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Philosophy of Management

Volume 8
Management and Stakeholders - 25 Years On

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Displaying: 1-20 of 24 documents


1. Philosophy of Management: Volume > 8 > Issue: 3
Wim Vandekerckhove Guest Editor Introduction: Management and Stakeholders - 25 Years On
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2. Philosophy of Management: Volume > 8 > Issue: 3
Domènec Melé The View and Purpose of the Firm in Freeman’s Stakeholder Theory
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Stakeholder Theory (ST), presented by R. Edward Freeman, is a managerial theory which sees the firm as ‘connected networks of stakeholder interests’. The purpose of the firm in Freeman’s theory is ‘value creation and trade’ and ‘creation of value for each appropriate stakeholder’. This article argues that although ST presents important insights, its view of the firm is incomplete and its vision of the purpose of the business in society needs to be refined.
3. Philosophy of Management: Volume > 8 > Issue: 3
Harry J. Van Buren III, Michelle Greenwood Stakeholder Voice: A Problem, a Solution and a Challenge for Managers and Academics
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The 25th anniversary of R. Edward Freeman’s Strategic Management: A Stakeholder Approach provides an opportunity to consider where stakeholder theory has been, where it is going, and how it might influence the behavior of academics conducting stakeholder-oriented research. We propose that Freeman’s early work on the stakeholder concept supports the normative claim that a stakeholder’s contribution to value creation implies a right to stakeholder voice with regard to how a corporation makes decisions. Failure to account for stakeholder voice (especially for non-shareholder stakeholders) works to the detriment of stakeholders. We further propose that business ethicists and stakeholder scholars have a role to play with regard to supporting the interests - including a right to voice - ofnon-shareholder stakeholders through advocacy, teaching, and scholarship. We use the example of industrial relations teaching and scholarship as a model for future business ethics teaching and scholarship.
4. Philosophy of Management: Volume > 8 > Issue: 3
Wim Vandekerckhove What Managers Do: Comparing Rhenman and Freeman
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Since the 1990s, stakeholder theory has become a central framework within the field of business ethics, as much for academics as for practitioners. The definition of what a stakeholder is, is always attributed to Freeman in his book Stakeholder Management from 1984. It is also common to contrast Freeman’s definition to the 1963 definition from the Stanford Research Institute. However, a largely forgotten work is that by Rhenman from 1964.This paper compares the respective stakeholder conceptualisations of Rhenman and Freeman. A semantic analysis of their work reveals the differences in assumptions and implications underlying Freeman’s and Rhenman’s definitions with regard to the ontological status of a corporation, the nature of the stake and the role of management. Some explanations are formulated as to why Freeman has apparently eclipsed Rhenman.
5. Philosophy of Management: Volume > 8 > Issue: 3
Magnus Frostenson Stakeholder Theory and the ‘Black Box Problem’: Internal Clarity or Confusion?
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Portraying the firm as a ‘black box’, as traditional conceptions of the firm tend to do, has been strongly criticised by stakeholder theorists. This article claims, however, that the ‘black box problem’ has not been satisfactorily resolved by stakeholder theory itself. The failure to bring clarity to the internal realities of the firm has led to unacceptable conceptions of the firm from a moral agency point of view. For example, stakeholder theory tends to portray the firm as an exchange system with an input-output thought model as a basis. Such a conception does not provide a credible account of moral agency and results in problematic consequences for stakeholder theory, for example when it comes to motivating the existence of corporate moral purposes and ethically acceptable foundations ofstakeholder interests.
