Business Ethics and Stakeholder Analysis

by K E Goodpaster
Business Ethics Quarterly ()
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Abstract

Much has been written about stakeholder analysis as a process by which to introduce ethical values into management decision-making. This paper takes a critical look at the assumptions behind this idea, in an effort to understand better the meaning of ethical management decisions. A distinction is made between stakeholder analysis and stakeholder synthesis. The two most natural kinds of stakeholder synthesis are then defined and discussed: strategic and multi-fiduciary. Paradoxically, the former appears to yield business without ethics and the latter appears to yield ethics without business. The paper concludes by suggesting that a third approach to stakeholder thinking needs to be developed, one that avoids the paradox just mentioned and that clarifies for managers (and directors) the legitimate role of ethical considerations in decision-making. ABSTRACT FROM AUTHOR Copyright of Business Ethics Quarterly is the property of Philosophy Documentation Center and its content may not be copied or emailed to multiple sites or posted to a listserv without the copyright holder's express written permission. However, users may print, download, or email articles for individual use. This abstract may be abridged. No warranty is given about the accuracy of the copy. Users should refer to the original published version of the material for the full abstract. (Copyright applies to all Abstracts) Much has been written about stakeholder analysis as a process by which to introduce ethical values into management decision-making. This paper takes a critical look at the assumptions behind this idea, in an effort to understand better the meaning of ethical management decisions. A distinction is made between stakeholder analysis and stakeholder synthesis. The two most natural kinds of stakeholder synthesis are then defined and discussed: strategic and multi-fiduciary. Paradoxically, the former appears to yield business without ethics and the latter appears to yield ethics without business. The paper concludes by suggesting that a third approach to stakeholder thinking needs to be developed, one that avoids the paradox just mentioned and that clarifies for managers (and directors) the legitimate role of ethical considerations in decision-making. ABSTRACT FROM AUTHOR Copyright of Business Ethics Quarterly is the property of Philosophy Documentation Center and its content may not be copied or emailed to multiple sites or posted to a listserv without the copyright holder's express written permission. However, users may print, download, or email articles for individual use. This abstract may be abridged. No warranty is given about the accuracy of the copy. Users should refer to the original published version of the material for the full abstract. (Copyright applies to all Abstracts)

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Readership Statistics

14 Readers on Mendeley
by Discipline
 
43% Business, Management and Accounting
 
36% Social Sciences
 
7% Computer Science
by Academic Status
 
50% Student > Ph. D. Student
 
29% Professor > Associate Professor
 
14% Student > Master
by Country
 
7% Malaysia
 
7% United Kingdom

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