Stakeholder influence, government power, and new opportunities for Chinese Internet companies: A multilevel network analysis of cross-sector networks

Yiqi Li, Aimei Yang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

In recent decades, Chinese Internet companies have experienced exponential growth. As the Internet industry increasingly commends tremendous financial resources, they also face growing stakeholder expectations for corporate social responsibility (CSR) actions. One way through which Chinese Internet companies conduct CSR is by building cross-sectoral collaborations with nonprofit and nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) and governmental agencies. Aiming to understand Internet companies’ strategic relationship building on CSR issues, the researchers drew from stakeholder influence theory and research on a network approach to stakeholder influence, and applied multilevel network analysis to model three networks related to Chinese Internet companies’ CSR collaborations. Specifically, we found that power and urgency are significant predictors of the structure of Internet companies’ cross-sector CSR alliance network. Organizations affiliated or endorsed by the central Chinese government are the most desirable CSR stakeholders. Additionally, the study also revealed that for Internet companies, devoting their attention to Internet-related social issues could increase their desirability as strategic stakeholders from other sectors and among Internet companies.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number102197
JournalPublic Relations Review
Volume48
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Sep 2022
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Chinese Internet companies
  • Cross-sector alliance networks
  • CSR
  • Multilevel network analysis
  • Stakeholder influence

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Communication
  • Organizational Behavior and Human Resource Management
  • Marketing

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