6. Philosophy of Management: Volume > 8 > Issue: 3
Tom Hench, Davide Secchi Organisational Niche-Construction and Stakeholder Analysis: Concepts and Implications
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A countless variety of stakeholder approaches are referenced by management scholars and practitioners, with theories on stakeholders divided into normative and descriptive categories and managerial and instrumental theories. This paper addresses the normative stakeholder approach and evaluates its strengths and weaknesses in the context of a new framework. We argue that stakeholder theory arose from a philosophical and scientific tradition where the object of scientific analysis was divided into constituent parts that made them easier to understand and to analyse. Although this process of ‘reduction to the minimum’ is powerful and has worked very well in the past, we argue that the excessive emphasis on elemental parts, while ignoring the whole, runs the risk of overlooking the actual nature of organisation:environment relationships. Moreover, this traditional stakeholder approach can overlook change as a fundamental variable in management processes. The specific contribution of this paper is integrating stakeholder theories with an organisation:environment approach grounded in niche-construction and specie preservation. Doing so allows stakeholder theory not only to embrace human agency as part of a broadened evolutionary dynamic but also to incorporate within this view an improved understanding of the co-evolutionary processes of organisation:environment relationships and the nature of change. In this proposed niche-construction framework, stakeholders are explicitly identified as integral actors in, and co-creators of, organisational-environmental change.
7. Philosophy of Management: Volume > 8 > Issue: 3
Duane Windsor The Value Creation Proposition Suggests Two Requirements for Assessing Alternative Theories of Capitalism
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The recent global financial crisis and worst recession since the Great Depression underscore the theoretical and practical importance of defining requirements for assessing alternative theories of capitalism. The expressed goal of Freeman and his co-authors is to replace value-allocating ‘shareholder capitalism’ with value-creating ‘stakeholder capitalism.’ Each theory combines a different value proposition and principal-agent conception. So interpreted, the value creation proposition suggests two requirements for assessing alternative theories. A proposed better theory of capitalism should demonstrate first practicality of prescriptive guidance for managers and second superiority of its embedded value proposition for sustainable long-term performance. Shareholder and stakeholder conceptions are not the only approaches to developing a theory of capitalism embedding a different value proposition and agency model. Two other conceptions suggest organisational wealth and corporate social responsibility (CSR) theories of capitalism. All four alternatives meet the relatively minimal requirement of practicality. Freeman and his co-authors argue the value creation proposition will outperform the value allocation proposition. But organisational wealth and CSR theories may also outperform shareholder capitalism. Demonstrating that stakeholder capitalism will outperform organisational wealth and CSR theories depends on which principal and value proposition one judges most important in particular conditions.
8. Philosophy of Management: Volume > 8 > Issue: 3
Jon Griffith A Cautionary Note on Stakeholder Theory and Social Enterprise
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Much ink has been spilt over the last decade in discussion of the theories and practices of social enterprise - see especially Peattie and Morley for a comprehensive review of the field, including of other reviews.This brief paper is about a specific aspect of these theories and practices: the effort to establish social enterprises as distinctive from others in having at least a double bottom-line (or in some cases a triple bottom-line, or even some greater multiple of bottom-lines).The effort to establish this distinction does not fit comfortably with Freeman’s ideas about stakeholders, as exemplified in his suggestion that ‘all of those groups and individuals that can affect, or are affected by, the accomplishment of the business enterprise’ should be taken into account by its managers.The main feature of the multiple bottom-line is, on the contrary, that only some interests, not all, should be taken into account in decision making.I do not claim that the multiple bottom-line is the sole distinctive characteristic of organisations defined (by themselves or other) as social enterprises, but it is the only characteristic that concerns me in relation to stakeholder theory in this paper. I also do not claim that stakeholder theory consists only of a view about who should be taken into account by managers, but this is the only element of stakeholder theory that concerns me, in this paper, in relation to social enterprises; and all other aspects of social enterprise theory and practice, and all other aspects of stakeholder theory, will have to wait until another day.
