IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/a/kap/jbuset/v175y2022i1d10.1007_s10551-020-04550-0.html
   My bibliography  Save this article

Stakeholder Engagement, Knowledge Problems and Ethical Challenges

Author

Listed:
  • J. Robert Mitchell

    (Colorado State University
    University of Western Ontario)

  • Ronald K. Mitchell

    (Texas Tech University)

  • Richard A. Hunt

    (Virginia Polytechnic Institute & State University)

  • David M. Townsend

    (Virginia Polytechnic Institute & State University)

  • Jae H. Lee

    (College of Business, Hamline University)

Abstract

In the management and business ethics literatures, stakeholder engagement has been demonstrated to lead to more ethical management practices. However, there may be limits on the extent to which stakeholder engagement can, as currently conceptualized, resolve some of the more difficult ethical challenges faced by managers. In this paper we argue that stakeholder engagement, when seen as a way of reducing five types of knowledge problems—risk, ambiguity, complexity, equivocality, and a priori irreducible uncertainty—can aid managers in resolving such ethical challenges. Using a practical illustration of the ethical challenges surrounding the development and application of genetic modification technologies, we demonstrate how stakeholder engagement enables managers to better address these knowledge problems, thereby to manage more ethically. In this way, we suggest that stakeholder engagement has an even more crucial role to play in business ethics research and practice.

Suggested Citation

  • J. Robert Mitchell & Ronald K. Mitchell & Richard A. Hunt & David M. Townsend & Jae H. Lee, 2022. "Stakeholder Engagement, Knowledge Problems and Ethical Challenges," Journal of Business Ethics, Springer, vol. 175(1), pages 75-94, January.
  • Handle: RePEc:kap:jbuset:v:175:y:2022:i:1:d:10.1007_s10551-020-04550-0
    DOI: 10.1007/s10551-020-04550-0
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: http://link.springer.com/10.1007/s10551-020-04550-0
    File Function: Abstract
    Download Restriction: Access to full text is restricted to subscribers.

    File URL: https://libkey.io/10.1007/s10551-020-04550-0?utm_source=ideas
    LibKey link: if access is restricted and if your library uses this service, LibKey will redirect you to where you can use your library subscription to access this item
    ---><---

    As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to search for a different version of it.

