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Stakeholder Theory and “The Corporate Objective Revisited”: A Reply


  • Anant K. Sundaram

    () (Thunderbird, The Garvin School of International Management, 15249 North 59th Avenue, Glendale, Arizona 85306)

  • Andrew C. Inkpen

    () (Thunderbird, The Garvin School of International Management, 15249 North 59th Avenue, Glendale, Arizona 85306)


Freeman et al. (2004) offer a spirited rebuttal to our paper “The Corporate Objective Revisited” from the perspective of stakeholder theory. However, they fall short in making a case against the logic of shareholder value maximization. The authors confound issues of “value” and “values,” ignore the rich history of scholarship on related questions, and perhaps misinterpret some of our core arguments. Most importantly, proponents of stakeholder views such as Freeman et al. appear to be unable to go beyond critiques of the shareholder view by failing to offer an empirically supportable alternative theory.

Suggested Citation

  • Anant K. Sundaram & Andrew C. Inkpen, 2004. "Stakeholder Theory and “The Corporate Objective Revisited”: A Reply," Organization Science, INFORMS, vol. 15(3), pages 370-371, June.
  • Handle: RePEc:inm:ororsc:v:15:y:2004:i:3:p:370-371

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    Cited by:

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    2. Andreas Georg Scherer & Andreas Rasche & Guido Palazzo & André Spicer, 2016. "Managing for Political Corporate Social Responsibility: New Challenges and Directions for PCSR 2.0," Journal of Management Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 53(3), pages 273-298, May.
    3. John Buchanan & Dominic H. Chai & Simon Deakin, 2018. "Unexpected Corporate Outcomes from Hedge Find Activism in Japan," Working Papers wp494, Centre for Business Research, University of Cambridge.
    4. Itziar Castelló & Michael Etter & Finn Årup Nielsen, 2016. "Strategies of Legitimacy Through Social Media: The Networked Strategy," Journal of Management Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 53(3), pages 402-432, May.
    5. repec:eee:crpeac:v:21:y:2010:i:8:p:683-695 is not listed on IDEAS
    6. Claus Dierksmeier, 2016. "What is ‘Humanistic’ About Humanistic Management?," Humanistic Management Journal, Springer, vol. 1(1), pages 9-32, September.
    7. Beckmann, Markus & Pies, Ingo, 2006. "Ordnungsverantwortung - Konzeptionelle Überlegungen zugunsten einer semantischen Innovation," Discussion Papers 2006-10, Martin Luther University of Halle-Wittenberg, Chair of Economic Ethics.
    8. Jan Kultys, 2016. "Controversies About Agency Theory As Theoretical Basis For Corporate Governance," Oeconomia Copernicana, Institute of Economic Research, vol. 7(4), pages 613-634, December.
    9. Donal Crilly, 2013. "Recasting Enterprise Strategy: Towards Stakeholder Research That Matters to General Managers," Journal of Management Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 50(8), pages 1427-1447, December.
    10. Suchanek Andreas, 2012. "Unternehmensverantwortung als Vermeidung relevanter Inkonsistenzen / Corporate Responsibility: The Avoidance of Relevant Inconsistencies," ORDO. Jahrbuch für die Ordnung von Wirtschaft und Gesellschaft, De Gruyter, vol. 63(1), pages 241-260, January.
    11. repec:eee:touman:v:33:y:2012:i:5:p:1159-1173 is not listed on IDEAS
    12. Daniel G. Arce, 2007. "Is Agency Theory Self-Activating?," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 45(4), pages 708-720, October.
    13. repec:gam:jsusta:v:9:y:2017:i:9:p:1609-:d:111478 is not listed on IDEAS
    14. Pies, Ingo & Beckmann, Markus & Hielscher, Stefan, 2012. "The political role of the business firm: An ordonomic concept of corporate citizenship developed in comparison with the Aristoleian idea of individual citizenship," Discussion Papers 2012-1, Martin Luther University of Halle-Wittenberg, Chair of Economic Ethics.
    15. Witold J. Henisz & Sinziana Dorobantu & Lite J. Nartey, 2014. "Spinning gold: The financial returns to stakeholder engagement," Strategic Management Journal, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 35(12), pages 1727-1748, December.
    16. Kevin Levillain & Blanche Segrestin, 2018. "From Primacy to Commitment: Revising corporate governance theories to account for recent legal innovations in the US," Working Papers hal-01777788, HAL.
    17. Kull, Alexander J. & Mena, Jeannette A. & Korschun, Daniel, 2016. "A resource-based view of stakeholder marketing," Journal of Business Research, Elsevier, vol. 69(12), pages 5553-5560.
    18. Axel v. Werder, 2011. "Corporate Governance and Stakeholder Opportunism," Organization Science, INFORMS, vol. 22(5), pages 1345-1358, October.
    19. R. Edward Freeman & Andrew C. Wicks & Bidhan Parmar, 2004. "Stakeholder Theory and “The Corporate Objective Revisited”," Organization Science, INFORMS, vol. 15(3), pages 364-369, June.


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