For managers, a scholarly theory that other stakeholders should have some duties— towards the firm, in particular—should be a pleasant relief. However, key lessons for managers are that responsibilities towards the firm require that managers first conduct themselves morally; and that other stakeholder responsibilities often involve moral and citizenship duties requiring collective action, for which business leadership may be crucial. Mutual and joint responsibilities of stakeholders separate into four general categories: with the firm; among stakeholders themselves; common pool resources (especially nature); and the commonwealth. Stakeholder responsibilities are thus separable into those of interdependent actors, moral individuals and citizens. Interdependent responsibilities are arguably weaker than moral and citizenship responsibilities, and may amount only to benevolence in the stakeholder context absent those other responsibilities.
Stakeholdersuch of business ethics boils down to exhortation concerning proper managerial conduct, in various circumstances, or defences of managerial practices generally based on the economic development benefits of markets (see Wilson 1989). Thinking about ethics from a manager’s perspective is perhaps more difficult. 2.To perceive, or propose, imbalance in the prevailing conceptualisation of business responsibilities. The idea is to establish the responsibilities of stakeholders other than managers and owners, including duties to the firm. There is substantial merit in the proposed thesis. Constructs such as corporate social responsibility, corporate social responsiveness, corporate social performance and global corporate citizenship all emphasise—as they were intended to do—the duties of and constraints on the motives (or goals) and conduct (or actions) of firms: i.e. the managers and owners of joint-stock public corporations or privately held companies.
In an effort to rebalance conceptualisation of...
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