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Sustainability Webinar | Sustainability, Stakeholder Governance and New Theories of the Firm

6 Jun 2022, 15:00 (CEST)

Theory of the Firm, Governance, Involvement, Stakeholder, Worker Control, Labor Contracts
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Welcome from the Chair

12th Sustainability Webinar

Sustainability, Stakeholder Governance and New Theories of the Firm

The stakeholder approach to the theory of the firm and its economic, financial, and social sustainability has introduced a new interpretive key to economic theory. This has been clear in the debate between more orthodox theories of the firm, for example in financial economics and new institutionalism, and the stakeholder approach to strategic management initiated by Freeman in 1984. Stakeholder engagement has been seen both as a way to increase stakeholder participation and to increase the distributive and procedural fairness of the organizational model in its interaction with different patrons, but also as a way to increase the effectiveness of interactions beyond contractual relationships, moving beyond the traditional exclusive focus on maximizing stakeholder value. On the other hand, a similar debate has developed in the narrower reality of third sector organizations (nonprofits, cooperatives, and social enterprises). While third sector organizations can be considered socially responsible "by design" (e.g., because of multi-stakeholder governance in most third sector models) a lively debate has developed about the degree, extent, exact modalities, and impacts of engagement. For example, customer and employee involvement in organizational governance is required in most social enterprise models (as regulated by specific laws), but the exact modalities of involvement may not be the same in either cases and are often not specific by law or custom, requiring that models of involvement are either left unspecified or delegated to the statutory provisions of individual organizations. For these reasons, the study of governance of third sector organizations is receiving increasing attention not only from economists, but also from a broad spectrum of scholars working in contiguous and related disciplines.

This webinar addresses the notion of stakeholder engagement from a variety of perspectives, focusing in particular on worker involvement and control (contribution by David Ellerman), reinterpretation of stakeholder theory in light of social systems theory in sociology (contribution by Vladislav Valentinov), and finally on inclusive governance and community (presentation by Silvia Sacchetti).

Date: 6 June 2022

Time: 3:00 pm CEST | 9:00 am EDT | 9:00 pm CST Asia

Webinar ID: 854 7179 5473

Webinar Secretariat:


Department of Economics and Management, University of Trento, Italy

Professor Tortia's research activity focuses on third sector organizations on institutionalist theory of the firm, organizational studies, personnel economics, and human resource management, as applied to third sector organizations (cooperative and social enterprises, nonprofit organizations). He is in charge of the PhD program in Economics of Development and Social Systems (DELOS, joint between the University of Trento and the University of Florence) in Trento, where he teaches Institutional Economics.

Invited Speakers

Department of Political Science, University of Ljubljana, Slovenia

David Ellerman has written about the theory of and implemented the practice of Mondragon-type worker co-operatives and other forms of democratic worker ownership for about a half-century. Now retired and living in Ljubljana, Slovenia, he is a co-founder and President of the Institute for Economic Democracy which is now converting Slovene companies to democratic worker ownership using a Coop-ESOP model. His writings can be found on his website:

Department of Sociology and Social Research, University of Trento, Italy

Silvia Sacchetti’s research activity focuses on the nature and role of social economy organizations for public value creation, as well as the role of creativity, individual motivations and network linkages for people, organizations and local economies. She acts as Co-Chief Editor of the Journal of Entrepreneurial and Organizational Diversity at EURICSE, and as Scientific Committee member of the European Management Journal. She is a member of EMES and the European Research Board of the International Cooperative Alliance.

Leibniz Institute of Agricultural Development in Transition Economies (IAMO), Department of Structural Development of Farms and Rural Areas (Structural Change), Halle (Saale), Germany

Valentinov Vladislav is a senior research associate at the Leibniz Institute of Agricultural Development in Transition Economies, located in Halle, Germany. He has been Marie Curie Fellow of the European Commission and Schumpeter Fellow of the Volkswagen Foundation. His research interests include institutional economics, business ethics, and systems thinking.


This is a FREE webinar. The number of participants to the live session is limited but the recording will be made available on Sciforum shortly afterwards. Registrations with academic institutional email addresses will be prioritized.

Certificates of attendance will be delivered to those who attend the live webinar.

Webinar Content

To view this content, you need to be registered and logged in to Sciforum platform.



Time in CEST

Dr. Ermanno Tortia

Chair Introduction

3:00 - 3:10 pm

Prof. Dr. David P. Ellerman

Worker Ownership: Sustainability of Communities and the Environment

3:10 - 3:30 pm

Dr. Silvia Sacchetti

Inclusive Governance and the Vitality of People, Organizations and Communities

3:30 - 3:50 pm

Prof. Dr. Vladislav Valentinov

The Stakeholder View of the Firm: A Systems Theory Approach

3:50 - 4:10 pm

Q&A Session

4:10 - 4:25 pm

Closing of Webinar
Dr. Ermanno Tortia

4:25 - 4:30 pm

Relevant SI

Sustainable Social Enterprises Governance and Management
Guest Editors: Prof. Dr. Ermanno C. Tortia, Prof. Dr. Florence Degavre, Dr. Mónica Gago García & Dr. Simone Poledrini
Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (31 December 2021)

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