Governing the Void between Stakeholder Management and Sustainability

M. L. Barnett, I. Henriques & B. Husted. Governing the Void between Stakeholder Management and Sustainability. Advances in Strategic Management. Edited by: S. Dorobantu, R. Aguilera, J. Luo, & F. Milliken (2018 Forthcoming)

39 Pages Posted: 9 Mar 2018

See all articles by Michael L. Barnett

Michael L. Barnett

Rutgers Business School, Newark & New Brunswick

Irene Henriques

York University - Schulich School of Business

Bryan Husted Corregan

Instituto Tecnologico y de Estudios Superiores de Monterrey (ITESM) - Campus de Monterrey

Date Written: January 17, 2018

Abstract

In this paper, we explain why firms selectively responding to the most powerful, legitimate, and urgent demands of their stakeholders will not bring about sustainability and offer suggestions on what we should do in light of this shortcoming. Sustainability issues tend to be wicked problems that require cooperation across parties and over time to define and resolve. Stakeholder pressures can bring sustainability to the fore, but government intervention is necessary to drive meaningful action to resolve such issues. Without government intervention, self-interested stakeholders can pressure firms to move away from the complex, long-term challenges of wicked problems. Yet, stakeholder pressure is also necessary, as without it, industries may self-regulate in self-serving ways. Our analysis thus suggests that collaboration between business, government, and stakeholders is necessary to resolve the wicked problems of sustainability. We therefore urge the stakeholder literature to move beyond its libertarian underpinnings by (re)incorporating government into models of effective corporate governance.

Keywords: stakeholder management, sustainability, government intervention, wicked problems, corporate governance

JEL Classification: M14

Suggested Citation

Barnett, Michael L. and Henriques, Irene and Husted Corregan, Bryan, Governing the Void between Stakeholder Management and Sustainability (January 17, 2018). M. L. Barnett, I. Henriques & B. Husted. Governing the Void between Stakeholder Management and Sustainability. Advances in Strategic Management. Edited by: S. Dorobantu, R. Aguilera, J. Luo, & F. Milliken (2018 Forthcoming). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3135417

Michael L. Barnett (Contact Author)

Rutgers Business School, Newark & New Brunswick ( email )

NJ
United States

HOME PAGE: http://www.business.rutgers.edu

Irene Henriques

York University - Schulich School of Business ( email )

4700 Keele Street
Toronto, Ontario M3J 1P3
Canada

Bryan Husted Corregan

Instituto Tecnologico y de Estudios Superiores de Monterrey (ITESM) - Campus de Monterrey ( email )

Sucursal de Correos J
Monterrey 64849, Nuevo Leon
Mexico

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