Scandinavian Cooperative Advantage: The Theory and Practice of Stakeholder Engagement in Scandinavia [Book Review]

Journal of Business Ethics 127 (1):1-21 (2015)
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Abstract

In this article, we first provide evidence that Scandinavian contributions to stakeholder theory over the past 50 years play a much larger role in its development than is presently acknowledged. These contributions include the first publication and description of the term “stakeholder”, the first stakeholder map, and the development of three fundamental tenets of stakeholder theory: jointness of interests, cooperative strategic posture, and rejection of a narrowly economic view of the firm. We then explore the current practices of Scandinavian companies through which we identify the evidence of relationships to these historical contributions. Thus, we propose that Scandinavia offers a particularly promising context from which to draw inspiration regarding effective company-stakeholder cooperation and where ample of examples of what is more recently referred to as “creating shared value” can be found. We conclude by endorsing the expression “Scandinavian cooperative advantage” in an effort to draw attention to the Scandinavian context and encourage the field of strategic management to shift its focus from achieving a competitive advantage toward achieving a cooperative advantage

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Robert Edward Freeman
University of Virginia

References found in this work

Metaphors we live by.George Lakoff & Mark Johnson - 1980 - Chicago: University of Chicago Press. Edited by Mark Johnson.
The Theory of Moral Sentiments.Adam Smith - 1759 - Mineola, N.Y.: Dover Publications. Edited by Elizabeth Schmidt Radcliffe, Richard McCarty, Fritz Allhoff & Anand Vaidya.
Ethical Theory and Business.Tom L. Beauchamp, Norman E. Bowie & Denis Gordon Arnold (eds.) - 2008 - New York: Pearson/Prentice Hall.

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