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Michelle Greenwood, 2007. "Stakeholder Engagement: Beyond the Myth of Corporate Responsibility," Journal of Business Ethics, Springer, vol. 74(4), pages 315-327, September.
    2. Carmelo Cennamo & Pascual Berrone & Cristina Cruz & Luis R. Gomez–Mejia, 2012. "Socioemotional Wealth and Proactive Stakeholder Engagement: Why Family–Controlled Firms Care More about their Stakeholders," Entrepreneurship Theory and Practice, , vol. 36(6), pages 1153-1173, November.
    3. Christopher Michaelson, 2008. "Moral Luck and Business Ethics," Journal of Business Ethics, Springer, vol. 83(4), pages 773-787, December.
    4. Kuechle Graciela & Béatrice Boulu-Reshef & Sean D. Carr, 2016. "Prediction- and Control-Based Strategies in Entrepreneurship: The Role of Information," Post-Print hal-01296948, HAL.
    5. Martina Musteen & Mujtaba Ahsan, 2013. "Beyond Cost: The Role of Intellectual Capital in Offshoring and Innovation in Young Firms," Entrepreneurship Theory and Practice, , vol. 37(2), pages 421-434, March.
    6. Cedric Dawkins, 2014. "The Principle of Good Faith: Toward Substantive Stakeholder Engagement," Journal of Business Ethics, Springer, vol. 121(2), pages 283-295, May.
    7. Yung-Ming Shiu & Shou-Lin Yang, 2017. "Does engagement in corporate social responsibility provide strategic insurance-like effects?," Strategic Management Journal, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 38(2), pages 455-470, February.
    8. Douglas A. Bosse & Richard Coughlan, 2016. "Stakeholder Relationship Bonds," Journal of Management Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 53(7), pages 1197-1222, November.
    9. Douglas A. Bosse & Robert A. Phillips & Jeffrey S. Harrison, 2009. "Stakeholders, reciprocity, and firm performance," Strategic Management Journal, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 30(4), pages 447-456, April.
    10. 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.
    11. Dominique Brossard & Pam Belluck & Fred Gould & Christopher D. Wirz, 2019. "Promises and perils of gene drives: Navigating the communication of complex, post-normal science," Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, vol. 116(16), pages 7692-7697, April.
    12. Marens, Richard & Wicks, Andrew, 1999. "Getting Real: Stakeholder Theory, Managerial Practice, and the General Irrelevance of Fiduciary Duties Owed to Shareholders," Business Ethics Quarterly, Cambridge University Press, vol. 9(2), pages 273-293, April.
    13. Sean Valentine & Gary Fleischman, 2008. "Ethics Programs, Perceived Corporate Social Responsibility and Job Satisfaction," Journal of Business Ethics, Springer, vol. 77(2), pages 159-172, January.
    14. Torsten M. Pieper & Anne D. Smith & Jerry Kudlats & Joseph H. Astrachan, 2015. "The Persistence of Multifamily Firms: Founder Imprinting, Simple Rules, and Monitoring Processes," Entrepreneurship Theory and Practice, , vol. 39(6), pages 1313-1337, November.
    15. Bryan W. Husted & Dima Jamali & Walid Saffar, 2016. "Near and dear? The role of location in CSR engagement," Strategic Management Journal, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 37(10), pages 2050-2070, October.
    16. Michael L. Barnett & Robert M. Salomon, 2012. "Does it pay to be really good? addressing the shape of the relationship between social and financial performance," Strategic Management Journal, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 33(11), pages 1304-1320, November.
    17. Victoria Groddeck, 2011. "Rethinking the Role of Value Communication in Business Corporations from a Sociological Perspective – Why Organisations Need Value-Based Semantics to Cope with Societal and Organisational Fuzziness," Journal of Business Ethics, Springer, vol. 100(1), pages 69-84, April.