9. Philosophy of Management: Volume > 8 > Issue: 3
Jos Leys, Wim Van Opstal A Puzzle in SRI: Stakeholders in the Mist
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‘Stakeholder’ and related notions have been coined to enhance managerial practice in mainstream corporations. Currently, these notions are abundantly present in all kinds of discourses, especially those on ‘socially responsible investing’. But what kind of stakeholder management are these socially responsible investors promoting and what might be reasonable expectations about outcomes? We find that they promote an approach that has shareholder value as motivation and legitimisation and that they nowhere promote sharing of governance with stakeholders other than shareholders. We explain why this might reasonably be expected. Besides mainstream investors and corporations, investing through co-operatively structured corporations differs regarding stakeholder positions with respect to the position of at least one stakeholder group, whether this be consumers, employees or producers. What are the implications thereof and are these investments then superior from a socially responsible perspective on investment? We find that co-operative investors meet their own set of difficulties in implementing stakeholder management. Our questions and findings enable us to formulate some critical remarks on the stakeholder-notion in both discourses and in general. We suggest that its use, if not halted altogether, should at least be restricted and substituted by the use of more specific notions.
10. Philosophy of Management: Volume > 8 > Issue: 3
R. Edward Freeman Stakeholder Theory: 25 Years Later
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11. Philosophy of Management: Volume > 8 > Issue: 2
Per Sandin, Martin Peterson Guest Editors’ Introduction
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12. Philosophy of Management: Volume > 8 > Issue: 2
Stephen David John Supreme Emergencies, Epistemic Murkiness and Epistemic Transparency
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Sometimes, states face emergencies: situations where many individuals face an imminent threat of serious harm. Some believe that in such cases certain sorts of actions which are normally morally prohibited might be permissible. In this paper, I discuss this view as it applies in both the contexts of war and of public health policy. I suggest that the deontologist can best understand emergencies by analogy with the distinction between act- and rule consequentialism. In real world cases, we must often make decisions in ‘epistemically murky’ situations, such that the application of deontological principles to particular cases is unclear. I suggest that we develop conventions to deal with such cases in a manner which we think is most likely to approximate the demands of abstract deontologicalprinciples across time. I claim that we can best understand ‘supreme emergencies’ as situations which ‘epistemic murkiness’ is resolved. In such cases, there may be a conflict between what would be valid application of abstract deontological principles and the conventions which normally guide us in epistemically murky situations.
13. Philosophy of Management: Volume > 8 > Issue: 2
A. L. Melnick, R. G. Bernheim Using the Code of Ethics in Crisis Management Involving Complex Political Environments: Determining Ventilator Allocation During an Influenza Pandemic
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This paper explores the use of an ethics framework based on the Public Health Code of Ethics to guide rationing decisions during a pandemic flu crisis involving a shortage of ventilators. While the law provides public health officials with authority to act, public health officials, as community leaders and health department managers, must address complex questions about how they should use their legal authority, how they can ethically justify a particular action, how they should engage community stakeholders in decision making, and how the process of public justification should take place. Recognising the need for a tool that could help public health officials manage ethical tensions in practice, such as allocation of scarce resources, the Public Health Leadership Society led efforts todevelop a Public Health Code of Ethics. The 12 Principles in the Code were written to express the general norms implicit in the practice of public health professionals. The Code offers no hierarchical weighting of the different principles and anticipates that weights and specification of the principles would take place in the context of each community through a process of engagement between public health officials and community stakeholders about specific cases. We describe how public health officials can use the Code to guide deliberation in helping communities prepare to address the tragic choices when allocating scarce ventilators in an influenza pandemic.
14. Philosophy of Management: Volume > 8 > Issue: 2
Sara Louise Muhr, Jeanette Lemmergaard Crisis, Responsibility, Death: Sacrifice and Leadership in School Shootings
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Within recent years, we have witnessed an alarming increase in so-called school-shootings, where one or more students enter their school and purposely start shooting other students or staff. Earlier, the phenomenon was primarily American, but lately school-shootings have also been seen in Canada, Europe, and Australia. School-shootings have become an increasing problem and the phenomenon calls for more thorough investigation. In this article, we analyse the actions of teachers, more specifically the ones where teachers give their lives to save students. This unselfish act is analysed in the light of Jacques Derrida’s ethical discussions around ‘the gift of death’, and is displayed as an absolute responsibility. Moreover, the sacrificial actions displayed by teachers are viewed as acts of primitive leadership, which take us back to the romanticism and heroism of leadership. Unlike the everyday management of organisations, crises call for extraordinary leadership; for sacrifice and responsibility.
