This chapter examines the literature surrounding stakeholder theory. Section 2.2 outlines the nature of what is a stakeholder, whereas Section 2.3 overviews the literature on social accounting and reporting and details how it served as an antecedent to the specific literature on stakeholder management. Section 2.4 covers the mainstream literature on stakeholder management by examining the three distinct categories of stakeholder literature as outlined by Donaldson and Preston (1995): (1) descriptive; (2) instrumental; and (3) normative. The normative category includes a discussion on how the theory's fundamental aspects have been rejected outright by some authors, as a basis for a theory of the firm, due to the perceived paradox in relation to the firm's multi-fiduciary duty beyond the shareholder. Section 2.5 summarises the literature to date and outlines its main limitations, including the primary emphasis on seeking to normatively ground the theory. Section 2.6 then provides the conclusions with a table summarising the research objectives and outcomes.
Cummings, L. and Patel, C. (2009), "Chapter 2 Stakeholder literature review", Cummings, L. and Patel, C. (Ed.) Managerial Attitudes toward a Stakeholder Prominence within a Southeast Asia Context (Studies in Managerial and Financial Accounting, Vol. 19), Emerald Group Publishing Limited, Bingley, pp. 17-51. https://doi.org/10.1108/S1479-3512(2009)0000019006
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