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Stakeholder theory and care management: An inquiry into social enterprises


  • Giuseppe Marcon

    () (Department of Management, Università Ca' Foscari Venezia)

  • Lorenzo Dorigo



This work aims to introduce care management from the moral viewpoint of stakeholder theory. It considers stakeholder theory a useful methodology for managerial descriptions, narratives and theorising of business ethics, and the feminist thought, especially the moral grounding of care, a valuable normative core to earn productive remarks and insights into stakeholder research in modern capitalism. Care leads researchers to meaningful conceptualizations of the firm as a relational entity, both in itself and as part of the network of stakeholders within which it is involved, paving the way for organisational analysis deeply entangled in the subjective and interpersonal aspects of specific business context. Of major importance for advancing the understanding of care as virtue ethics affecting the managerial decision-making is the problem of bordering organisation-stakeholder relationships. To this purpose, a quantitative measuring on managerial practices of stakeholder involvement in a sample of small Italian social enterprises has been carried out. Findings reveal that a fully Òcare for the otherÓ turns in favour of those stakeholders who are formally entitled to take part in the co-production of organisation's activities through the formal involvement in the governance structures.

Suggested Citation

  • Giuseppe Marcon & Lorenzo Dorigo, 2012. "Stakeholder theory and care management: An inquiry into social enterprises," Working Papers 21, Department of Management, Università Ca' Foscari Venezia.
  • Handle: RePEc:vnm:wpdman:34

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Carlo Borzaga, 2013. "Social enterprise," Chapters,in: Handbook on the Economics of Reciprocity and Social Enterprise, chapter 32, pages 318-326 Edward Elgar Publishing.
    2. John Parkinson, 2003. "Models of the Company and the Employment Relationship," British Journal of Industrial Relations, London School of Economics, vol. 41(3), pages 481-509, September.
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    4. Wicks, Andrew C., 1996. "Reflections on the Practical Relevance of Feminist Thought to Business," Business Ethics Quarterly, Cambridge University Press, vol. 6(04), pages 523-531, October.
    5. Liedtka, Jeanne M., 1996. "Feminist Morality and Competitive Reality: A Role for an Ethic of Care?," Business Ethics Quarterly, Cambridge University Press, vol. 6(02), pages 179-200, April.
    6. Freeman, R. Edward, 1994. "The Politics of Stakeholder Theory: Some Future Directions," Business Ethics Quarterly, Cambridge University Press, vol. 4(04), pages 409-421, October.
    7. Phillips, Robert & Freeman, R. Edward & Wicks, Andrew C., 2003. "What Stakeholder Theory is Not," Business Ethics Quarterly, Cambridge University Press, vol. 13(04), pages 479-502, October.
    8. Stephen Osborne & Kate McLaughlin, 2004. "The Cross-Cutting Review of the Voluntary Sector: Where Next for Local Government- Voluntary Sector Relationships?," Regional Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 38(5), pages 571-580.
    9. Chris Cornforth, 2004. "The Governance of cooperatives and mutual associations: a paradox perspective," Annals of Public and Cooperative Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 75(1), pages 11-32, March.
    10. Dobson, John & White, Judith, 1995. "Toward the Feminine Firm: An Extension to Thomas White," Business Ethics Quarterly, Cambridge University Press, vol. 5(03), pages 463-478, July.
    11. Guido Palazzo & Andreas Scherer, 2006. "Corporate Legitimacy as Deliberation: A Communicative Framework," Journal of Business Ethics, Springer, vol. 66(1), pages 71-88, June.
    12. Wicks, Andrew C. & Gilbert, Daniel R. & Freeman, R. Edward, 1994. "A Feminist Reinterpretation of The Stakeholder Concept," Business Ethics Quarterly, Cambridge University Press, vol. 4(04), pages 475-497, October.
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    More about this item


    care management; stakeholder theory; social enterprise; business ethics; feminism; stakeholder involvement;

    JEL classification:

    • M14 - Business Administration and Business Economics; Marketing; Accounting; Personnel Economics - - Business Administration - - - Corporate Culture; Diversity; Social Responsibility
    • M29 - Business Administration and Business Economics; Marketing; Accounting; Personnel Economics - - Business Economics - - - Other
    • B54 - Schools of Economic Thought and Methodology - - Current Heterodox Approaches - - - Feminist Economics

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