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What types of criteria help judge the legitimacy of NGOs as stakeholder of corporations?

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abstract Partnerships between business and NGOs are a hot topic. After years of focusing on the question of corporate accountability, attention is shifting to the question of NGO accountability. Companies can benefit from this trend. The scrutiny to which NGOs are exposed makes it easier to understand the difficulties that companies face in their interaction with NGOs. Yet, companies should ideally have some guidelines with which to evaluate the legitimacy of NGOs as stakeholders. This paper identifies the types of criteria that help companies judge the legitimacy of NGOs as stakeholders and distinguishes between structural, procedural and substantive criteria. These types of criteria clarify the difference between NGOs and interest groups on the one hand, and the difference between NGOs and activists on the other hand. For companies this distinction implies that on the one hand nobody expects them to cooperate with activists, who put them under pressure just for the sake of getting public attention; on the other hand it is their duty not to ‘sell’ cooperation with an interest group as a business-NGO-partnership. Along the types of criteria a set of guiding questions is sketched out that companies have to keep in mind when considering a partnership with an NGO.
   
type working paper (English)
   
keywords NGOs, stakeholders, partnerships, corporations
   
date of appearance 2006
publisher Dorothea Baur (Institute for Business Ethics, University of St. Gallen)
review external review
   
citation Baur, D. (2006). What types of criteria help judge the legitimacy of NGOs as stakeholder of corporations?. Institute for Business Ethics, University of St. Gallen: Dorothea Baur.