Stakeholder Marketing Consortium


The Stakeholder Marketing Consortium, a joint project with Boston University, was created to understand how companies use marketing activities to communicate their environmental and social ethos to stakeholders beyond the customer, such as regulators, employees, investors, and society-at-large.


How stakeholders interpret and understand environmental and community messages can dictate how corporations operate. For example, Energy Star ratings for hotels, banning plastic bags from grocery stores, and nutrition programs for employees all came about because of pressure from stakeholder groups beyond the customer.


The newness of stakeholder marketing presents a double edged sword. It is clearly an area where more research would be welcomed by the corporate world, but its interdisciplinary nature makes it an atypical fit for traditional academic disciplines. The Stakeholder Marketing Consortium creates a supportive forum for this interdisciplinary field by:


  • Convening marketing executives and leading MBA faculty to discuss how findings from the latest research mesh with the practitioner experiences on the ground
  • Generating research through a call to papers in the Journal of Public Policy & Marketing
  • Bringing together junior faculty who are finding their feet in this area


Fall 2008 Conference

The last conference was held at Boston University on Oct 2 and 3, 2008. Speakers included representatives from the Gap, Timberland, and Frito Lay among others. Panels included a mix of academic and corporate presenters. The convening wrestled with cutting edge questions such as:


  • When stakeholder needs conflict how can organizations reconcile these differences?
  • How can we motivate managers to consider the societal impact of marketing actions?
  • What makes stakeholders skeptical about the motives of a company's actions?


The Aspen Institute Center for Business Education is part of the Aspen Institute Business and Society Program.
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