Volume 23, 2012
Proceedings of the Twenty-Third Annual Meeting
Maria Goranova, Lori Verstegen Ryan
A Multidisciplinary View
Shareholder activism has become a dynamic institutional force, and its associated, rapidly increasing body of scholarly literature affects numerous disciplines
within the organizational science academy. Despite growing shareholder empowerment, the impact of shareholder activism on corporate outcomes remains equivocal. The heterogeneity of factors in shareholder activism, such as environmental, firm, proponent, and issue characteristics; the variety of activism methods and processes; and varying outcomes provides a plethora of theoretical and methodological challenges for activism researchers. Furthermore, the separation of prior research on financial and social activism has left unanswered questions critical for both the scholarly discourse on shareholder activism and the normative debate on shareholder empowerment. Our multidisciplinary review integrates both the financial and social activism streams and explores shareholder activism controversies, seeking to provide an impetus for more cohesive conceptual and empirical work in the field.