Inter-institutional differences in defensive stakeholder management in higher education: The case of Serbia

Jelle Mampaey*, Jelena Brankovic, Jeroen Huisman

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

2 Citations (Web of Science)


In contemporary higher education, stakeholder management is increasingly important given the growing number and complexity of stakeholder groups. Defensive stakeholder management (DSM), defined as verbal responses of universities to stakeholder criticism, is a largely neglected topic in the higher education literature. Drawing from a combination of theoretical perspectives in the organisation science literature, we explore how three Serbian universities engage with DSM (in relation to allegations of academic misconduct). We focus on the antecedents of inter-institutional differences in responses to stakeholder criticism and its antecedents, in particular, decision-making structures and core missions. Our findings suggest that different universities do respond differently to the same type of criticism and as such this is an important contribution to the debate on DSM in higher education and beyond.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)978-989
Number of pages12
JournalStudies in Higher Education
Issue number6
Early online date27 Nov 2017
Publication statusPublished - 3 Jun 2019


  • DSM
  • Serbian higher education
  • Stakeholder criticism
  • inter-institutional differences
  • plagiarism


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