Role of stakeholders in business rescue

25 Mar 2021

PURPOSE : It is widely accepted that stakeholders play a role in the turnaround of an organisation. However, the exact role is unclear. This study set out to investigate the roles of stakeholders in the success of business rescue through the lens of stakeholder theory. DESIGN/METHODOLOGY/APPROACH : The study research design is qualitative following an exploratory approach. The choice of technique for the study was semi-structured interviews. FINDINGS/RESULTS : The findings indicate that key stakeholders go beyond affected parties as described by Chapter 6 of the Companies Act. Creditors are considered the most influential stakeholders due to their ability to vote on the business rescue plan, followed by postcommencement funders and employees, to ensure business continuity. Customers were given the same level of importance by the business rescue practitioners as other affected parties. Due to the dynamic nature of business rescue, business rescue practitioners prioritise resourceful stakeholders when managing the process. A simplified framework illustrating roles of stakeholders during business rescue is presented. PRACTICAL IMPLICATIONS : Stakeholder management should be recognised as a valuable exercise that must be allocated time and resources. Business rescue practitioners should recognise stakeholder influences at different stages of the business rescue process.