Journal of Business Ethics 108 (3):285-298 (2012)

Abstract
The concept of the ‘stakeholder’ has become central to business, yet there is no common consensus as to what the concept of a stakeholder means, with hundreds of different published definitions suggested. Whilst every concept is liable to be contested, for stakeholder research, this is problematic for both theoretical and empirical analysis. This article explores whether this lack of consensus is conceptual confusion, which would benefit from further debate to try to reach a higher degree of elucidation, or whether the stakeholder concept is essentially contested, rendering the quest to seek a singular definition unfeasible. The theory of essentially contested concepts was proposed by Gallie (Proc Aristot Soc 56:167–198, 1956 ). The seven criteria Gallie prescribes for evaluating essentially contested concepts are applied to the stakeholder concept. The analysis suggests that this concept is an essentially contested concept and this explains the degree of definitional variation.
Keywords Stakeholder  Stakeholder definitions  Essentially contested concepts
Categories (categorize this paper)
ISBN(s)
DOI 10.1007/s10551-011-1090-8
Options
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Request removal from index
Revision history

Download options

PhilArchive copy


Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy     Papers currently archived: 63,274
Through your library

References found in this work BETA

IX.—Essentially Contested Concepts.W. B. Gallie - 1956 - Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society 56 (1):167-198.
Business Ethics and Stakeholder Analysis.Kenneth E. Goodpaster - 1991 - Business Ethics Quarterly 1 (1):53-73.
Power: A Radical View.Steven Lukes & Jack H. Nagel - 1976 - Political Theory 4 (2):246-249.

View all 59 references / Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

View all 13 citations / Add more citations

Similar books and articles

On Explaining Political Disagreement: The Notion of an Essentially Contested Concept.Andrew Mason - 1990 - Inquiry: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy 33 (1):81 – 98.
Law is Not (Best Considered) an Essentially Contested Concept.Kenneth M. Ehrenberg - 2011 - International Journal of Law in Context 7:209-232.
Art as an Essentially Contested Concept.W. B. Gallie - 1956 - Philosophical Quarterly 6 (23):97-114.
Three Elements of Stakeholder Legitimacy.Adele Santana - 2012 - Journal of Business Ethics 105 (2):257-265.
W. B. Gallie's “Essentially Contested Concepts”.Henry W. Johnstone - 1994 - Inquiry: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy 14 (1):2-2.
Medicine as an Essentially Contested Concept.C. McKnight - 2003 - Journal of Medical Ethics 29 (4):261-262.
A Map Leading to Less Waste: Stakeholder Salience and Plastic Waste.David Saiia & Vananh Le - 2009 - Proceedings of the International Association for Business and Society 20:302-313.

Analytics

Added to PP index
2011-11-10

Total views
135 ( #78,560 of 2,448,691 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
4 ( #178,875 of 2,448,691 )

How can I increase my downloads?

Downloads

My notes