Journal of Business Ethics

, Volume 112, Issue 1, pp 47–57 | Cite as

Whither Stakeholder Theory? A Guide for the Perplexed Revisited

Article

Abstract

The nature of stakeholder theory and its fundamental normative prescriptions are the subject of much confusion and academic debate. This article attempts to provide an account of both the fundamental normative implications of stakeholder theory and the theory’s range of application that both stakeholder advocates and critics can agree upon. Using exclusively the language of leading stakeholder theorists, the article identifies the essential prescriptions of the theory and the type of organizations to which stakeholder theory applies in the hope of facilitating effective discussion and evaluation of the normative dimension of stakeholder theory.

Keywords

Stakeholder theory Agency theory Organizational ethics Labor unions 

References

  1. Derry, R. (2012). Reclaiming marginalized stakeholders. Journal of Business Ethics. doi:10.1007/s10551-012-1205-x.
  2. Donaldson, T. (2011). The inescapability of a minimal version of normative stakeholder theory. In Robert A. Phillips (Ed.), Stakeholder theory: Impact and prospects (p. 130). Northampton: Edward Elgar Publishing, Inc.Google Scholar
  3. Donaldson, T., & Preston, L. E. (1995). The stakeholder theory of the corporation: Concepts, evidence, and implications. Academy of Management Review, 20(1), 65–91.Google Scholar
  4. Dunham, L., et al. (2006). Enhancing stakeholder practice: A particularized exploration of community. Business Ethics Quarterly, 16(1), 23–42.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Freeman, R. E. (1994). The politics of stakeholder theory: Some future directions. Business Ethics Quarterly, 4(4), 409–421.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Freeman, R. E. (1999). Divergent stakeholder theory. Academy of Management Review, 24(2), 233–236.Google Scholar
  7. Freeman, R. E. (2002). Stakeholder theory of the modern corporation. In T. Donaldson, et al. (Eds.), Ethical issues in business (7th ed., p. 44). Prentice Hall: Upper Saddle River, NJ.Google Scholar
  8. Freeman, R. E., et al. (2010). Stakeholder theory: The state of the art. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Hasnas, J. (1998). The normative theories of business ethics: A guide for the perplexed. Business Ethics Quarterly, 8(1), 19–42.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Heath, J. (2009). The uses and abuses of agency theory. Business Ethics Quarterly, 19(4), 497–528.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Maitland, I. (1994). The morality of the corporation: An empirical or normative disagreement? Business Ethics Quarterly, 4(4), 445–458.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Phillips, R. (2003). Stakeholder theory and organizational ethics. San Francisco: Berrett-Koehler Publishers, Inc.Google Scholar
  13. Phillips, R., et al. (2003). What stakeholder theory is not. Business Ethics Quarterly, 13(4), 479–502.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Georgetown UniversityWashingtonUSA

Personalised recommendations