CANCELED: Reflections on Stakeholder Theory for the 2020s



As we open the 2020s, stakeholder theory seems poised for its scholarly break out. One prominent theorist has made the (titular) declaration that resource-based theory “must incorporate a stakeholder perspective” (Barney, 2018) and the Business Roundtable has just issued a new “Statement on the Purpose of the Corporation” with a distinct stakeholder flavor. These events portend a changing of the guard in management scholarship and practice. This is also a good time to take stock of the challenges and tensions that remain. Phillips and colleagues have recently published a number of articles that, taken together, represent at least one point of view on the state of the art in stakeholder thinking. Phillips will present an overview of this state relying an article in Business & Society (Freeman, Phillips and Sisodia, forthcoming), the introduction to the new Cambridge Handbook of Stakeholder Theory (Phillips, Harrison, Barney, & Freeman, 2019), and a response piece to the Business Roundtable Statement (Harrison, Phillips, & Freeman, forthcoming in Journal of Management).