The purpose of this article is to investigate why stakeholder frameworks have struggled for acceptance in strategy and to put forward a clearly articulated framework which, while firm-centric, acknowledges that stakeholders hold the key to organization success. Design/methodology/approach – The framework outlined is the result of more than two decades of action research. This has involved an iterative process of framework design and field testing with clients to assess validity followed by redesign. This evolution has been conducted in conjunction with a continuous review of progress in the strategy-related literature. Findings – For many directors, managers, consultants and academics, there is a disconnect between strategy and what is often referred to as “stakeholder management”. In the latter, stakeholders are the first and final focus. Such a perspective might suit the needs and language of fields like public policy, social services, welfare and ethics, but it isn't appropriate for strategy and strategic planning. Being stakeholder-centric, it holds back the acceptance of a stakeholder framework in strategy. The firm-centric stakeholder framework for strategy gels with boards, CEOs and senior executives, focusing as it does on the long-term prosperity and sustainability of an organization. Originality/value – Organizations in all sectors – business, government and not-for-profit – can benefit greatly by re-orienting their thinking and the way they go about designing strategy and structuring their strategic plans. A firm-centric stakeholder approach to strategy solves many conceptual and practical problems that directors and managers face in designing organization objectives and shaping precise strategies.