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Stakeholders and Sustainability: An Evolving Theory

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  • Kevin Gibson

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    Abstract

    This conceptual article has three parts: In the first, I discuss the shortcomings of treating the environment as a stakeholder and conclude that doing so is theoretically vague and lacks prescriptive force. In the second part, I recommend moving from broad notions of preserving nature and appeals to beauty to a more concrete analytic framework provided by the idea of human sustainability. Using sustainability as the focus of concern is significant as it provides us with a more tenable and quantifiable standard for action, as in the case of carbon offsets and development of measures such as the United Nations Sustainability Indicators. In the final section, I draw on notions of stewardship to suggest that stakeholder management has a positive responsibility to promote sustainability. Copyright Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2012

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    File URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10.1007/s10551-012-1376-5
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    Bibliographic Info

    Article provided by Springer in its journal Journal of Business Ethics.

    Volume (Year): 109 (2012)
    Issue (Month): 1 (August)
    Pages: 15-25

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    Handle: RePEc:kap:jbuset:v:109:y:2012:i:1:p:15-25

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    Web page: http://www.springerlink.com/link.asp?id=100281

    Related research

    Keywords: Stakeholder; Sustainability; Environment; Nature; Responsibility; Management;

    References

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    1. Thomas Maak & Nicola M. Pless, 2006. "Responsible Leadership in a Stakeholder Society – A Relational Perspective," Journal of Business Ethics, Springer, vol. 66(1), pages 99-115, June.
    2. Sen, Amartya, 1985. "Goals, Commitment, and Identity," Journal of Law, Economics and Organization, Oxford University Press, vol. 1(2), pages 341-55, Fall.
    3. Pratima Bansal & Geoffrey Kistruck, 2006. "Seeing Is (Not) Believing: Managing the Impressions of the Firm’s Commitment to the Natural Environment," Journal of Business Ethics, Springer, vol. 67(2), pages 165-180, August.
    4. Shona L. Russell & Ian Thompson, 2008. "Accounting for a Sustainable Scotland," Public Money & Management, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 28(6), pages 367-374, December.
    5. Barbara Bartkus & Myron Glassman, 2008. "Do Firms Practice What They Preach? The Relationship Between Mission Statements and Stakeholder Management," Journal of Business Ethics, Springer, vol. 83(2), pages 207-216, December.
    6. Post, James E., 1991. "Managing as if the earth mattered," Business Horizons, Elsevier, vol. 34(4), pages 32-38.
    7. Shona L. Russell & Ian Thompson, 2008. "Accounting for a Sustainable Scotland," Public Money & Management, Chartered Institute of Public Finance and Accountancy, vol. 28(6), pages 367-374, December.
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    Cited by:
    1. Susan Castro, 2014. "The Morality of Unequal Autonomy: Reviving Kant’s Concept of Status for Stakeholders," Journal of Business Ethics, Springer, vol. 121(4), pages 593-606, June.

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