The Concept of Justice in Stakeholder Theory: A Systematic Literature Review

Victor Pessôa de Melo, Ítalo Taumaturgo, Ronaldo de Oliveira Santos Jhunior, Mariana Torres Uchôa


In strategic management, the Stakeholder Theory proclaims that in order to achieve better performance and sustainable competitive advantage, the organization has to treat each of its stakeholders fairly. Hence, the concept of justice becomes relevant in assessing the effectiveness of managerial decisions and is ingrained in the Stakeholder Theory literature. This paper aims to examine how the notion of justice is conceptualized and applied in the Stakeholder Theory literature; and to propose new avenues of research regarding the interconnections between these two subjects. We present a systematic literature review to synthesize the research in the area. A careful screening held in April 2019, resulted in 75 papers published in 35 journals from 1999 to 2019. The results were presented in two phases. First, in the form of a descriptive and bibliometric analysis of the selected papers. Second, by reviewing those papers, we offer a framework of how the notion of justice has been conceptualized and applied in the Stakeholder Theory literature. Finally, we propose an agenda for future research regarding the interconnection between justice and Stakeholder Theory.


Fairness; Justice; Stakeholder Theory; Systematic Literature Review.

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