From a shareholder to stakeholder orientation: Evidence from the analyses of CEO dismissal in large U.S. firms

Shoonchul Shin, Juyoung Lee, Pratima Tima Bansal

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

25 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

The post-Enron era is marked with growing discourse of stakeholders, sustainability, and corporate social responsibility (CSR). Yet, commentators debate whether U.S. corporations have indeed moved toward a stakeholder orientation, given the difficulties in measuring such a shift. We assess this shift by examining corporate governance practices, especially the prevalence of shareholder- and stakeholder-oriented practices in chief executive officer (CEO) dismissals. Using data on large firms in 1980–2015, we found that, before the 2000s, CEOs were less heavily penalized for poor firm performance when they demonstrated a shareholder orientation by downsizing and refocusing the corporation and more heavily penalized for CSR activity. This trend, however, reversed after the early 2000s. This article provides evidence of the evolution of U.S. firms' governance practices from a shareholder toward stakeholder orientation.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1233-1257
Number of pages25
JournalStrategic Management Journal
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2022

Keywords

  • CEO dismissal, corporate social responsibility, institutional theory, shareholder primacy, survival analysis

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