Heather Elms

Kogod School of Business, American University
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“Corporate social responsibility should be understood as corporate responsibility to stakeholders, rather than as corporate philanthropy, public relations, or marketing.”


George Washington University School of Business, The George Washington University
Assistant Professor of Strategic Management & Public Policy

Research Interests: International business, strategy, business ethics, corporate responsibility, stakeholder responsibility, corporate governance, corruption, the privatization of security, professionalization, emerging markets [specifically Central and Eastern Europe and Eurasia]

First published on the Stakeholder Theory in 1996 with “Efficiency, Effectiveness and Ethics: A Stakeholder View,” Human Action in Business: Praxiological and Ethical Dimensions.

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Published Work on Stakeholder Theory

(2010) With Phillips, R. A., Berman, S., & Johnson-Cramer, M. Strategy, Stakeholders, and Managerial DiscretionStrategic Organization Vol. 8, No. 2, 2010: 176-183. (“Most read” Strategic Organization article, July, 2010.)

(2009) With Phillips, R. A., Private Security Companies and Institutional Legitimacy:  Corporate and Stakeholder ResponsibilityBusiness Ethics Quarterly, Vol. 19, No. 3, 2009 (Special Issue on the Changing Role and Responsibility of Business in a Globalized Society):  403-432.

(2007) With Phillips, R. A., Berman, S., & Johnson-Cramer, M. Stakeholder Theory and Managerial Discretion.  Academy of Management Annual Meeting Best Paper Proceedings, 2007:  B1-B6.

(2006) Corporate and Stakeholder Responsibility in Central and Eastern EuropeInternational Journal of Emerging Markets, Vol. 1, Iss. 3, 2006: 203-211.

With Freeman, R. Edward. The Social Responsibility of Business is to Create Value for Stakeholders. Paper for submission to Harvard Business Review.

With Berman, S. Stakeholders and Common Agents:  Implications of an Integration of Two Strategic Theories for Corporate Governance and Firm Performance.  Paper for submission to Academy of Management Review.