Strategic stakeholder synthesis according to Goodpaster
1.a) What does Goodpaster mean by ‘strategic stakeholder synthesis’? Why does he think
businesses that operate according to the principles of strategic stakeholder synthesis do
not really introduce ethical values into business decision-making?
(See Strategic Stakeholder Synthesis pp.57-59 and Is the Substance Ethical pp. 59-61)
b) Goodpaster argues that we need an approach to business ethics that avoids business
without ethics (strategic stakeholder synthesis) and ethics without business (a multifiduciary stakeholder approach). Explain Goodpaster’s nonfiduciary approach to
business obligations, making sure you distinguish it from both the multi-fiduciary
stakeholder approach and the strategic stakeholder approach.
c) Does Goodpaster’s nonfiduciary account of business obligations provide sufficient
protection for the interests of stakeholders other than shareholders? Does it avoid the
problem of treating stakeholders as mere means to corporate ends? Given reasons for
2. Listen to the following radio program or read the transcript: ‘Casualties in the
Supermarket Wars’ and answer the following questions:
Goodpaster argues that businesses have significant nonfiduciary duties to stakeholders
other than shareholders. These include the duties not to harm, coerce, lie, cheat or steal
a) Do you believe, based on the accounts given in the radio program, that the major
supermarket chains in Australia violate any of these fundamental moral duties? Provide
details to support your answer.
b) What moral duties, if any, do you believe the large supermarkets owe to their
suppliers? Use examples from the program to illustrate your points
3. Is Woolworths’ request for ‘Mind the Gap’ payments from suppliers consistent with the narrow view of business ethics? Provide reasons to support your conclusion.
Is Woolworths’ request for ‘Mind the Gap’ payments from suppliers consistent withstakeholder theory? Provide reasons to support your conclusion
According to Goodpaster, analysis of the stakeholders is a crucial part of the decision-making process because unsatisfied stakeholders might retaliate or resist against any organization by use of political movements or the opposition. Businesses that conduct stakeholder synthesis are not always ethically concerned, but they are motivated and guided by the concern on potential disorders to achieving their goals and strategic objectives (Goodpaster, 2017).