15. Philosophy of Management: Volume > 8 > Issue: 2
François Tanguay-Renaud Making Sense of ‘Public’ Emergencies
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In this article, I seek to make sense of the oft-invoked idea of ‘public emergency’ and of some of its (supposedly) radical moral implications. I challenge controversial claims by Tom Sorell, Michael Walzer, and Giorgio Agamben, and argue for a more discriminating understanding of the category and its moral force.
16. Philosophy of Management: Volume > 8 > Issue: 2
Naomi Zack The Ethics of Disaster Planning: Preparation vs Response
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We are morally obligated to plan for disaster because it affects human life and well-being. Because contemporary disasters affect the public, such planning should be public in democracies and it should not violate the basic ethical principles of normal times. Current Avian Flu pandemic planning is restricted to a response model based on scarce resources, or inadequate preparation, which gives priority to some lives over others. Rather than this model of ‘Save the Greatest Number,’ the public would be more ethically served by a model of ‘Save All Who Can Be Saved,’ which is based on adequate preparation. And where events exceed adequate preparation, scarce resources should be allocated fairly.
17. Philosophy of Management: Volume > 8 > Issue: 1
Editorial: Teaching Philosophy to Managers
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18. Philosophy of Management: Volume > 8 > Issue: 1
Linda Hitchin Contingent Support: Exploring Ontological Politics/Extending Management
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This paper is located within the critical management tradition of management education and development. The paper seeks to introduce the overlooked area of Actor Network Theory and Mol’s anti-foundationalist ontological politics and demonstrates their potential to developing alternative critical pedagogy and management practice. Following a discussion of problem-based learning, the paper goes on to introduce the emergent pedagogic practice termed contingent support. Through a series of vignettes drawn from fieldwork collected from a second year undergraduate decision-making module, the paper demonstrates how the practice termed contingent support is informed by Actor Network Theory and ontological politics in particular. The paper goes on to reveal the significance ofcontingent support sensibilities of materiality, situatedness and performance and shows how they can give a new vigour to educators interested in developing more responsible management. Finally, the paper considers contingent support’s transformational potential and sets out an agenda for future research.
19. Philosophy of Management: Volume > 8 > Issue: 1
Martin Kelly, Andrea Bather Corporate Social Responsibility and the Teaching of Management Accounting
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Throughout most of the 20th century Management Accounting was developed on the premise that it should help managers to decide how best to maximise the short-term financial profits of their businesses. In the emergent Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) business environment Post, Preston and Sachs1 ask, ‘To whom and for what is the corporation responsible?’. In response to this question we examine publications describing recent changes in the corporate environment, and provide evidence of business decisions being made on the bases of: environmental, societal and other criteria, besides those relating to financial profitability. We question whether such changes in the corporate environment are being reflected in the way that Management Accounting is being taught in business schools today. We provide details of a final year course that we have developed at our university.
20. Philosophy of Management: Volume > 8 > Issue: 1
Ashly H. Pinnington, Dennis J. Tourish Evaluating Leadership Development - A Democratic Leadership Perspective
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This paper considers the evaluation of leadership development and reflects on the psychological resistances, political obstacles and cultural impracticalities of developing democratic leadership. The focus is on the development and sustainability of democratic leadership through processes of evaluation. While the authors acknowledge that there exist formidable obstacles to the collective practice of evaluating leadership development, suggestions are made for practitioners and researchers who nonetheless remain interested in democratic leadership.