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Dennis Schoeneborn, Hannah Trittin-Ulbrich and François Cooren

This chapter introduces and compares two different theoretical approaches to stakeholder communication and responsible management practice grounded in a formative understanding of communication. We first review works that focus on Habermasian discourse ethics in the study of how corporations and their representatives communicate with their stakeholders responsibly. We juxtapose this approach with the emerging debate on the role and importance of creating resonance for dissensus and dissonance in organizations. This second approach draws on the increasingly prominent theoretical lens known as “communication constitutes organization” (CCO) perspective and key concepts such as meaning discrepancies and ambiguities, performativity, or ventriloquism. In sum, we encourage responsible management scholars to embrace formative approaches to stakeholder communication and their implications for future research on responsible management.

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Archie B. Carroll, Nancy J. Adler, Henry Mintzberg, François Cooren, Roy Suddaby, R. Edward Freeman and Oliver Laasch

What is responsible management? The responsible management field so far has been looking for a convergent one-size-fits-all answer to this question. Conversely, we choose to ask the grammatically incorrect, but generatively paradoxical question of “What are responsible management?” In response, this chapter features a rich potluck of six academic pioneers’ distinct conceptualizations of responsible management: Responsible management as responsibility management (Archie B. Carroll); as responsible leadership (Nancy J. Adler); as rebalancing society through management (Henry Mintzberg); as response-able situation management (François Cooren); as human(e) management and institutional character (Roy Suddaby); and as stakeholder harmonization (R. Edward Freeman). Each conceptualization is followed by a brief stylized interpretation of each pioneer’s perspective that links it to the extant responsible management literature. Finally, these responsible management conceptualizations are juxtaposed along the four categories of managerial agency, responsibility managed, sphere of responsibility, and management process. This juxtaposition serves to highlight each perspective’s distinctive features, and all perspectives’ joint contribution to a multifaceted understanding that can guide future study of responsible management.