"Understanding The Role of Stakeholders in Corporate Biotechnology"

Poster presented at Genome Canada's GE3LS Symposium 2004 (Vancouver, BC, February 4-7, 2004)

Chris MacDonald, Department of Philosophy, St. Mary's University



As genomics begins to move from the laboratory to the marketplace, the need to find innovative ways to include civil society and its unheard voices as partners in the debate surrounding ethics and genomics takes on new urgency. In the world of corporate biotech, this need manifests itself as a need for innovative understandings of stakeholder-driven management. The “stakeholder problem” in corporate ethics can be understood in terms of the question, “For whose benefit, and at whose expense, should firms be managed?” Traditional management frameworks gave managers a near-exclusive responsibility to shareholders and investors. More modern “stakeholder management” implies instead a range of responsibilities to various individuals, groups, and communities.

This poster explores the meaning of “stakeholder” in the world of genomics, and suggests ways in which the burgeoning field of commercial genomics can balance the drive for profit with the interests of a range of concerned parties.