Business Ethics Quarterly 13 (1):1-24 (2003)

Abstract
Critics attack normative ethical stakeholder theory for failing to recognize the special moral status of shareholders that justifiesthe fiduciary duties owed to them at law by managers. Stakeholder theorists reply that there is nothing morally significant about shareholders that can underwrite those fiduciary duties. I advance an argument that seeks to demonstrate both the special moral status of shareholders in a firm and the concomitant moral inadequacy of stakeholder theory. I argue that (i) if some relations morally requirefiduciary duties, and (ii) the shareholder-manager relation possesses the features that make fiduciary duties morally necessary to thoserelations, then (iii) stakeholder theory is morally lacking
Keywords Applied Philosophy  Business and Professional Ethics  Social Science
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ISBN(s) 1052-150X
DOI 10.5840/beq20031313
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