Business ethics is a staple in the news today. One of the most difficult ethical questions facing managers is to whom are they responsible? Organizations can affect and are affected by many different constituencies—or “stakeholders”—but who are these stakeholders? What sort of managerial attention should they receive? Is there a legal duty to attend to stakeholders or is such a duty legally prohibited due to the shareholder wealth maximization imperative? In short, for whose benefit ought a firm be managed?
Stakeholder Theory and Organizational Ethics provides the most comprehensive, theoretical treatment of the stakeholder framework to date. Robert Phillips provides an extended defense of stakeholder theory as the preeminent theory of organizational ethics today.