particular, urgency is weighted strongly across all stakeholder groups, a condition that we suggest is a consequence of enhanced immediacy and reach of media to escalate and manage crises in the contemporary environment of the 21st century. The study contributes to the stakeholder salience literature and has important implications for policy making and regulatory reform for NFPs in Australia as well as managerial practices in NFPs.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)813-828
Number of pages16
JournalAustralian Journal of Public Administration
Volume77
Issue number4
Early online date25 Apr 2018
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2018

Keywords

  • Not-for-profit
  • Stakeholder attributes
  • Stakeholder salience

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