Stakeholders of the Nicaragua Canal: Exploring the Role of Government in Stakeholder Theory

Sarah Kirstine Bach-Holck

Student thesis: Master thesis


This thesis investigates who constitute salient stakeholders of the interoceanic canal in Nicaragua, and what role(s) the Nicaraguan government plays in relation to the canal and these stakeholders. It was found that the Canal Commission and Hong Kong Nicaragua Development Group [HKND] constitute definitive stakeholders; however, other stakeholders may become definitive stakeholders pending the outcome of a hearing before the Inter- American Commission on Human Rights [IACHR] as well as the outcome of the canal. In this way, the thesis reflects on the difficulties of assessing the salience attributes of power and legitimacy. Moreover, the government was found to assume three distinct roles vis-à-vis the canal; namely, those of regular stakeholder, interfering government, and advocate government. The government employs these roles to actively amplify and reduce salience of identified stakeholders of the canal. Governments may amplify and/or reduce stakeholders’ salience directly or indirectly. Amplification efforts have primarily been centered around HKND, while reduction has been centered around those advocating those advocating for the environment or against the expropriations. In this way, this thesis adds to concurrent research on the canal project in Nicaragua. Specifically, the thesis contributes with an understanding of the interactions between social actors and their position vis-à-vis thecanal, thereby constituting a stepping stone of future research into the canal. Additionally, this thesis also contributes to stakeholder theory. Specifically, this thesis explores the role of government in stakeholder theory, and argues for the integration of the stakeholder salience model and the extended stakeholder theory. Thus, this thesis has contributed to stakeholder theory by addressing the identified gap in the literature: the role of the government.

EducationsMSc in Business, Language and Culture, (Graduate Programme) Final Thesis
Publication date2016
Number of pages98