Higher Education

, Volume 72, Issue 2, pp 131–151 | Cite as

Responsive and proactive stakeholder orientation in public universities: antecedents and consequences

  • María-del-Carmen Alarcón-del-Amo
  • Carme Casablancas-Segura
  • Joan Llonch


This study, based on institutional theory, dynamic capabilities, and stakeholder theory, investigates the relationships between the antecedents of responsive and proactive stakeholder orientation and their consequences in the public university context. The results obtained mainly stress that the mimetic effect of copying successful university actions, the emphasis of top university managers on both stakeholder orientations and better communication, and the relationship between managers of different university structures, have positive effects on responsive and proactive stakeholder orientation. The results suggest that those universities which are more responsive and/or proactive oriented towards stakeholders obtain better organisational performance in terms of beneficiary satisfaction, acquisition of resources, and reputation. Our findings show that to achieve specific goals in university performance, such as improving university reputation, a responsive stakeholder orientation is not sufficient, and a proactive stakeholder orientation is also needed.


Stakeholder orientation Higher education management University performance Public universities 


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© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Business DepartmentUniversitat Autònoma de BarcelonaBarcelonaSpain

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