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Stephen Henderson

UNST 123 Prof. Bagley

Stakeholder Theory Reflection
Throughout our two days of discussing stakeholder theory, in combination with the assigned
articles weve read, Ive found myself thinking of new ideas and points on the topic for a week
now. And its mostly unprovoked thinking too. Ill just be wandering off in my own inner
monologue, and randomly trigger a strand of memory that leads me off in a tangent of discussing
the impact of corporations on people and vice versa. Other times itll be something I see or hear
that makes me think of the discussions. The best example of this happened to me just the other
day as I walked past the Spicy Pickle of such controversy in our class. It was closed, and I had
just gotten food, so there was really no reason to think twice about it. But nonetheless, I launched
into the entire topic of stakeholders, either potential or active, as well as the question of: If a
Spicy Pickle employee gets Hep-C, and through some connection of mutual acquaintances you
end up with Hep-C too, are you a stakeholder?
On that point, I had a really interesting thought about how to differentiate the demographics of
stakeholders. If you relate the idea of basic physics, it helps to make sense of the whole issue.
Defined laws of physics state that all objects have energy at all times, whether that energy is
kinetic or potential. Another law states that objects with more mass store more potential energy
than an object with less mass. This translates well into stakeholder theory, as it is easily plausible
that bigger corporations have a larger potential stakeholder market. For example, JCPenney is a
very large company that has been around for a long time, and even those that dont know about it
have probably seen plenty of people wearing JCPs clothes. However, a company such as
Stumptown Coffee Roasters which is very popular in Portland, its hometown isnt as well-
known as Starbucks, Tullys, or Dunkin Donuts are around the country. So while Stumptown
definitely has many stakeholders in Portland, and is continuing to grow, it is isolated in the
Northwest region of the US. Starbucks and Dunkin are not only national chains, theyre
multinational corporations. That being said, with the current popularity of Portland generated
from the hit TV show Portlandia, the potential stakeholder pool for Stumptown has grown
So as far as the idea of potential versus active stakeholders goes, relating it to basic physical
science is the best way of thinking for me. To wrap up, stakeholder theory is basically
unavoidable, as well as the themes of it, in everyday life. As citizens of one of the wealthiest and
most powerful nations in the world, were stakeholders of virtually anything. The connections
just have to be made.

"About Stumptown." Stumptown Coffee Roasters. N.p., n.d. Web. 22 Apr. 2014.
"About Us." Starbucks Coffee Company. N.p., n.d. Web. 21 Apr. 2014.
"Gravitational Potential Energy." Hyperphysics. N.p., n.d. Web. 22 Apr. 2014.