Analysing moral issues in stakeholder relations

Business Ethics, the Environment and Responsibility 10 (3):233-247 (2001)
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Abstract

The purpose of this paper is to develop a framework for analysing managers’ attitudes toward moral issues in stakeholder relations, and to operationalise the developed framework by defining statements to be used as empirical measures in survey research. The research question, how can moral issues in business be examined with the stakeholder approach, is answered by paying attention to both theoretical and empirical viewpoints. The paper reveals that by analysing a company’s stakeholder relations, we can discover the important moral issues in business. To validate the framework developed and the empirical measures which result, the development process is described in detail. The argument is that making the development process visible is an important task in validating empirical measures in survey research. As a result of the research process, a total of 50 moral issues in eight stakeholder relations are identified, and operationalised with 58 itemised statements. The final conclusion is that the empirical measures developed in this paper are suitable for measuring moral issues in stakeholder relations, and that they can later be used in analysing real life managers’ perceptions of moral issues in stakeholder relations.

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