Although I did not get to ask Ed Freeman a question, Matt’s question regarding the prevalence of the internet and the ability of companies to control what consumers believe was similar to what I had planned on asking.The question I had written down, “how do you think the stakeholder theory has changed or held up during a time of rapid technological advancement like we’ve seen in the past few decades?” was slightly more general than Matt’s, however I was satisfied with the answer Ed Freeman gave in response to Matt’s question. Matt’s question included an additional component, as he also asked whether the internet age makes it effective for companies to attempt “convince the group to want the same thing as the firm.” I, too, thought his example of Amazon was interesting and was a nice way of illustrating how this strategy can be applicable in different situations.
Had I gotten the opportunity to ask the question I had written down, I feel Ed Freeman would have elaborated on his belief that a company’s success depends on whether or not they are able to create value for all of their stakeholders and that this has not changed over time. I believe he would have elaborated on the fact that a company can not look at any one stakeholder in isolation, such as the shareholders, and that as the world around us changes and evolves, companies must figure out new ways to create this value for their stakeholders. Although the ways in which companies create value may change over time, just as our technological progress has, the ultimate goal has stayed constant. I think a question dealing with the changing business environment, like Matt’s, or the one I had prepared, was an important topic for Ed Freeman to touch on. As long as humans roam the earth, advancements of all kinds, especially technological advancements, will continue to take place and Ed Freeman would reiterate that it’s important to not lose sight of the ultimate goal of creating value for all stakeholders.