The Application of Stakeholder Theory in Blackpool Football Club

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Can Positive Publicity Help to Promote Goodwill and Minimise Serious Risks Developing between the Owners, Management, and Stakeholders of Blackpool Football Club?

Stakeholder Theory

Stakeholder theory is the last of the three theories that this research considers, with the intended outcome being the development of a rational foundation for decisions that affect stakeholder objectives (Freeman and Ginena 12). The theory utilises three key approaches, namely descriptive accuracy, instrumental power, and normative validity approaches that analyse the legitimacy, urgency, power, and attributes of organisational projects to determine the importance of stakeholders (Harrison, Freeman, and Abreu 860; Miles 450). However, the dependence on the management as the entity responsible for determining this importance also introduces a potential bias for situations in which the stakeholders’ input in organisational progress remains unfeasible. Cordeiro and Tewari (834) highlight that managers can fail to respond to stakeholders’ issues of the latter party when the stakeholders have limited to no capacity to vote on directors and managers’ decisions, thus necessitating the provision of a bargaining position for these parties.

Overall, stakeholder theory seeks to enhance an organisation’s coverage of the rights that non-shareholder stakeholders have in situations where they have no voting power in the organisation. An analysis of the Blackpool Football Club reveals that the organisation faces a similar situation where it experiences reduces stakeholder confidence in the club’s ability to consider their interests in its decisions (Anagnostopoulos et al., 2227). Stakeholder theory can apply to such situations since it develops a connection between an organisation and its social responsibilities (Bridoux and Stoelhorst 115; Hickman). In this case, the inclusion of stakeholder theory in the management’s decision-making processes can reduce the management’s willingness to make decisions that trigger negative outcomes for stakeholder value (Castro-Martinez & Jackson, 2017; Biscala, et al., 2018). This precedent for stakeholder rather than shareholder prioritisation can thereby enhance the quality of the relationship between stakeholders, owners, and the management at Blackpool Football Club.

The current situation at the football club relates strongly to a case that Junghagen (621) analysed, in which the management considered the inability of stakeholders to voice their concerns in the organisation’s internal structure made stakeholder support for organisational actions unfeasible. The need for profits thus makes stakeholder theory less applicable in private organisations since, in these instances, the main motivation for organisational decisions is the creation of profits (Moriarty 49). Determining exactly whom any organisational decision affects is essential in improving the organisation’s awareness of its stakeholders’ reactions to its decisions. However, Harrison et al. (860), as well as Jones, Harrison, and Felps note that most of the applications of stakeholder theory in organisational settings focus on the implementation of IT projects. Therefore, this research into the use of stakeholder theory in improving outcomes for the Blackpool Football club constitute a valuable contribution to the literature and sets a baseline for future applications of this theory in similar settings.

As highlighted, there is a persistent knowledge gap in the applicability of stakeholder theory in private-public alliances as is the case for the Blackpool Football club. Essentially, public organisations must consider non-shareholder stakeholders due to the need for socially beneficial outcomes originating from organisational actions (Godfrey and Lewis 15). However, the fact that the theory does include internal and external stakeholders in its analysis makes it a possible solution for the football club (Tantalo and Priem 320). Pigé (11) notes that the most important consideration in any application of stakeholder theory is the development of a clear implementation strategy that provides clear insight into stakeholders’ expectations. It is thereby necessary to consider the inputs of the club’s fanbase through the application of stakeholder theory in the risk minimisation strategy that the club adopts (Biscaia et al. 5)

Works Cited

Anagnostopoulos, Christos, et al. "Stakeholder Communication in 140 Characters or Less: A Study of Community Sport Foundations." VOLUNTAS: International Journal of Voluntary and Nonprofit Organizations, vol. 28, no. 5, 2017, pp.2224-2250.

Biscaia, Rui, et al. "Conceptualising and Measuring Fan Identity Using Stakeholder Theory." European Sport Management Quarterly, 2018, pp. 1-23.

Bridoux, Flore, and J. W. Stoelhorst. "Microfoundations for Stakeholder Theory: Managing Stakeholders with Heterogeneous Motives." Strategic Management Journal, vol. 35, no. 1, 2014, pp. 107-125.

Castro‐Martinez, Marcelo P., and Paul R. Jackson. "Translation of Trustworthiness Signals into Factors for Stakeholder Value Cocreation." Journal of Public Affairs, 2017.

Cordeiro, James J., and Manish Tewari. "Firm Characteristics, Industry Context, and Investor Reactions to Environmental CSR: A Stakeholder Theory Approach." Journal of Business Ethics, vol. 130, no. 4, 2015, pp. 833-849.

Freeman, R. Edward, and Karim Ginena. "Rethinking the Purpose of the Corporation: Challenges from Stakeholder Theory." Notizie di Politeia, vol. 31, vol. 117, 2015, pp. 9-18.

Godfrey, Paul C., and Ben William Lewis. "Pragmatism and Pluralism: A Moral Foundation for Stakeholder Theory in the 21st Century" (2018). All Faculty Publications. 2073.

Harrison, Jeffrey S., R. Edward Freeman, and Mônica Cavalcanti Sá de Abreu. "Stakeholder Theory As an Ethical Approach to Effective Management: Applying the Theory to Multiple Contexts." Revista Brasileira de Gestão de Negócios, vol. 17, no. 55, 2015, pp. 858-869.

Hickman, Louis. "Implications of Stakeholder Theory as a Critical Theory." World Academy of Science, Engineering and Technology, International Journal of Economics and Management Engineering, vol. 4, no. 2, 2017.

Jones, Thomas M., Jeffrey S. Harrison, and Will Felps. "How Applying Instrumental Stakeholder Theory Can Provide Sustainable Competitive Advantage." Academy of Management Review, ja (2018).

Junghagen, Sven. "Tensions in Stakeholder Relations for a Swedish Football Club–A Case Study." Soccer & Society, vol. 19, no. 4, 2018, pp. 612-629.

Miles, Samantha. "Stakeholder Theory Classification: A Theoretical and Empirical Evaluation of Definitions." Journal of Business Ethics, vol. 142, no. 3, 2017, pp. 437-459.

Moriarty, Jeffrey. "The Demands of Stakeholder Theory for Corporate Governance." Business Ethics Journal Review, vol. 4, no. 8, 2016, pp. 47-52.

Pigé, Benoît. "Stakeholder Theory and Corporate Governance: The Nature of the Board Information." Management: Journal of Contemporary Management Issues, vol. 7, no. 1, 2017, pp. 1-17.

Tantalo, Caterina, and Richard L. Priem. "Value Creation Through Stakeholder Synergy." Strategic Management Journal, vol. 37, no. 2, 2016, pp. 314-329.

January 19, 2024
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