Journal of Business Ethics

, Volume 120, Issue 4, pp 489–507 | Cite as

Beyond Stakeholder Utility Function: Stakeholder Capability in the Value Creation Process



In spite of the thousands of articles on stakeholder theory, research on value creation has had a shorter history and narrower breadth. Only a few studies have researched value creation from stakeholder perspective looking at how stakeholders appropiate value or the processes or activities by which stakeholders create value. Consequently to date, certain questions still remain unanswered regarding how a firm should treat stakeholders in order to create value. Several questions arise specifically from the stakeholder's side: What does "value" mean for a particular group of stakeholders and how do firms create these different types of value? How do we measure the value created by stakeholders? The purpose of this paper is to answer these questions from Amartya Sen's Capability Approach, identifying and measuring stakeholders' capabilities in the value creation process. Stakeholder Capability is the adequate concept for understanding stakeholder welfare rather than the utility function concept. The empirical evidence comes from an in-depth case study of the company The Grobo Group and its stakeholders. According to the results, the following stakeholder capabilities are relevant to value creation: being employable, being autonomus, being innovative, being entreprenurial, being responsive, being socially integrated, being emphatic, being "green" and being healthy.


Stakeholder theory Value creation Empirical model Amartya Sen Capabilities Corporate Social Responsibility 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.EADA Business SchoolBarcelonaSpain

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