Multi-stakeholder Initiatives on Sustainability: A Review and Research Agenda for Business Ethics

Frank de Bakker, Andreas Rasche, Stefano Ponte

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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 MSI discourse.
Original languageEnglish
Publication date2019
Number of pages41
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2019
EventThe Academy of Management Annual Meeting 2019: Understanding the Inclusive Organization - Boston, United States
Duration: 9 Aug 201913 Aug 2019
Conference number: 79
http://aom.org/annualmeeting/

Conference

ConferenceThe Academy of Management Annual Meeting 2019
Number79
CountryUnited States
CityBoston
Period09/08/201913/08/2019
Internet address

Keywords

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

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