Reframing the debate between agency and stakeholder theories of the firm

Journal of Business Ethics 19 (4):319 - 334 (1999)
The conflict between agency and stakeholder theories of the firm has long been entrenched in organizational and management literature. At the core of this debate are two competing views of the firm in which assumptions and process contrast each other so sharply that agency and stakeholder views of the firm are often described as polar opposites. The purpose of this paper is to show how agency theory can be subsumed within a general stakeholder model of the firm. By analytically deconstructing the assumptions of agency theory, it is argued that agency theory: (1) must include a recognition of stakeholders; (2) requires a moral minimum to be upheld, which places four moral principles above the interests of any stakeholders, including shareholders; (3) consists of contradictory assumptions about human nature and which give rise to the equally valid assumptions of trust, honesty and loyalty to be infused into the agency relationship. In this way, stakeholder theory is argued to be the logical conclusion of agency theory. Empirical hypotheses are presented as a means to substantiate this claim.
Keywords Philosophy   Ethics   Business Education   Economic Growth   Management
Categories (categorize this paper)
 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: 23,305
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

No references found.

Add more references

Citations of this work BETA
Yves Fassin (2009). The Stakeholder Model Refined. Journal of Business Ethics 84 (1):113 - 135.

View all 22 citations / Add more citations

Similar books and articles

Monthly downloads

Added to index


Total downloads

172 ( #23,557 of 1,932,568 )

Recent downloads (6 months)

8 ( #114,865 of 1,932,568 )

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.