CSR and Stakeholder Theory: A Tale of Adam Smith [Book Review]

Journal of Business Ethics 112 (2):301-312 (2013)
This article leverages insights from the body of Adam Smith’s work, including two lesser-known manuscripts—the Theory of Moral Sentiments and Lectures in Jurisprudence —to help answer the question as to how companies should morally prioritize corporate social responsibility (CSR) initiatives and stakeholder claims. Smith makes philosophical distinctions between justice and beneficence and perfect and imperfect rights, and we leverage those distinctions to speak to contemporary CSR and stakeholder management theories. We address the often-neglected question as to how far a company should be expected to go in pursuit of CSR initiatives and we offer a fresh perspective as to the role of business in relation to stakeholders and to society as a whole. Smith’s moral insights help us to propose a practical framework of legitimacy in stakeholder claims that can help managers select appropriate and responsible CSR activities.
Keywords Adam Smith  Beneficence  Corporate social responsibility  Justice  Perfect rights  Stakeholders
Categories (categorize this paper)
DOI 10.1007/s10551-012-1251-4
 Save to my reading list
Follow the author(s)
My bibliography
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Revision history Request removal from index
Download options
PhilPapers Archive

Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy on self-archival     Papers currently archived: 23,651
External links
Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
Through your library
References found in this work BETA
R. Edward Freeman (1994). The Politics of Stakeholder Theory. Business Ethics Quarterly 4 (4):409-421.

View all 15 references / Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

Add more citations

Similar books and articles
Dima Jamali (2008). MNCs, CSR and Developing Countries. Proceedings of the International Association for Business and Society 19:172-183.

Monthly downloads

Added to index


Total downloads

23 ( #204,424 of 1,902,539 )

Recent downloads (6 months)

6 ( #147,934 of 1,902,539 )

How can I increase my downloads?

My notes
Sign in to use this feature

Start a new thread
There  are no threads in this forum
Nothing in this forum yet.