Human–Animal Relations in Business and Society: Advancing the Feminist Interpretation of Stakeholder Theory

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Stakeholder theory has largely been anthropocentric in its focus on human actors and interests, failing to recognise the impact of nonhumans in business and organisations. This leads to an incomplete understanding of organisational contexts that include key relationships with nonhuman animals. In addition, the limited scholarly attention paid to nonhumans as stakeholders has mostly been conceptual to date. Therefore, we develop a stakeholder theory with animals illustrated through two ethnographic case studies: an animal shelter and Nordic husky businesses. We focus our feminist reading of Driscoll and Starik’s (J Bus Ethics 49:55–73, 2004) stakeholder attributes for nonhumans and extend this to include affective salience built on embodied affectivity and knowledge, memories, action and care. Findings reveal that nonhuman animals are important actors in practice, affecting organisational operations through human–animal care relationships. In addition to confirming animals are stakeholders, we further contribute to stakeholder theory by offering ways to better listen to nontraditional actors.
Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Business Ethics
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 2021
MoEC publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed


  • animals
  • nonhuman
  • CSR
  • stakeholder theory
  • stakeholders
  • stakeholdership
  • responsible business
  • Responsibility
  • Corporate Social Responsibility
  • Management
  • ethnography
  • Ethics of Care
  • feminist ethics
  • feminist research
  • Morality
  • animal shelter
  • Animal work
  • animal agency
  • Tourism business
  • husky kennels
  • Tourism work
  • Lapland
  • business and society
  • organization
  • affectivity
  • Emotions
  • relational knowledge
  • Affective embodiment
  • Ethnography
  • Ethics of care
  • Stakeholder theory
  • Animals

Field of science

  • Business and management
  • Tourism research


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