Stakeholder theory: The state of the art

Bidhan L. Parmar, R. Edward Freeman, Jeffrey S. Harrison, Andrew C. Wicks, Lauren Purnell, Simone de Colle

    Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


    For the last 30 years a growing number of scholars and practitioners have been experimenting with concepts and models that facilitate our understanding of the complexities of today's business challenges. Among these, "stakeholder theory" or "stakeholder thinking" has emerged as a new narrative to understand and remedy three interconnected business problems-the problem of understanding how value is created and traded, the problem of connecting ethics and capitalism, and the problem of helping managers think about management such that the first two problems are addressed. In this article, we review the major uses and adaptations of stakeholder theory across a broad array of disciplines such as business ethics, corporate strategy, finance, accounting, management, and marketing. We also evaluate and suggest future directions in which research on stakeholder theory can continue to provide useful insights into the practice of sustainable and ethical value creation.

    Original languageEnglish (US)
    Pages (from-to)403-445
    Number of pages43
    JournalAcademy of Management Annals
    Issue number1
    StatePublished - Jun 2010

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Business and International Management
    • Organizational Behavior and Human Resource Management


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