Business Ethics and Multi-stakeholder Initiatives on Sustainability: Examining Hidden Issues and Proposing a Research Agenda

Frank de Bakker*, Andreas Rasche*, Stefano Ponte*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaperResearchpeer-review

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Abstract

Although the literature on multi-stakeholder initiatives (MSIs) for sustainability has grown in recent years, it is scattered across several academic fields, making it hard to ascertain how individual disciplines such as business ethics can further contribute to the debate. Based on an extensive review of the literature on certification and principle-based MSIs for sustainability (n=293 articles), we show that the scholarly debate rests on three broad themes (“the 3Is”): the input into creating and governing MSIs; the institutionalization of MSIs; and the impact that relevant initiatives create. While our discussion reveals the theoretical underpinnings of the 3Is, it also shows that a number of research challenges related to business ethics remain unaddressed. We unpack these challenges and suggest how scholars can utilize theoretical insights in business ethics to push the boundaries of the field. Finally, we also discuss what business ethics research can gain from theory development in the MSI field.
Original languageEnglish
Publication date2019
Number of pages60
Publication statusPublished - 2019
Event35th EGOS Colloquium 2019: Enlightening the Future: The Challenge for Organizations - University of Edinburgh Business School, Edinburgh, United Kingdom
Duration: 4 Jul 20196 Jul 2019
Conference number: 35
https://www.egosnet.org/2019_edinburgh/colloquium

Conference

Conference35th EGOS Colloquium 2019
Number35
LocationUniversity of Edinburgh Business School
CountryUnited Kingdom
CityEdinburgh
Period04/07/201906/07/2019
Internet address

Keywords

  • Multi-stakeholder initiatives (MSIs)
  • Sustainability
  • Institutionalization
  • Legitimacy
  • Business ethics
  • Management studies

Cite this

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title = "Business Ethics and Multi-stakeholder Initiatives on Sustainability: Examining Hidden Issues and Proposing a Research Agenda",
abstract = "Although the literature on multi-stakeholder initiatives (MSIs) for sustainability has grown in recent years, it is scattered across several academic fields, making it hard to ascertain how individual disciplines such as business ethics can further contribute to the debate. Based on an extensive review of the literature on certification and principle-based MSIs for sustainability (n=293 articles), we show that the scholarly debate rests on three broad themes (“the 3Is”): the input into creating and governing MSIs; the institutionalization of MSIs; and the impact that relevant initiatives create. While our discussion reveals the theoretical underpinnings of the 3Is, it also shows that a number of research challenges related to business ethics remain unaddressed. We unpack these challenges and suggest how scholars can utilize theoretical insights in business ethics to push the boundaries of the field. Finally, we also discuss what business ethics research can gain from theory development in the MSI field.",
keywords = "Multi-stakeholder initiatives (MSIs), Sustainability, Institutionalization, Legitimacy, Business ethics, Management studies, Multi-stakeholder initiatives (MSIs), Sustainability, Institutionalization, Legitimacy, Business ethics, Management studies",
author = "{de Bakker}, Frank and Andreas Rasche and Stefano Ponte",
year = "2019",
language = "English",
note = "null ; Conference date: 04-07-2019 Through 06-07-2019",
url = "https://www.egosnet.org/2019_edinburgh/colloquium",

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Business Ethics and Multi-stakeholder Initiatives on Sustainability : Examining Hidden Issues and Proposing a Research Agenda. / de Bakker, Frank; Rasche, Andreas; Ponte, Stefano.

2019. Paper presented at 35th EGOS Colloquium 2019, Edinburgh, United Kingdom.

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaperResearchpeer-review

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T1 - Business Ethics and Multi-stakeholder Initiatives on Sustainability

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AU - de Bakker, Frank

AU - Rasche, Andreas

AU - Ponte, Stefano

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AB - Although the literature on multi-stakeholder initiatives (MSIs) for sustainability has grown in recent years, it is scattered across several academic fields, making it hard to ascertain how individual disciplines such as business ethics can further contribute to the debate. Based on an extensive review of the literature on certification and principle-based MSIs for sustainability (n=293 articles), we show that the scholarly debate rests on three broad themes (“the 3Is”): the input into creating and governing MSIs; the institutionalization of MSIs; and the impact that relevant initiatives create. While our discussion reveals the theoretical underpinnings of the 3Is, it also shows that a number of research challenges related to business ethics remain unaddressed. We unpack these challenges and suggest how scholars can utilize theoretical insights in business ethics to push the boundaries of the field. Finally, we also discuss what business ethics research can gain from theory development in the MSI field.

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