Skip to Main Content

Chethan SrikantChethan Srikant
Western University

Dealing with Social Contestation of Environmental and Economic Solutions: Nascent Enterprises Entering Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) Import Industry in the US from 2000 to 2014

Stakeholder theory assumes that firms always yield to stakeholder demands, as it builds legitimacy, shows responsibility, and ultimately secures survival. But we challenge this assumption by introducing the concept of ‘disapproval of stakeholders’, defined as the publicly visible rhetoric employed by firms that expresses negative evaluation of the stakeholders themselves (in their role as the firm’s audience). We theoretical derive conditions when this occurs by bridging the previously disconnected perspectives on nascent enterprises and social contestation. We empirically establish these conditions through hypotheses testing using longitudinal data from the context of nascent enterprises entering the Liquefied Natural Gas import terminals in the US from 2000 to 2014. It was an industry that reemerged as a potential economic and environmental solution. Our preliminary findings indicate that in such a context intensity of social contestation predicts the occurrence of disapproval of stakeholder. Further, we also find that market volatility attenuates this relationship.


After nearly a decade of corporate experience working in multiple countries, I decided to pursue my long held dream of an academic career. I’m closer to realizing that dream only because of my pillar of support – my wife, Deepthi. I’m also blessed with two wonderful daughters, Ayushka and Akshara, who have made the last four years of being a Phd student the happiest period of my existence on earth and have reduced the growing pains of the academic career to a trivial detail. My broader research interests lie in understanding the sociological processes of evaluation with a backdrop of conflict between firms and societal actors. I love connecting dots so bridging theoretical perspectives and methodological divides gets me super excited. My big wish for the future is that I can someday connect the philosopher in me with the eager social scientist that I’ve now become.