Corporate social responsibility and the identification of stakeholders

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As a management problem the identification of stakeholders is not easily solved. It comprises a modelling and a normative issue, which need to be solved in connection with each other. In stakeholder literature knowledge can be found, e.g. on various stakeholder categorizations, that could be useful for the modelling issue. However, the normative issue remains unresolved. Furthermore, the modelling of the so-called stakeholder category “the affected” is even more difficult. Nevertheless, this group holds justified interests in aspects of organizational activity and are, for that reason, legitimate stakeholders. In this article it is explored to what extent Critical Systems Heuristics can help resolving the managerial problem of identifying stakeholders, particularly the affected. Critical Systems Heuristics can be viewed a modelling methodology. The normative aspect of modelling is crucial in this methodology. Using the distinction between “the involved” and “the affected” a variety of boundary judgments is discussed. Special attention is given to the so-called “witness” as a representative of the affected.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages25
Publication statusPublished - 2002

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