Purpose – To explore the assumptions underlying the traditional “principles of administration” in the light of the rise of interest in corporate social responsibility, business ethics and corporate governance and to link revised principles to practical stakeholder models, using, for example, modern communications media. Design/methodology/approach – Using concepts of “fit” between traditional administrative principles and common problems of business administration, such as those identified in the corporate social responsibility, business ethics and corporate governance literature, the approach is to locate principles on which sound administration and “proper” expectations of stakeholders can be adjusted acceptably. Findings – Traditional lists of principles can be fruitfully replaced by methods for identifying and meeting the aspirations of stakeholders, within agreed principles, which may vary, depending on the level of generality and on circumstances. Research limitations/implications – The paper is based on observation and conceptual analysis. Developments appear to depend on willingness to replace codes and practices that are devised from the top and imposed on others by ones that are responsive to stakeholders. Practical implications – Responsive codes imply a need to respond in a principled way to differing aspirations, and a willingness to use modern digital media to identify the aspirations accurately. Originality/value – Traditional principles of administration are essentially principles for administering the internal labour market in large organisations. The proposed approach broadens the range of application and offers practical ways forward.
Business administration, Corporate social responsibility, Stakeholder analysis
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