Stakeholder Theory: A Libertarian Defense

Business Ethics Quarterly 12 (3):331-349 (2002)
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Abstract

Abstract:The purpose of this paper is to suggest that at least one strain of what has come to be called “stakeholder theory” has roots that are deeply libertarian. We begin by explicating both “stakeholder theory” and “libertarian arguments.” We show how there are libertarian arguments for both instrumental and normative stakeholder theory, and we construct a version of capitalism, called “stakeholder capitalism,” that builds on these libertarian ideas. We argue throughout that strong notions of “freedom” and “voluntary action” are the best possible underpinnings for stakeholder theory, and in doing so, seek to return “stakeholder theory” to its managerial and libertarian roots found in Freeman (1984).

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Author Profiles

Robert Edward Freeman
University of Virginia
Robert Phillips
University of Connecticut

References found in this work

Word and Object.Willard Van Orman Quine - 1960 - Les Etudes Philosophiques 17 (2):278-279.
The Politics of Stakeholder Theory.R. Edward Freeman - 1994 - Business Ethics Quarterly 4 (4):409-421.
Darwin's Dangerous Idea: Evolution and the Meanings of Life.David L. Hull - 1997 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 48 (3):435-438.

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