Governance Forms of Global Stakeholder Discourses

  • Josef Wieland
Part of the Ethical Economy book series (SEEP, volume 48)


This chapter focuses on the governance of stakeholder dialogues and multi-stakeholder forums, which are relatively new and essential organizational forms for the operationalization and instrumenting of politics and business ethics in as far as they refer to the perception of social responsibility by firms and other groups in society. In this context, firms are not only understood as standard-takers but also as standard-setters. The chapter refers to empirical insights from the ISO 26000 SR project and argues that real deliberative forums such as stakeholder dialogues, multi-stakeholder and network discourses cannot simply be understood as the empirical or political materialization of discourse ethics. The basic assumption is advocated, that the degree of legitimacy generated by discourse governance is the result of the ordering and interplay of the factors effectiveness, efficiency and procedural legitimacy. The analysis shows that every attempt to realize normative discourse ethics empirically would lead to the destruction of the real discourse. When input legitimacy is pursued towards infinity, the output legitimacy (efficiency) tends towards zero, which amounts to a destruction of the survival conditions for real discourse, as it must at least potentially has an effect. Consequently it cannot be characterized as “ideal” discourse but only as “idealistic” discourse.


Corporate Social Responsibility Civil Society Discourse Ethic Deliberative Process Network Governance 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • Josef Wieland
    • 1
  1. 1.Zeppelin UniversityFriedrichshafenGermany

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