Engaging Stakeholders in Emerging Economies: The Case of Multilatinas
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© 2018, Springer Science+Business Media B.V., part of Springer Nature.Stakeholder engagement is central to organizations¿ social impact. Engagement activities rely on mechanisms whose complexity increases for multinational corporations (MNCs). This study explores the boundary conditions of our Western/Northern-based knowledge of stakeholder engagement mechanisms through the examination of such practices in multinational companies founded in Latin America (Multilatinas¿MLs). Based on previous studies on the identification of organizational stakeholders in the region, we aim to understand the specific engagement mechanisms MLs use. To this end, we analyze qualitatively 28 corporate sustainability reports by relevant firms. Our findings show that the community includes silent (or non-visible) stakeholders composed of subgroups not listed as organizational stakeholders but mentioned in the report as engaged by the company or a subsidiary. MLs in our sample use four main mechanisms to engage these subgroups: (a) strong, visible commitments to local social organizations; (b) continuous dialogue with members of the community; (c) networks of volunteers to help perform the social activities of the companies; and (d) creation of social infrastructure institutions. We end by detailing the theoretical implications for stakeholder engagement among emerging economies multinational companies (EMNCs) and for MNCs in general.