Since its inception in 2006, the United Nations-backed Principles for Responsible Investment (PRI) have grown to over 1300 signatories representing over $45 trillion. This growth is not slowing down. In this paper, we argue that there is a set of attributes which make the PRI salient as a stakeholder and its claim to sign the six PRI important to institutional investors. We use Mitchell et al.’s (Acad Manag Rev 22:853–886, 1997) theoretical framework of stakeholder salience, as extended by Gifford (J Bus Eth 92:79–97, 2010). We use as evidence confidential data from the annual survey of signatories carried out by the PRI in a 5-year period between 2007 and 2011. The findings highlight pragmatic and organizational legitimacy, normative and utilitarian power, and management values as the attributes that contribute most to the salience of the PRI as a stakeholder.

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Keywords PRI, Principles for responsible investment, Responsible investment, Socially responsible investment, Stakeholder salience theory, Stakeholder theory, UNPRI
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Journal Journal of Business Ethics
Majoch, A.A.A. (Arleta A. A.), Hoepner, A.G.F. (Andreas G. F.), & Hebb, T. (2017). Sources of Stakeholder Salience in the Responsible Investment Movement: Why Do Investors Sign the Principles for Responsible Investment?. Journal of Business Ethics, 140(4), 723–741. doi:10.1007/s10551-016-3057-2