Archive for February, 2009

Stakeholder Theory: The Balancing Act

25 Feb

Stakeholder Theory: The Balancing Act

The Stakeholder Theory of Corporate Social Responsibility is now in the forefront of practiced theories in business.  In my opinion, the Stakeholder Theory has a long and complicated definition, but can be streamlined to be a principle stressing what and who really counts.  It is a theory of management that uses morals and values with the realization that all decisions affect many groups and individuals.  This theory does not give any groups including stockholders preferential treatment over others.  Many times one group may receive a benefit while another sees an expense.  The true job of this theory is to balance the relationships of all the stakeholders.

There are many problems that result in pursuing the Stakeholder Theory.  Much difficulty can arise from trying to identify stakeholders and their interests.  Also, the balancing of the relationships in view of determining actions can cause much deliberation.  Another problem revolves around the times when one group benefits at the expense of others.  This problem can cause hard feelings between groups.  Lastly, the theory does not give clear cut guidance to help managers determine decisions.

I believe there are two main benefits of stakeholder corporate social responsibility projects.  First, I believe the Stakeholder Theory can help generate trust between consumers and providers if the consideration of consumers as stakeholders is apparent.  Secondly, stockholders do not have the only claim upon managers and thus, their attention is not devoted to making money for them.  Their attention can be diverted to providing for the community in the way of jobs and products while helping the community through projects such as land-fill cleanup or alternate energy initiatives.  While the opposition by classical  corporate social responsibility people is strong, I believe these benefits are colossal.

The opposition to the Stakeholder Theory do have a strong argument.  Classical corporate social responsibility people want stockholders to have a privileged position which managers attend to first.  They believe maximizing profits should be the first goal of managers instead of losing some profits to ensure other stakeholders are provided equal benefits.  Another viewpoint is that it is preferable to find cheaper ways to produce goods even if that means the production of those goods be moved from one community to another.  The market determines this and we should get out of the way.  Finally, they believe the Stakeholder Theory is more expensive reducing profits which results in unethical treatment of the stockholder.

I believe both present good points, but I think the Stakeholder Theory ultimately wins.  The stakeholder theory’s use of consideration of all involved parties builds a more symbiotic relationship.  Employees, consumers and the community can better trust the corporation to provide jobs  and products while the corporation can expect hard work from its employees and the purchase of its good by the community.  This benefit is at the cost of the stockholder who receives less profit, but may receive more political and social influence in the community.  I believe that this symbiotic relationship tips the scale to the side of the Stakeholder Theory.  I think building a two way street between the corporation and stakeholders leads to a long relationship that helps the community and the stockholders in the long run.

Works Cited

Desjardins, Joseph.  An Introduction to Business Ethics. 3rd ed. New York: McGraw-Hill, 2009.


VMware/CentOS build

25 Feb

At work, I found it helpful to have test machines that are quick to blow up and get back to a base install. In my opinion, the best way to do this is to virtualize a box.

This is my quick software build for installing VMware (Free Server) on a CentOS 5 box.

Here are my install steps:

First Install CentOS 5 with a minimal installation (uncheck everything). After the first boot, I log in as root and go:

1 useradd somebody
2 passwd somebody
3 vi /etc/ssh/sshd_config
Here I am just verifying that ssh doesn’t allow root log in.

4 service sshd restart
5 cd /home/somebody
6 vi securemachine
Here I am pasting a script I received from a dear friend in Baltimore that uninstalls unneeded stuff.  I prefer to install anything I need as I need it.  This machine will only be a VMware box so I don’t need anything else.  Remember to set a static IP address.  This script will kill the DHCP client.

7 chmod 755 securemachine
8 ./securemachine
9 ./securemachine
10 ./securemachine
11 ./securemachine
12 ./securemachine
13 ./securemachine
14 ./securemachine
15 ./securemachine
The trick here is to keep running the script until it no longer removes packages.  The number that displays at the end will stop decreasing.

16 shutdown -r now
Sometimes, you’ll need to turn off iptables here instead of at the end.  See steps 27 and 28.

17 yum update
18 yum install glibc libxpm perl gcc kernel-devel libX11 libXtst libXext libXt libICE libSM libXrender libz libc inetd
19 shutdown -r now
20 cd /home/somebody
21 wget
22 cp VMware-server-1.0.3-44356.tar.gz /tmp
23 cd /tmp

24 tar zxf VMware-server-1.0.3-44356.tar.gz
25 cd vmware-server-distrib
26 ./
Answer the questions and follow the instructions.

27 service iptables stop
28 chkconfig iptables off
My machine will be on my private network and I am not worried about it.  However, you may want to set up iptables to protect your machine if you have different requirements.

30 shutdown -r now
When the machine comes back up, it will be working like a charm.  You’ll need to install the VMware Server Console to access the VM.

Good Luck!

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