Corporate reputation in Europe and North America is increasingly seen as a function of how firms treat their stakeholders. In the United States, stakeholder theory has been touted as a paradigm of good management; yet despite enlightened stakeholder practice at home, US firms continue to run into problems in Europe. Wal-Mart, Microsoft, and GE have, in one way or another, all been caught off guard when doing business in Europe. This paper suggests that some of the stakeholder relations difficulties encountered by US corporations in Europe can be explained by fundamental cultural and philosophical differences between these regions that affect how stakeholders are viewed and how relations with those groups are managed. In this paper, we examine the historical and socio-political forces influencing stakeholder theory in the US and northern Europe and then use a business-to-business marketing approach to show how US firms might develop an approach to stakeholder relations that fits the northern European environment.