Stakeholder Theory: A Libertarian Defense

21 Pages Posted: 16 Mar 2001

See all articles by R. Edward Freeman

R. Edward Freeman

University of Virginia - Darden School of Business

Robert A. Phillips

York University - Schulich School of Business

Date Written: 2001

Abstract

Quine once wrote that "sentences do not confront the tribunal of experience alone." And, he might have added, "nor do arguments and theories". Sentences, as well as arguments and theories, always import their background conditions and related theories with them. Context plays a crucial role in social phenomena, and sometimes we need to resist the efforts of greedy reductionists to set context aside and focus on the precision of hypotheses, the collection of data, and the rituals of method. Sometimes it is important to point out a feature of the everyday landscape which is often taken for granted, because in doing so, we can come to see new relationships and new features that previously were hidden. Such is the role of what has come to be called "stakeholder theory", and its relationship to our understanding of business activity.

Suggested Citation

Freeman, R. Edward and Phillips, Robert A., Stakeholder Theory: A Libertarian Defense (2001). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=263514 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.263514

R. Edward Freeman (Contact Author)

University of Virginia - Darden School of Business ( email )

P.O. Box 6550
Charlottesville, VA 22906-6550
United States
804-924-0935 (Phone)
804-924-6378 (Fax)

HOME PAGE: http://www.darden.virginia.edu/faculty/freeman.htm

Robert A. Phillips

York University - Schulich School of Business ( email )

4700 Keele Street
Toronto, Ontario M3J 1P3
Canada

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