Skip to main content
Log in

Reasoning about Responsibilities: Mining Company Managers on What Stakeholders are Owed

  • Published:
Journal of Business Ethics Aims and scope Submit manuscript

Abstract

Stakeholder theories propose that managers are responsible not only for maximizing shareholder value, but also for taking into account the well being of other parties affected by corporate decisions. While the language of stakeholder theory has been taken up in industries like mining, controversy remains. Disagreements arise not only about the apportionment of costs and benefits among stakeholders, but about who counts as a stakeholder and about how "costs" and "benefits" are to be conceived. This paper investigates these questions empirically by examining how managers in one mining company talk about corporate responsibilities and by analysing the explicit and implicit values systems and moral logics which inform this talk. The investigations discovered that while some claims by stakeholder groups were readily accommodated by managers, others were not. Analysis of the value frameworks employed by the mangers confirms the views of leading stakeholder theorists that stakeholder theory is grounded in the realities of management practice and behaviour.

This is a preview of subscription content, log in via an institution to check access.

Access this article

Subscribe and save

Springer+ Basic
EUR 32.99 /Month
  • Get 10 units per month
  • Download Article/Chapter or Ebook
  • 1 Unit = 1 Article or 1 Chapter
  • Cancel anytime
Subscribe now

Buy Now

Price excludes VAT (USA)
Tax calculation will be finalised during checkout.

Instant access to the full article PDF.

Similar content being viewed by others

References

  • Barrett, M.: 1996, ‘Good Citizenship is Good Business', Policy Options (December), 3–6.

  • Barton, H.: 1996, ‘The Isle of Harris Superquarry: Concepts of the Environment and Sustainability', Environmental Values 5, 97–122.

    Google Scholar 

  • Bullis, C.: 1991, ‘Organizational values and Control: The Case of Professionals in the U.S. Forest Service', in C. Conra (ed.), The Ethical Nexus: Values and Decision Making in Organizations (Ablex, Norwood, NJ).

    Google Scholar 

  • Bullis, C. and J. Kennedy: 1991, ‘Value Conflicts and Policy Interpretations: Changes in the Case of Fisheries and Wildlife Managers in Multiple Use Agencies', Policy Studies Journal 19, 542–552.

    Google Scholar 

  • Clarkson, M.: 1996, ‘Redefining the Corporation: A Stakeholder Perspective', Policy Options (December), 6–10.

  • Clarkson, M. (ed.): 1998, The Corporation and Its Stakeholders: Classic and Contemporary Readings (University of Toronto Press, Toronto).

    Google Scholar 

  • Cragg. W.: 1996, ‘Shareholders, Stakeholders and the Modern Corporation', Policy Options (December), 15–20.

  • Cragg. W.: 1998, ‘Sustainable Development and Mining: Opportunity or Threat to the Industry?', in J. Skeaff (ed.), Metals and the Environment (Canadian Institute of Mining, Metallurgy and Petroleum, Montreal).

    Google Scholar 

  • Cragg, W., D. Pearson and J. Cooney: 1996, ‘Ethics, Surface Mining and the Environment', Resource Policy 17(10).

  • Donaldson, T. and L. E. Preston: 1995, ‘Stakeholder Theory of the Corporation: Concepts, Evidence and Implications', Academy of Management Review 20(1), 65–91.

    Google Scholar 

  • Dungan, P.: 1997, Rock Solid: The Impact of the Mining and Primary Metals Industries on the Canadian Economy (Institute for Policy Analysis, University of Toronto, Toronto).

    Google Scholar 

  • Gale, F. and M. M'Gonigle: 1996, ‘Corporate Responsibility: Yet Another Oxymoron?', Policy Options (December), 28–32.

  • Freudenburg, W. and S. K. Pastor: 1992, ‘NIMBYs and LULUs: Stalking the Syndromes', Journal of Social Issues 48(4), 39–61.

    Google Scholar 

  • Liedka, J.: 1991, ‘Organizational Value Contention and Managerial Mindsets', Journal of Business Ethics 10, 543–557.

    Google Scholar 

  • Low, N. and B. Gleeson: 1998, ‘Situating Justice in the Environment: The Case of BHP at the Ok Tedi Copper Mine', Antipode 30, 210–226.

    Google Scholar 

  • Maier, M. and J. Messerschmidt: 1998, ‘Commonalities, Conflicts and Contradictions in Organizational Masculinities: Exploring the Gendered Genesis of the Challenger Disaster', Canadian Review of Sociology and Anthropology 35, 325–344.

    Google Scholar 

  • Morrill, C.: 1998, ‘Decoding the Language of Etzioni's Moral Dimension in Complex Organizations', in D. Sciulli (ed.), Macro Socio-Economics: From Theory to Activism (M.E. Sharpe, Armonk NY).

    Google Scholar 

  • Pearce, F.: 1996, ‘Overview on Regulatory Reform', in Michael Mehta (ed.), Regulatory Efficiency and the Role of Risk Assessment (Queen's University School of Policy Studies, Kingston, ON).

    Google Scholar 

  • Scott, M. and S. Lyman: 1968, ‘Accounts', American Sociological Review 33, 46–62.

    Google Scholar 

  • Shapira, Z. and T. Griffith: 1990, ‘Comparing the Work Values of Engineers with Managers, Production, and Clerical Workers: A Multivariate Analysis', Journal of Organizational Behavior 11, 281–292.

    Google Scholar 

  • Thain, D.: 1996, ‘Stakeholder Capitalism: Breakthrough or Boondoggle?', Policy Options (December), 23–28.

  • Young, A.: 1997. 'Public Interest Perspectives on Canadian Environmental Mining Issues: A discussion paper presented to the International Development Research Council's Working Group on Ecosystem Health and Mining in Latin America', Caracas, Venezuela, July, Friends of the Earth Canada. <<http://www.emcbc.miningwatch. org./emcbc/library/ public_interest.html>>

Download references

Author information

Authors and Affiliations

Authors

Rights and permissions

Reprints and permissions

About this article

Cite this article

Cragg, W., Greenbaum, A. Reasoning about Responsibilities: Mining Company Managers on What Stakeholders are Owed. Journal of Business Ethics 39, 319–335 (2002). https://doi.org/10.1023/A:1016523113429

Download citation

  • Issue Date:

  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.1023/A:1016523113429

Navigation