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Special Issue Philosophy of Management: Management and Stakeholders – 25 Years On

Guest Editor: Wim Vandekerckhove – Ghent University, Belgium

R. Edward Freeman will contribute to the special issue with a ‘reply to his critics’.

In 1984, R. Edward Freeman published Strategic Management: A Stakeholder Approach. While the term ‘stakeholder’ was then hardly used, it became one of the central concepts in the business ethics revival since the 1990s and quickly gained currency in mainstream management discourse. Today it is practically a household term used by many different types of actors in a very diverse set of fields. Although many reasons might be attributed to its popularity, Freeman’s definition from 1984 is by far the most often referred to. This means that Freeman’s stakeholder concept has allowed innovative frameworks and perspectives to emerge in relation to the various dimensions of management.

In 2007, Freeman, Harrison and Wicks published Managing for Stakeholders as a practitioner’s version of the revised 1984 book. In 2009 they will publish the academic revision of Strategic Management.
To celebrate this 25th anniversary of Freeman’s classic work, we invite scholars and practitioners to reflect upon avenues and perspectives on management that this work has opened and/or closed.

This special issue aims to assemble papers that offer philosophical scrutiny of stakeholder thinking and that relate this to Freeman’s conception. We encourage the integration of empirical findings into the papers but emphasize the need to grasp the philosophical and sense-making boundaries of the stakeholder concept. Ideally we would like the special issue to contain reflections on the praxis of stakeholder thinking from various kinds of organizations.

Please keep in mind that proposals with abstracts are due by Friday, October 24. For further Information, please see