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New Case Study: Equinor

From Statoil to Equinor: To embrace the energy transition, management must navigate complex stakeholder dynamics.

Equinor Oil Rig, Johan Sverdrup,  Photo: Equinor, Ole Jørgen Bratland
Equinor has pledged $25 million to the Global Flaring and Methane Reduction (GFMR) fund. Courtesy of Equinor.

The Yale Program on Stakeholder Innovation and Management recently completed a case study on Norwegian state-owned energy company Equinor. Thanks to our program donors, the case is available to businesses and accredited academic institutions for free by emailing

For nearly 50 years, Norwegian energy giant Equinor’s (formerly Statoil) focus on oil and gas had served its stakeholders well. The company delivered strong financial results, built a respected brand and developed trusted stakeholder relationships. Then, in 2017, Statoil leadership announced a major strategic shift. The company would diversify into renewables. Accomplishing this transformation was uniquely challenging because the company was (and remains) intertwined with the institutions, economy, and culture of Norway -- whose government and population had distinct values and expectations different from those of ordinary shareholders. It would require gaining the support of longstanding stakeholders and developing relationships with new stakeholders, entry into entirely new segments of the energy industry, and a fundamental change in the company’s identity and culture. In many respects, it was a strategy to re-found the company. 

The Equinor case study has been taught by Jon Iwata, Y-SIM Practice Lead and Yale SOM Lecturer, as part of a new elective course, MGT 840: Stakeholders, Management, and Capitalism, and will also be taught in Executive Education courses developed by our program. 

Case written by Jean Rosenthal, Project Editor at the Yale School of Management, executive summary by Stephen Maiden, and supervised by Professor Edward A. Snyder, Y-SIM Practice Leader Jon Iwata, and Yale SOM Director of Case Research Jaan Elias.