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Book part
Publication date: 23 May 2017

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Stakeholder Management
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78714-407-1

Book part
Publication date: 23 May 2017

Andrew C. Wicks and Jeffrey S. Harrison

This chapter highlights some of the tensions and most promising points of convergence between the strategic management and stakeholder theory literatures. We briefly…

Abstract

This chapter highlights some of the tensions and most promising points of convergence between the strategic management and stakeholder theory literatures. We briefly examine the early development of both areas, identifying some of the background assumptions and choices that informed how the fields evolved, and how these factors led the two fields to engage in scholarly pursuits that seldom intersected for a period of years, followed by a renewal of interest among strategists in themes that are central to stakeholder theory. From this discussion, we develop a larger agenda with specific topics as examples of areas that offer promise for integrative research that can advance knowledge in both fields. Our vision of the future is one in which the larger aspirations of scholars in strategy and stakeholder theory are more fully realized with human purposes, broadly defined, as the focal point.

Book part
Publication date: 10 August 2018

Donald Lange and Jonathan Bundy

One way of looking at the association between ethics and stakeholder theory – of examining the idea that stakeholder theory has a strong moral foundation – is to consider…

Abstract

One way of looking at the association between ethics and stakeholder theory – of examining the idea that stakeholder theory has a strong moral foundation – is to consider how the stakeholder approach might in fact be directly driven by and guided by the moral obligations of business. An alternative perspective we offer is that stakeholder theory only indirectly derives from the moral obligations of business, with business purpose serving as a mediating factor. We work through the fairly straightforward logic behind that alternative perspective in this chapter. We argue that it is a better way to think about the association between ethics and stakeholder theory, particularly because it allows for a theoretical and practical distinction between corporate social responsibility and stakeholder theory. Stakeholder theory can thereby continue developing as a theory of strategic management, even as it brings morals to the fore in ways that other approaches to strategic management do not.

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Sustainability, Stakeholder Governance, and Corporate Social Responsibility
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78756-316-2

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Book part
Publication date: 1 December 2009

Lorne Cummings and Chris Patel

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…

Abstract

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.

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Managerial Attitudes toward a Stakeholder Prominence within a Southeast Asia Context
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-84855-255-5

Book part
Publication date: 23 May 2017

Abe Zakhem and Daniel E. Palmer

Theories of management require normative justification; that is, they rely on some conception of what is morally good, right, and just. This chapter examines some of the…

Abstract

Theories of management require normative justification; that is, they rely on some conception of what is morally good, right, and just. This chapter examines some of the normative reasons for adopting a stakeholder theory of management and for rejecting the once, and perhaps still, “dominant” shareholder-centric approach. This chapter then surveys some of the prominent “normative cores” that are used to ground stakeholder theory, that is, Kantian, contractarian, feminist ethics, and ethical pragmatism, and the moral obligations that each normative approach generates. Some pressing questions are raised with respect to each normative approach. To what extent ought we to recognize imperfect obligations to shareholders? Are contractarian hypernorms morally substantive? How exactly should we care about stakeholders, and is care even an appropriate attitudinal response? Without some commitment to objective ethical standards, how can pragmatists resolve stakeholder conflict?

Book part
Publication date: 23 May 2017

Samantha Miles

Stakeholder theory has been accused of being an umbrella concept rather than a distinct theory per se. Recognizing the stakeholder concept as an essentially contested…

Abstract

Stakeholder theory has been accused of being an umbrella concept rather than a distinct theory per se. Recognizing the stakeholder concept as an essentially contested concept subject to multiple competing interpretations, this chapter presents a systematic meta-level conceptual analysis. This chapter aims to contribute to the optimal development of stakeholder theory by clarifying the conceptual confusion surrounding its central construct to help prevent stakeholder theory from developing into an accumulation of disparate ideas. Multi-contextual contributions to stakeholder theory are analysed via an unparalleled bounded systematic review of 593 stakeholder definitions. Determinants of the stakeholder concept have been deconstructed and analysed to establish how definitional variables relate to variants of stakeholder theory. These determinants have been sorted, filtered and ordered to produce a comprehensive, multi-dimensional classification of stakeholder theory based on four hyponyms which relate to 16 definitional categories. The classification was then subjected to empirical testing with positive results. This evaluation of the stakeholder concept illustrates how contributions are aligned and interrelated, thereby prescribing what is acceptable (unacceptable) as inclusion within stakeholder theory. An invaluable overview of what we know about stakeholder theory is presented within a single model, drawing the conclusion that stakeholder theory is indeed a single theory.

