In 1984, R. Edward Freeman published his landmark book, Strategic Management: A Stakeholder Approach, a work that set the agenda for what we now call stakeholder theory. In the intervening years, the literature on stakeholder theory has become vast and diverse. This book examines this body of research and assesses its relevance for our understanding of modern business. Beginning with a discussion of the origins and development of stakeholder theory, it shows how this corpus of theory has influenced a variety of different fields, including strategic management, finance, accounting, management, marketing, law, health care, public policy, and environment. It also features in-depth discussions of two important areas that stakeholder theory has helped to shape and define: business ethics and corporate social responsibility. The book concludes by arguing that we should re-frame capitalism in the terms of stakeholder theory so that we come to see business as creating value for stakeholders.
• Encourages business practitioners and academics to think more deeply about the purpose of business, and whom it should benefit • Historical overview of stakeholder theory puts its development in context • Explores future directions for research to help the reader advance beyond current thinking on stakeholder theory
List of figures; Acknowledgements; Preface; Part I. The Genesis of Stakeholder Theory: 1. The problems that stakeholder theory tries to solve; 2. The development of stakeholder theory: a brief history; 3. Stakeholder theory, pragmatism, and method; Part II. Stakeholder Theory and the Traditional Disciplines of Business: 4. Stakeholder theory and strategic management; 5. Stakeholder theory in finance, accounting, management and marketing; 6. Stakeholder theory in law, health care, public policy and environment; Part III. Stakeholder Theory, Ethics, and Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR): 7. Stakeholder theory and business ethics; 8. Stakeholder theory and corporate social responsibility (CSR); Part IV. Stakeholder Theory: Some Future Possibilities: 9. Stakeholder theory and capitalism; 10. Questions on the horizon; Bibliography; Index.
'The book is a great tool for those who want to have a deep understanding of different perspectives of stakeholder theory. It draws together research of over thirty years as it has been applied in a number of business contexts, in a way that allows readers to understand the evolution of theory, how it has been applied and what future avenues need exploration.' Michael Jay Polonsky, Deakin University, Melbourne
'Ed Freeman and his colleagues have produced an erudite, subtle, vigorously argued account of stakeholder theory. Their provocative book will not be the last word on the subject, but it is the best contribution so far to an extraordinarily important conversation.' Edwin Hartman, New York University