R. Edward Freeman

R. Edward Freeman

American philosopher and professor of business administration.
Date of Birth: 18.12.1951
Country: USA

  1. Biography of R. Edward Freeman
  2. Early Life and Education
  3. Academic Career
  4. Contributions to Stakeholder Theory
  5. Development of Stakeholder Theory
  6. Corporate Social Responsibility
  7. Awards and Recognitions

Biography of R. Edward Freeman

R. Edward Freeman is an American philosopher and professor of business administration. He is currently a professor of business administration at the Darden School, University of Virginia. Freeman is best known for his work on stakeholder theory. His book "Strategic Management: a Stakeholder Approach," published in 1984, had a significant influence on the development of the concept of corporate social responsibility.

R. Edward Freeman

Early Life and Education

R. Edward Freeman was born on December 18, 1951, in Columbus, Georgia. He received a Bachelor's degree in Mathematics and Philosophy from Duke University in 1973 and a Ph.D. in Philosophy from Washington University in 1978.

R. Edward Freeman

Academic Career

Freeman taught at the University of Minnesota and the Wharton School of Business before joining the Darden School as a professor of business administration. He also serves as the director of the Olsson Center for Applied Ethics. In 1994, Freeman served as the president of the Society for Business Ethics. He is an executive editor of the journal "Philosophy of Management" and an editor for Oxford University Press.

R. Edward Freeman

Contributions to Stakeholder Theory

Freeman is particularly known for his work on stakeholder theory. His first publications on the subject were included in his book "Strategic Management: a Stakeholder Approach" published in 1984. He has authored and co-authored numerous books on corporate strategy and business ethics. Freeman has also been honored as a co-editor of renowned business textbooks such as "The Portable MBA" and "Blackwell's Handbook of Strategic Management." His latest book, "Managing for Stakeholders," was published on October 17, 2007.

Development of Stakeholder Theory

According to Bill Royce, the term "stakeholder" in a business context first appeared in a report in April 1963. The discussion involved Robert Stewart, Knight Allen, and Marion Doscher, who debated who should have the right to regulate corporate goals. Doscher used the old Scottish term "stakeholder," which refers to someone who has a legitimate claim to something valuable. Traditionally, shareholders and stockholders are considered the owners of a company, and the firm cannot ignore fiduciary duties. However, stakeholder theory asserts that there are other "stakeholders," including government agencies, political groups, trade associations, unions, communities, financiers, employees, and customers. Sometimes even competitors can be considered stakeholders, making stakeholders a complex and contradictory whole. The idea of the term "stakeholder" remains highly debated, with hundreds of definitions existing in the scholarly literature.

Corporate Social Responsibility

The term "corporate social responsibility" (CSR) gained popularity in the late 1960s and early 1970s after many multinational corporations adopted the concept of stakeholders. The roots of CSR can be traced back to business ethics. Freeman's book, "Strategic Management: a Stakeholder Approach," published in 1984, played a significant role in shaping CSR. Proponents of CSR argue that companies practicing it achieve long-term profitability, while critics believe that CSR deviates from the fundamental economic role of business.

Awards and Recognitions

In 2001, Freeman received the "Pioneer Award" for Lifetime Achievement from the World Resources Institute and the Aspen Institute. In 2005, he was honored with the "Outstanding Faculty Award" by the Virginia State Council of Higher Education for his achievements in teaching.