Issues management and ethics

Journal of Business Ethics 7 (3):191 - 198 (1988)
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Issues management (IM) is becoming widely accepted in the business-and-society literature as a policy tool to enhance the social performance of corporations. Its acceptance is based on the presumption that firms have incorporated ethical norms into their decision-making process. This paper argues that IM is simply a technique to identify, analyze, and respond to social issues. It can be used either to improve or forestall corporate social performance. Different values will steer IM practitioners in different policy directions.If IM is to be more than a social gadget, designed to promote the firm's narrow economic objectives, it must be self-consciously grounded in ethics. Stakeholder analysis and the comprehensive corporate ethic are concepts that can help forge links between ethics and the administrative process, between values and decision-making in IM.



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