Meaningful stakeholder engagement: Bottom-up initiatives within global governance frameworks

Rajiv Maher*, Karin Buhmann

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalComment/debateResearchpeer-review


Global sustainable governance frameworks such as the Sustainable Development Goals, United Nations Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights and OECD guidelines for multinational enterprises are already being implemented by multiple actors. These frameworks emphasize the significance of meaningful stakeholder engagement for their effective implementation. Whilst acknowledging the shortcomings and inherent tensions of these frameworks within a neoliberal world order, we also feel it is appropriate to offer guidance in the hope of ensuring a more socially equitable implementation. We call for institutional investors and businesses to engage more with bottom-up approaches to stakeholder engagement where affected groups lead such initiatives. By doing so it would allow private sector actors to have 'meaningfully' engaged with stakeholders as opposed to merely listening. Ultimately, we contend, stakeholder engagement can lead to investment agendas to be included in people's agendas to improve their livelihoods.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)231-234
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2019
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2019 Elsevier Ltd


  • Bottom-up governance
  • Global governance
  • Livelihoods
  • SDGs
  • Socially responsible investment
  • Stakeholder engagement


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