We integrate theory and research from disparate areas to develop a descriptive stakeholder theory. We (1) show that at any given organizational life cycle stage, certain stakeholders, because oi their potential to satisfy critical organizational needs, will be more important than others; (2) identify specific stakeholders likely to become more or less important as an organization evolves from one stage to the next; and (3) propose that the strategy an organization uses to deal with each stakeholder will depend on the importance of that stakeholder to the organization relative to other stakeholders.
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