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Boundary Cases in Stakeholder Theory – University of Oxford: Saïd Business School
February 6, 2024 @ 4:00 pm - 5:00 pm
Scholarly, political, and practical interest in responsible business is resurgent. As the debates over responsible business have ebbed and flowed over the decades, novel terminology has emerged…and dissolved (CSR, ESG, license to operate, etc., etc.). Stakeholder theory, in contrast, has continued its steady growth in both adherents and critics as well as its theoretical coherence and usefulness. Developmental disagreements about the proper application context and boundary conditions of the theory have been part of this on-going process of conceptual refinement. Advancing this refinement exercise, this lecture will consider how, if at all, stakeholder theory responds to calls for the more explicit and direct inclusion of 1) non-human nature and 2) victims of exploitation and human rights violations. We will also examine the viability and pragmatic coherence of “instrumental” stakeholder theory as a delimiting boundary condition.