Article
Publication date: 3 August 2015

Jon Aarum Andersen

This paper aims to show how organisation theory can be used to understand the controversy between the shareholder and the stakeholder perspectives. Rationalistic and open…

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Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to show how organisation theory can be used to understand the controversy between the shareholder and the stakeholder perspectives. Rationalistic and open system theories may enhance research on corporate governance by offering well-defined concepts and by specifying core relationships.

Design/methodology/approach

This paper applies descriptions of the two perspectives in organisation theory as a “method” for illustrating how they are linked to and support the shareholder versus the stakeholder perspectives.

Findings

The controversy stems from the fact that the shareholder and the stakeholder perspectives address different relationships. The shareholder perspective captures two relationships that accord with rationalistic organisation theory: shareholders are managing the managers and the organisation, and managers are managing the corporation on behalf of the owners. The stakeholder perspective focuses on three relationships that are not concordant with system theory: managers are managing the shareholders (i.e. the symbolic management of stockholders), managers are managing the corporation (i.e. general management theory) and managers are managing the stakeholders.

Research limitations/implications

Organisation theory provides suggestions for more fruitful definitions of the often-used concepts of direction, control, administration and influence. These terms may be substituted with the well-defined concepts of management, power and control.

Practical implications

Proponents of organisation theory find it theoretically difficult to deal with the topic of corporate governance, if they do at all. When they do, they do it only perfunctorily.

Originality/value

Organisation theory may strengthen research on corporate governance if we insist on both theoretical clarifications of major relationships and on the use of more strictly defined concepts.

Details

Corporate Governance, vol. 15 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1472-0701

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Article
Publication date: 7 June 2016

Zabihollah Rezaee

Global investors demand, regulators require, and companies disclose their sustainability performance information, and scholars have started to conduct research on…

Abstract

Global investors demand, regulators require, and companies disclose their sustainability performance information, and scholars have started to conduct research on sustainability performance, reporting and assurance. The goal of firm value creation can be achieved when management considers the interests of all stakeholders and integrates all five economic, governance, social, ethical, and environmental (EGSEE) dimensions of sustainability performance into managerial strategies, actions and reporting. This paper provides a synthesis of research on sustainability and presents a theoretical framework consisting of theories and standards relevant to all five EGSEE dimensions of sustainability performance and risks and their integration into corporate culture, business models and reporting in creating stakeholder value.

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Journal of Accounting Literature, vol. 36 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0737-4607

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Article
Publication date: 1 April 2005

Elena P. Antonacopoulou and Jérôme Méric

In this article a critique of stakeholder theory is presented. The analysis highlights several concerns regarding the scientific rigor of this body of knowledge revealing…

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Abstract

In this article a critique of stakeholder theory is presented. The analysis highlights several concerns regarding the scientific rigor of this body of knowledge revealing the assumptions and inconsistencies that underpin its main propositions. The discussion shows in particular some of the internal contradictions between, on the one hand, the ideology of social good, and on the other hand, the ideology of control which we argue is not fully accounted for in the way stakeholder theory was popularized in recent years. Our critique opens up more possibilities for engaging with stakeholder theory acknowledging the underlying values that are at stake, thus, revealing the political and value‐laden nature of the concept of stake‐holder. What we seek to draw particular attention to is the way stake‐holder analysis reveals the challenges when not only subjectivities but identities are at stake. This latter point we hope will encourage greater reflexivity among theorists and researchers in this field, recognizing that their personal biases and partialities influence their scholarship, and the way they shape the ideologies stakeholder theory is presented by.

Details

Corporate Governance: The international journal of business in society, vol. 5 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1472-0701

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 25 October 2011

Yi An, Howard Davey and Ian R.C. Eggleton

This paper aims to construct a comprehensive theoretical framework for interpreting voluntary IC disclosure practices by organizations.

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Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to construct a comprehensive theoretical framework for interpreting voluntary IC disclosure practices by organizations.

Design/methodology/approach

Four most‐commonly used theories in the area, namely agency theory, stakeholder theory, signalling theory, and legitimacy theory, were integrated in terms of the interrelated concepts relating to voluntary IC disclosure.

Findings

The constructed theoretical framework includes three concepts: to reduce information asymmetry; to discharge accountability to various stakeholders; and to signal organizational legitimacy and excellence (or superior quality) to society, which are seen as motivations for organizations to disclose their IC on a voluntary basis.

Research limitations/implications

The framework ignores some other theoretical perspectives which are also relevant to voluntary IC disclosure; the framework is not justified by any empirical evidence.

Originality/value

This research is the first attempt to construct a comprehensive theoretical framework for the voluntary disclosure of IC; the constructed framework can be employed as a theoretical foundation for future empirical studies in relation to voluntary IC disclosure.

Details

Journal of Intellectual Capital, vol. 12 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1469-1930

Keywords

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