Managing Stakeholder Salience, Influence and Exposure with Sustainable Supply Chain Management Practices and Triple Bottom Line Measures: The Case of Safaricom, Kenya
Thomas, Ombati Ogoro
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As organizations face stiff pressure from various stakeholders, management has had to move beyond the idea of shareholder wealth maximization and incorporate the environmental and social concerns from the various stakeholders. The study identifies how Sustainable Supply Chain Management (SSCM) practices enable the firm to manage the social, environmental and economic Triple Bottom Line (TBL) for four key stakeholder groups - customers, suppliers, regulators and the community. The study adopted a case study design, focused on Safaricom, arguably Africa's most innovative cellular firm which has championed the M-pesa money transfer platform. The objectives were, first, to establish key attributes namely; power, legitimacy and urgency of selected stakeholders of Safaricom and the key determinants of their salience, second, to determine stakeholder expectations and how they hold Safaricom accountable; third, to identify the extent of Safaricom's influence and control over the selected stakeholders; and finally, to establish how and to what extent the firm manages stakeholder exposure through their SSCM practices and TBL measures. Data from semi-structured interviews with Safaricom management and the four key selected stakeholder groups, together with company and public documents, were analyzed using qualitative content analysis. Stakeholder groups were selected to represent examples of low, moderate or high levels of salience and exposure. While all are considered important, the case reveals how Safaricom management prioritizes and addresses stakeholder needs according to their attributes. As each stakeholder group is heterogeneous, the case reveals how the firm manages each distinctively and adopts diverse SSCM practices, which are aligned with the firm's TBL measures. Moreover, stakeholder exposure has a moderating effect on the relationship between the firm's SSCM practices and the TBL measures.