Goodstein and Wicks (2007)

General Review:

Highlights the role of stakeholders in ethics of corporations, and arguments that this is a two-way relationship, where stakeholders are to be responsible for negative outcomes associated with their demands.

Trough case studies the mutual benefits of relationships in and beyond the value-network is described, and the interdependence and implications between stakeholders and business ethics/moral is summarized in five core arguments. P388 and a guideline for different stakeholders to demonstrate responsible behaviour is brought to attention. P292

Core Theory (logical explanation or testable model of interaction):

Stakeholder responsibility must be committed and loyal to mission and values and connect to particular tasks, practices and ways of cooperating with others to achieve specific objectives.

P385 Mutual recognition of responsibilities between firms and stakeholders helps to align self-interest with the interest of others, and provides direction to channel their energies in productive and sustainable ways.

Core concepts (abstract idea or a mental symbol):


Three different but complementary conceptions of stakeholder responsibility:

  1. Responsibilities as a function of reciprocity (SR-R) a relation of mutual dependence or action or influence
  2. Responsibilities as a function of interdependence (SR-R) reciprocal relation between interdependent entities (objects or individuals or groups)
  3. Responsibilities as a function of accountability (SR-A)

Core framework (structure used to outline, address or solve complex issues):


Core models (pattern, plan or description showing main object or workings of concept):


Methods used:

Literature review and case studies.


Rawls, John (2001) Justice and Fairness: A Restatement, ed. Erin Kelly, Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, p211 “the recognition of the aspirations and interests of others to be realized by their joint activity.”

Discussed and extended by:

Philips, Robert A (1997) Stakeholder Theory and a Principle of Fairness” Business Ethics Quarterly 7(1), 51-66, p57

“Whenever persons or groups of persons voluntarily accept the benefits of a mutually beneficial scheme of co-operation requiring sacrifice or contribution on the parts of the participants and there exists the possibility of free-riding, obligations of fairness are created among the participants in the co-operative scheme in proportion to the benefits accepted.”

Fundamental to this understanding of stakeholder responsibility is the recognition of the firm as (among other things) a web of relationships among stakeholders.

Walker, Margaret Urban (1998) Moral Understandings, New York: Routledge – within any relationship, parties have certain responsibilities to each other, particularly if their aims is to be mutually beneficial and sustainable over time

Relatedness to objective:

P375 “It is time to make business ethics a two-way conversation and start putting greater emphasis on stakeholder responsibility and the role stakeholders ……play, along with corporations, in fostering ethical business practices and business excellence”

P382-383 eBay community of person-to-person relationships between registered users where responsibility is interdependent and accountability is mutual secures a powerful self-regulating system, where people commits and benefit beyond simple financial gain. Voluntarily commitment to secure responsibility and accountability in the system have created a low-cost hard to copy competitive advantage.

Relatedness to questions:

Arguments/points made (set of one or more declarative sentences):