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Vincent Blok

Contrary to the tendency to harmony, consensus and alignment among stakeholders in most of the literature on participation and partnership in corporate social responsibility (CSR) and responsible innovation (RI) practices, in this chapter we ask which concept of participation and partnership is able to account for stakeholder engagement while acknowledging and appreciating their fundamentally different judgements, value frames and viewpoints. To this end, we reflect on a non-reductive and ethical approach to stakeholder engagement, collaboration and partnership, inspired by the philosophy of Emmanuel Levinas. We contrast a cognitive approach with an ethical approach to stakeholder engagement, collaboration and partnership, and explore four characteristics of this ethical approach. Based on the ethical approach to stakeholder engagement, collaboration and partnership, we also provide a three-stage framework for partnership formation in CSR and RI practices.