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Stakeholder Theory, Meet Communications Theory: Media Systems Dependency and Community Infrastructure Theory, with an Application to California’s Cannabis/Marijuana Industry

Abstract

The object of this article is to demonstrate how stakeholder theory can be enlarged and enhanced by two communications theories, media systems dependency (MSD) and community infrastructure theory (CIT). The stakeholder perspective is often represented by a diagram in which a firm is centrally positioned, surrounded by stakeholders. However, relationships between stakeholders are given relatively little attention, the various groups theoretically encompassed by the term “community” remain relatively undefined, and other marginalized stakeholders often go unrecognized. MSD and CIT can enable us to conceptualize the stakeholder model more clearly, to develop research projects that more adequately capture the dynamic quality of stakeholder relationships, to tailor management strategies to particular stakeholder characteristics, and to understand corporate social responsibility messages. As an example, stakeholder theory, combined with MSD and CIT, is applied to California’s cannabis/marijuana industry.

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Paul, K. Stakeholder Theory, Meet Communications Theory: Media Systems Dependency and Community Infrastructure Theory, with an Application to California’s Cannabis/Marijuana Industry. J Bus Ethics 129, 705–720 (2015). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10551-014-2168-x

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Keywords

  • Cannabis
  • CIT
  • Communications
  • Communication theory
  • Community
  • Community infrastructure theory
  • Marginalized stakeholders
  • Marijuana
  • Media systems dependency
  • MSD
  • Stakeholder perspective
  • Stakeholder theory
  • Storytelling