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Edited by Jonathan P. Doh and Stephen A. Stumpf
Chapter 10: Corporate Responsibility, Accountability and Stakeholder Relationships: Will Voluntary Action Suffice?
10 Corporate responsibility, accountability and stakeholder relationships: will voluntary action sufﬁce? Sandra Waddock Introduction Stakeholder theory has advanced signiﬁcantly in the years since Ed Freeman popularized the term in his book Strategic Management: A Stakeholder Approach (Freeman, 1984). From an almost fully corporate centric ‘spoke and wheel’ model of stakeholder ‘management,’ stakeholder theory has moved toward understanding that stakeholder relationships are at the heart of stakeholder theory (Evan and Freeman, 1988; Freeman and Gilbert, 1988) and ultimately of corporate performance itself (Andriof and Waddock, 2002; Andriof et al., 2003), a reality that progressive companies understand clearly. Indeed recent work on networks suggests that organizations and individuals can be stakeholders to an issue, forming networks for local and global action (Waddell, 2003). Companies, in the emerging stakeholder view (Post et al., 2002a), are recognized as inextricably embedded in a web of relationships with stakeholders, some constructive, some destructive (Mitchell et al., 1997). All of these relations combine to constitute the context in which the company operates, not to mention the foundation of the company itself (Waddock, 2002a; Andriof and Waddock, 2002). As testimony to the progress of stakeholder thinking, the term ‘stakeholder’ and its economic analog ‘stakeholder capitalism’ have entered popular parlance. Contrasted to the theoretical mainstream terminology of stakeholder management (for example, Post et al., 2002a, 2002b; Johnson-Cramer et al., 2003), the concept of stakeholder relationships underscores the mutuality, the give and take, and the element of power sharing that is explicit in the terms ‘stakeholder engagement’...
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