    18. Nuttaneeya Torugsa & Wayne O’Donohue & Rob Hecker, 2012. "Capabilities, Proactive CSR and Financial Performance in SMEs: Empirical Evidence from an Australian Manufacturing Industry Sector," Journal of Business Ethics, Springer, vol. 109(4), pages 483-500, September.
    19. Sandra A. Waddock & Samuel B. Graves, 1997. "The Corporate Social Performance–Financial Performance Link," Strategic Management Journal, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 18(4), pages 303-319, April.
    20. Alessandro Zattoni, 2011. "Who Should Control a Corporation? Toward a Contingency Stakeholder Model for Allocating Ownership Rights," Journal of Business Ethics, Springer, vol. 103(2), pages 255-274, October.
    21. Jan W. Rivkin, 2001. "Reproducing Knowledge: Replication Without Imitation at Moderate Complexity," Organization Science, INFORMS, vol. 12(3), pages 274-293, June.
    22. Pia Lotila, 2010. "Corporate Responsiveness to Social Pressure: An Interaction-Based Model," Journal of Business Ethics, Springer, vol. 94(3), pages 395-409, July.
    23. Thomas Maak, 2007. "Responsible Leadership, Stakeholder Engagement, and the Emergence of Social Capital," Journal of Business Ethics, Springer, vol. 74(4), pages 329-343, September.
    24. Suzanne M. Carter, 2006. "The Interaction of Top Management Group, Stakeholder, and Situational Factors on Certain Corporate Reputation Management Activities," Journal of Management Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 43(5), pages 1145-1176, July.
    25. Selden, Paul D. & Fletcher, Denise E., 2015. "The entrepreneurial journey as an emergent hierarchical system of artifact-creating processes," Journal of Business Venturing, Elsevier, vol. 30(4), pages 603-615.
    26. Raghu Garud & Henri A. Schildt & Theresa K. Lant, 2014. "Entrepreneurial Storytelling, Future Expectations, and the Paradox of Legitimacy," Organization Science, INFORMS, vol. 25(5), pages 1479-1492, October.
    27. Frances Bowen & Aloysius Newenham-Kahindi & Irene Herremans, 2010. "When Suits Meet Roots: The Antecedents and Consequences of Community Engagement Strategy," Journal of Business Ethics, Springer, vol. 95(2), pages 297-318, August.
    28. Daniel Ellsberg, 1961. "Risk, Ambiguity, and the Savage Axioms," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 75(4), pages 643-669.
    29. Yves Fassin, 2012. "Stakeholder Management, Reciprocity and Stakeholder Responsibility," Journal of Business Ethics, Springer, vol. 109(1), pages 83-96, August.
    30. Paul Berg, 2008. "Asilomar 1975: DNA modification secured," Nature, Nature, vol. 455(7211), pages 290-291, September.
    31. Andrew Crane & Trish Ruebottom, 2011. "Stakeholder Theory and Social Identity: Rethinking Stakeholder Identification," Journal of Business Ethics, Springer, vol. 102(1), pages 77-87, March.
    32. Taiyuan Wang & Pratima Bansal, 2012. "Social responsibility in new ventures: profiting from a long‐term orientation," Strategic Management Journal, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 33(10), pages 1135-1153, October.
    33. Paul C. Nutt, 1998. "How Decision Makers Evaluate Alternatives and the Influence of Complexity," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 44(8), pages 1148-1166, August.
    34. Jordi Surroca & Josep A. Tribó & Sandra Waddock, 2010. "Corporate responsibility and financial performance: the role of intangible resources," Strategic Management Journal, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 31(5), pages 463-490, May.
    35. Kathleen Rehbein & Jeanne Logsdon & Harry Buren, 2013. "Corporate Responses to Shareholder Activists: Considering the Dialogue Alternative," Journal of Business Ethics, Springer, vol. 112(1), pages 137-154, January.
    36. Yves Fassin & Simone de Colle & R. Edward Freeman, 2017. "Intra-stakeholder alliances in plant-closing decisions: A stakeholder theory approach," Post-Print hal-01745275, HAL.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Citations

