We test the relationship between shareholder value, stakeholder management, and social issue participation. Building better relations with primary stakeholders like employees, customers, suppliers, and communities could lead to increased shareholder wealth by helping firms develop intangible, valuable assets which can be sources of competitive advantage. On the other hand, using corporate resources for social issues not related to primary stakeholders may not create value for shareholders. We test these propositions with data from S&P 500 firms and find evidence that stakeholder management leads to improved shareholder value, while social issue participation is negatively associated with shareholder value. Copyright © 2001 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.