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Strategic stakeholder management: investor relations in South Africa

Strategic stakeholder management: investor relations in South Africa The study explores the use of professional investor relations (IR) practices in South African (SA) listed companies to understand which theories may be responsible for IR's adoption and growth in South Africa, an emerging economy. Therefore, this study evaluates shareholder value maximisation, stakeholder and legitimization theory and institutional isomorphism theory as possible theories to explain professional IR behaviour in SA listed companies.Design/methodology/approachThe study design is qualitative and exploratory, based on a questionnaire developed and sent to all companies listed on the Johannesburg Securities Exchange (JSE).FindingsThe results indicate evidence of isomorphic spread to SA environments from practices observed in the UK and the USA, which we find are mostly performed to promote shareholder interests. The data suggest some evidence that the communication needs of black economic empowerment and environmental, social and governance (ESG) investors are given priority, suggesting the utility of professional IR to obtain legitimisation from society. Contrary to expectation is that social media communication channels are not extensively used.Practical implicationsThe descriptive nature of this study may be valuable to IR practitioners to improve SA IR practises, while neglected legitimisation opportunities with regard to the needs of ESG and black economic empowerment shareholders may be fruitfully addressed by practitioners.Originality/valueThis study innovates in its use of legitimisation theory and isomorphism theory to develop the study's expectations. Social problems provide contextual elements unique to SA which provides a good opportunity to test the expectation of legitimisation theory's influence on professional IR practices. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Journal of Accounting in Emerging Economies Emerald Publishing

Strategic stakeholder management: investor relations in South Africa

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Publisher
Emerald Publishing
Copyright
© Emerald Publishing Limited
ISSN
2042-1168
DOI
10.1108/jaee-12-2019-0233
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

The study explores the use of professional investor relations (IR) practices in South African (SA) listed companies to understand which theories may be responsible for IR's adoption and growth in South Africa, an emerging economy. Therefore, this study evaluates shareholder value maximisation, stakeholder and legitimization theory and institutional isomorphism theory as possible theories to explain professional IR behaviour in SA listed companies.Design/methodology/approachThe study design is qualitative and exploratory, based on a questionnaire developed and sent to all companies listed on the Johannesburg Securities Exchange (JSE).FindingsThe results indicate evidence of isomorphic spread to SA environments from practices observed in the UK and the USA, which we find are mostly performed to promote shareholder interests. The data suggest some evidence that the communication needs of black economic empowerment and environmental, social and governance (ESG) investors are given priority, suggesting the utility of professional IR to obtain legitimisation from society. Contrary to expectation is that social media communication channels are not extensively used.Practical implicationsThe descriptive nature of this study may be valuable to IR practitioners to improve SA IR practises, while neglected legitimisation opportunities with regard to the needs of ESG and black economic empowerment shareholders may be fruitfully addressed by practitioners.Originality/valueThis study innovates in its use of legitimisation theory and isomorphism theory to develop the study's expectations. Social problems provide contextual elements unique to SA which provides a good opportunity to test the expectation of legitimisation theory's influence on professional IR practices.

Journal

Journal of Accounting in Emerging EconomiesEmerald Publishing

Published: May 31, 2021

Keywords: BBBEE; Legitimacy-theory; Shareholder value maximisation-theory; Stakeholder-theory; ESG; Institutional isomorphism-theory

References