Imperfections and shortcomings of the stakeholder model's graphical representation

Journal of Business Ethics 80 (4):879 - 888 (2008)
The success of the stakeholder theory in management literature as well as in current business practices is largely due to the inherent simplicity of the stakeholder model––and to the clarity of Freeman’s powerful synthesised visual conceptualisation. However, over the years, critics have attacked the vagueness and ambiguity of stakeholder theory. In this article, rather than building on the discussion from a theoretical point of view, a radically different and innovative approach is chosen: the graphical framework is used as the central perspective. The major shortcomings of the popular stakeholder framework are systematically confronted with the graphical scheme to illustrate their visual impact. The graphical illustrations of the imperfections help explain the sometimes-oversimplified generalisation inherent to every graphical model. They also make some interrelationships easier to understand. The analysis demonstrates that, with the tacit but implicit acceptance of simplification of the discussed explanatory elements, Freeman’s framework remains a rather good approximation of reality. Only a few minor changes to the stakeholder model are consequently proposed.
Keywords Freeman’s model  graphical framework  stakeholder  stakeholder model  stakeholder reciprocity  stakeholder theory  strategy
Categories (categorize this paper)
DOI 10.2307/25482187
 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: 16,661
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
Robert Phillips (2003). Stakeholder Legitimacy. Business Ethics Quarterly 13 (1):25-41.
Kevin Gibson (2000). The Moral Basis of Stakeholder Theory. Journal of Business Ethics 26 (3):245 - 257.
John Kaler (2003). Differentiating Stakeholder Theories. Journal of Business Ethics 46 (1):71 - 83.

View all 8 references / Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

View all 10 citations / Add more citations

Similar books and articles

Monthly downloads

Added to index


Total downloads

36 ( #91,119 of 1,726,249 )

Recent downloads (6 months)

3 ( #231,316 of 1,726,249 )

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.