Stakeholder Theory As an Ethical Approach to Effective Management: applying the theory to multiple contexts

Jeffrey S. Harrison, R. Edward Freeman, Mônica Cavalcanti Sá de Abreu


Objective – This article provides a brief overview of stakeholder theory,
clears up some widely held misconceptions, explains the importance
of examining stakeholder theory from a variety of international
perspectives and how this type of research will advance management
theory, and introduces the other articles in the special issue.
Design/methodology/approach – Some of the foundational ideas
of stakeholder theory are discussed, leading to arguments about the
importance of the theory to management research, especially in an
international context.
Findings – Stakeholder theory is found to be a particularly useful
perspective for addressing some of the important issues in business from
an international perspective. It offers an opportunity to reinterpret a variety
of concepts, models and phenomena across may different disciplines.
Practical implications – The concepts explored in this article may be
applied in many contexts, domestically and internationally, and across
business disciplines as diverse as economics, public administration,
finance, philosophy, marketing, law, and management.
Originality/value – Research on stakeholder theory in an international
context is both lacking and sorely needed. This article and the others
in this special issue aim to help fill that void.


stakeholder theory, stakeholder management, international research, effective management, business ethics, ethical decision making

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