Clarkson Principles

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Explanation of Clarkson Principles for Stakeholder Management. ('93-'98)


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The Clarkson Principles originate from four conferences that were hosted by the Centre for Corporate Social Performance and Ethics in the Faculty of Management [now: the Clarkson Centre for Business Ethics & Board Effectiveness or CC(BE)] between 1993 and 1998. 

In these conferences, management students gathered to share ideas on stakeholder theory, a then emerging field of study examining the relationships and responsibilities of a corporation to employees, customers, suppliers, society, and the environment.

The Clarkson Principles of Stakeholder Management represent an early stage general awareness of corporate governance concerns that have been widely discussed in connection with the business scandals of 2001-2003.

Principle 1

Managers should acknowledge and actively monitor the concerns of all legitimate stakeholders, and should take their interests appropriately into account in decision-making and operations.

Principle 2

Managers should listen to and openly communicate with stakeholders about their respective concerns and contributions, and about the risks that they assume because of their involvement with the corporation.

Principle 3

Managers should adopt processes and modes of behavior that are sensitive to the concerns and capabilities of each stakeholder constituency.

Principle 4

Managers should recognize the interdependence of efforts and rewards among stakeholders, and should attempt to achieve a fair distribution of the benefits and burdens of corporate activity among them, taking into account their respective risks and vulnerabilities.

Principle 5

Managers should work cooperatively with other entities, both public and private, to insure that risks and harms arising from corporate activities are minimized and, where they cannot be avoided, appropriately compensated.

Principle 6

Managers should avoid altogether activities that might jeopardize inalienable human rights (e.g., the right to life) or give rise to risks which, if clearly understood, would be patently unacceptable to relevant stakeholders.

Principle 7

Managers should acknowledge the potential conflicts between (a) their own role as corporate stakeholders, and (b) their legal and moral responsibilities for the interests of stakeholders, and should address such conflicts through open communication, appropriate reporting and incentive systems and, where necessary, third party review.

The Clarkson Principles should be regarded as "meta-principles", encouraging and requiring management to develop more specific stakeholder principles and then to implement those in accordance with the Principles.

Book: Jeffrey L. Seglin - The Right Thing -

Book: Joseph W. Weiss - Business Ethics -

Book: O. C. Ferrell - Business Ethics -

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Clarkson Principles Education & Events

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Best Practices - Clarkson Principles Premium

Expert Tips - Clarkson Principles Premium

Who are your Stakeholders?

Ian Mitroff, Emeritus Professor from the University of Southern California, identified seven categories of stakeholder perspectives than can help to d...
Usage (application): Clustering Stakeholders

The Skills Needed to Spot Ethical Issues

Bazerman provides some useful advice on both the challenges in noticing (potential) ethical issues and ways of overcoming them.

Usage (application): Preventing Ethical Failures, Identifying Ethical Issues, Business Ethics

The Maturity Stages of Corporate Responsibility

Simon Zadek provides a useful best practice five-stage maturity model of how organizations deal with Corporate Responsibility:
- Defensive: deny ...
Usage (application): Organizational Development, Corporate Responsibility Maturity

Resources - Clarkson Principles Premium

The Purpose of Business: Stockholder versus Stakeholder Theories

This presentation elaborates on the objectives and purposes of businesses according to different views: those of stockholders and those of stakeholder...
Usage (application): Stakeholder Analysis; Stakeholder Commitment

Fundamentals of Business Ethics

Presentation about business ethics, including an explanation of its relation with economics and the law. It also includes three important ethical mana...
Usage (application): Business Ethics, Corporate Ethics, Ethical Behavior, Corporate Responsibility, Stakeholder Management

Issues in Improving Ethics in Multinational Corporations

This presentation outlines ethical issues arising in global businesses, and the ways to improve those ethics in multinational corporations. The presen...
Usage (application): Corporate Ethics, Business Ethics, Global Ethics, International Ethics, Corporate Social Responsibility


Clarkson Principles


Stakeholder Management


Clarkson Principles


Stakeholder Management


Clarkson Principles


Stakeholder Management


Clarkson Principles


Stakeholder Management

Compare with: Ashridge Mission Model  |  Stakeholder Analysis  |  Stakeholder Mapping  |  Intrinsic Stakeholder Commitment  |  Strategic Stakeholder Management  |  Seven Signs Of Ethical Collapse  |  Strategic Intent  |  Moral Purpose

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