Chapter 13: Synthetic stakeholders: engaging the environment in organizational decision-making
Restricted access

Stakeholder theory suggests an array of different human actors-from individuals to collectives with various concerns-need to be considered in organizational decision-making. Yet recent advancements in agentic technologies, including artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning algorithms (ML), and distributed ledger technologies (DLTs), promise to disrupt this human-only affair. Critically, these technologies possess the agency to intentionally constrain, complement, or substitute for human action. As such, we frame these technologies as the basis of a potent new type of stakeholder: synthetic stakeholders. A synthetic stakeholder is a technology-based agent(s) that can learn and act as an independent representative in organizational decision-making processes. In this paper, we theorize the bounds of synthetic shareholders and address how they can engage in organizational decision-making. This research shows how often disregarded stakeholders, such as the natural environment, can gain a powerful and independent “voice” in organizational decision-making (Geisel, 1971).

You are not authenticated to view the full text of this chapter or article.

Access options

Get access to the full article by using one of the access options below.

Other access options

Redeem Token

Institutional Login

Log in with Open Athens, Shibboleth, or your institutional credentials

Login via Institutional Access

Personal login

Log in with your Elgar Online account

Login with your Elgar account