Corporate social responsibility and the identification of stakeholders

  • Vos J
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As a management problem the identification of stakeholders is not easily solved. It comprises a modelling and a normative issue, which need to be solved in connection with each other. In stakeholder literature knowledge can be found, e.g. on various stakeholder categorizations, that could be useful for the modelling issue. However, the normative issue remains unresolved. Additionally, the modelling of the so-called stakeholder category ‘the affected’ further complicates this issue. Nevertheless, from a normative perspective, this group holds justified interests in aspects of organizational activity and its members are, for that reason, legitimate stakeholders. In this article it is explored to what extent critical systems heuristics can help in resolving the managerial problem of identifying stakeholders. Critical systems heuristics is a modelling methodology in which the normative aspect of modelling * Correspondence to: Dr J.F.J. Vos, Faculty of Management and Organization, University of Groningen, P.O. Box 800, 9700 AV Groningen, The Netherlands. E-mail: Copyright © 2003 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd and ERP Environment. is crucial. Using the distinction between ‘the involved’ and ‘the affected’, a variety of boundary judgments are discussed. Special attention is given to the so-called ‘witness’ as a representative of the affected.

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  • Janita F J Vos

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