    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
    as


    Cited by:

    1. Hui Wang & Haiming Chen & Vincent Tawiah, 2023. "Does Ethical Behaviour Affect Sustainable Development? Evidence from Developed and Developing Countries," Sustainability, MDPI, vol. 15(13), pages 1-16, June.
    2. M. Tina Dacin & Jeffrey S. Harrison & David Hess & Sheila Killian & Julia Roloff, 2022. "Business Versus Ethics? Thoughts on the Future of Business Ethics," Journal of Business Ethics, Springer, vol. 180(3), pages 863-877, October.

    Most related items

    These are the items that most often cite the same works as this one and are cited by the same works as this one.
    1. Franck Brulhart & Sandrine Gherra & Bertrand V. Quelin, 2019. "Do Stakeholder Orientation and Environmental Proactivity Impact Firm Profitability?," Journal of Business Ethics, Springer, vol. 158(1), pages 25-46, August.
    2. Zhu, Minghao & Yeung, Andy C.L. & Zhou, Honggeng, 2021. "Diversify or concentrate: The impact of customer concentration on corporate social responsibility," International Journal of Production Economics, Elsevier, vol. 240(C).
    3. Lite J. Nartey & Witold J. Henisz & Sinziana Dorobantu, 2023. "Reciprocity in Firm–Stakeholder Dialog: Timeliness, Valence, Richness, and Topicality," Journal of Business Ethics, Springer, vol. 183(2), pages 429-451, March.
    4. Mª de la Cruz Déniz-Déniz & Mª Katiuska Cabrera-Suárez & Josefa D. Martín-Santana, 2020. "Orientation Toward Key Non-family Stakeholders and Economic Performance in Family Firms: The Role of Family Identification with the Firm," Journal of Business Ethics, Springer, vol. 163(2), pages 329-345, May.
    5. Katharina Kaupke & Dodo zu Knyphausen‐Aufseß, 2023. "Sustainability and firm value in the oil and gas industry—A vicious circle?," Corporate Social Responsibility and Environmental Management, John Wiley & Sons, vol. 30(3), pages 1129-1144, May.
    6. Danso, Albert & Adomako, Samuel & Lartey, Theophilus & Amankwah-Amoah, Joseph & Owusu-Yirenkyi, Diana, 2020. "Stakeholder integration, environmental sustainability orientation and financial performance," Journal of Business Research, Elsevier, vol. 119(C), pages 652-662.
    7. Francisco Javier Forcadell & Antonio Lorena & Elisa Aracil, 2023. "The firm under the spotlight: How stakeholder scrutiny shapes corporate social responsibility and its influence on performance," Corporate Social Responsibility and Environmental Management, John Wiley & Sons, vol. 30(3), pages 1258-1272, May.
    8. Wei Jiang & Aric Xu Wang & Kevin Zheng Zhou & Chuang Zhang, 2020. "Stakeholder Relationship Capability and Firm Innovation: A Contingent Analysis," Journal of Business Ethics, Springer, vol. 167(1), pages 111-125, November.
    9. Daniela M. Salvioni & Alex Almici, 2020. "Transitioning Toward a Circular Economy: The Impact of Stakeholder Engagement on Sustainability Culture," Sustainability, MDPI, vol. 12(20), pages 1-30, October.
    10. Linda D. Hollebeek & V. Kumar & Rajendra K. Srivastava & Moira K. Clark, 2023. "Moving the stakeholder journey forward," Journal of the Academy of Marketing Science, Springer, vol. 51(1), pages 23-49, January.
    11. Forcadell, Francisco Javier & Lorena, Antonio & Aracil, Elisa, 2023. "The firm under the spotlight: how stakeholder scrutiny shapes corporate social responsibility and its influence on performance," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 117536, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
    12. Tingting Zhang & Zhengyi Zhang & Jingyu Yang, 2022. "When Does Corporate Social Responsibility Backfire in Acquisitions? Signal Incongruence and Acquirer Returns," Journal of Business Ethics, Springer, vol. 175(1), pages 45-58, January.
    13. Lu, Hao & Oh, Won-Yong & Kleffner, Anne & Chang, Young Kyun, 2021. "How do investors value corporate social responsibility? Market valuation and the firm specific contexts," Journal of Business Research, Elsevier, vol. 125(C), pages 14-25.
    14. Saridakis, Charalampos & Angelidou, Sofia & Woodside, Arch G., 2023. "How historical and social aspirations reshape the relationship between corporate financial performance and corporate social responsibility," Journal of Business Research, Elsevier, vol. 157(C).
    15. Emmanuel Lawal & Gökan May & Bojan Stahl, 2017. "The Significance of Corporate Social Disclosure for High‐Tech Manufacturing Companies: Focus on Employee and Community Aspects of Sustainable Development," Corporate Social Responsibility and Environmental Management, John Wiley & Sons, vol. 24(4), pages 295-311, July.
    16. Jeffrey S. Harrison & Andrew C. Wicks, 2021. "Harmful Stakeholder Strategies," Journal of Business Ethics, Springer, vol. 169(3), pages 405-419, March.
    17. Alfred Zhu Liu & Angela Xia Liu & Rui Wang & Sean Xin Xu, 2020. "Too Much of a Good Thing? The Boomerang Effect of Firms’ Investments on Corporate Social Responsibility during Product Recalls," Journal of Management Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 57(8), pages 1437-1472, December.
    18. Yunyi Li & Charl de Villiers & Lina Zixuan Li & Leye Li, 2022. "The moderating effect of board gender diversity on the relation between corporate social responsibility and firm value," Journal of Management Control: Zeitschrift für Planung und Unternehmenssteuerung, Springer, vol. 33(1), pages 109-143, March.
    19. Kamini Gupta & Donal Crilly & Thomas Greckhamer, 2020. "Stakeholder engagement strategies, national institutions, and firm performance: A configurational perspective," Strategic Management Journal, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 41(10), pages 1869-1900, October.
    20. Amrou Awaysheh & Randall A. Heron & Tod Perry & Jared I. Wilson, 2020. "On the relation between corporate social responsibility and financial performance," Strategic Management Journal, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 41(6), pages 965-987, June.

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:kap:jbuset:v:175:y:2022:i:1:d:10.1007_s10551-020-04550-0. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: . General contact details of provider: http://www.springer.com .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a bibliographic reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: Sonal Shukla or Springer Nature Abstracting and Indexing (email available below). General contact details of provider: http://www.springer.com .

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.