Comunicação em evento científico
The new social power of stakeholders: The current activist practices that are shaping corporate social conduct
Alexandra Miguel (Miguel, A.); Sandra Miranda (Miranda, S.);
Título Evento
VIII Congreso Comunicación y Pensamiento
Ano (publicação definitiva)
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Phenomena like the current and enormous social inequalities and environmental catastrophes, combined with factors such as the spread of globalization, the greater social and economic power of companies and the emergence and expansion of new media, made stakeholders not only more socially aware but also more demanding about the role of companies in improving the sociopolitical problems of today's world. Much more empowered than ever, largely due to the use of digital technologies, stakeholders increasingly make their claims heard to companies through activist actions, whose main objective is to affect organizations’ social conducts by threatening its reputation and/or value. Such movements include anti-brand activism, encompassing well-known practices such as boycotts, anti-brand communities and culture-jamming, as well as anti-consumption movements, and the recent so-called “cancel culture”. All these forms of stakeholder activism target corporations and their brands seeking to unmask immoral corporate practices, force companies to adopt more responsible conducts, or warn about the consequences of unbridled consumption. In this way, the intensification of stakeholder activism over the last decades has managed to change the prospects of power in the market, allowing these groups to interfere with all corporate activities and public positions of brands, and urging companies to improve their social conducts and invest in the defense and improvement of relevant sociopolitical causes. Nevertheless, there are also some concerns related to the democratic nature and effectiveness of these strategies in the field of business, since the non-egalitarian nature of markets may set aside minority interests or unattractive causes, the imposing character of activist movements can impede critical thinking, and the possible ephemerality of these movements may not lead to effective social change. This theoretical investigation will explore how stakeholders have gained greater power over the social conduct of organizations, reviewing the activist practices that these groups currently use to make their demands heard in the markets. Based on a literature review and concrete examples, an overview of current stakeholder’s activist practices will be presented, also addressing how these actions have pressured businesses to improve their internal practices and to adopt public stances in relation to the most varied sociopolitical issues. In addition, the broader benefits and criticisms of applying social practices, such as activist actions, in the corporate context will also be discussed, in an attempt to uncover how these movements effectively lead to greater stakeholder participation in corporate governance processes and to positive changes in companies. Finally, this investigation will conclude on the increasing importance to analyze the relationship between brands and stakeholders within the scope of citizenship when it comes to build ethical institutions in society.
Social movements,Stakeholder activism,Anti-brand movements,Corporate Social Responsibility,Brand Activism
  • Ciências da Comunicação - Ciências Sociais
Registos de financiamentos
Referência de financiamento Entidade Financiadora
2020.07567.BD FCT – Fundação para a Ciência e a Tecnologia

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