Elis and Signe Olsson Professor R. Edward Freeman is academic director at the Business Roundtable Institute for Corporate Ethics and Darden's Institute for Business in Society (IBiS). From 1987 to 2009, he was director of Darden's Olsson Center for Applied Ethics, one of the world's leading academic centers for the study of ethics. He currently serves as a senior fellow of the Olsson Center for Applied Ethics. Freeman is also a professor of religious studies and a faculty advisor to U.Va.'s Institute for Practical Ethics and adjunct professor of stakeholder management. In March 2010, the University of Virginia Board of Visitors named Freeman as a University Professor. Freeman is the first faculty member in Darden’s history to be given this rare honor, accorded to less than 20 professors among the more than 2,200 professors at U.Va.
Before coming to the Darden School, Freeman taught at the University of Minnesota and the Wharton School. His book, Managing for Stakeholders: Survival, Reputation and Success, was published in 2007 by Yale University Press. His latest book, Stakeholder Theory: The State of the Art, was published by Cambridge University Press in 2010. He is the author or editor of more than 20 volumes in the areas of stakeholder management, business strategy and business ethics as well as more than 100 articles in a wide variety of publications. At its 2010 annual meeting, the Society for Business Ethics gave its “Outstanding Contributions to Scholarship Award” to Freeman, noting that there were more than 12,000 citations to his work on stakeholder theory.
Freeman is perhaps best known for his award-winning book Strategic Management: A Stakeholder Approach, originally published in 1984 and reprinted 2010 by Cambridge University Press, in which he suggests that businesses build their strategy around their relationships with key stakeholders. In 2008, Freeman received an honorary doctorate (Doctor Honoris Causa) from Universidad Pontificia Comillas in Spain for his work on stakeholder theory and business ethics. He has received a number of awards for teaching excellence from the Wharton School, Carlson School of Management at the University of Minnesota and the Darden School. In 1993, he was chosen for the Outstanding Faculty Award by the Darden student body; in 2001, he was honored by the World Resources Institute and the Aspen Institute with a Pioneer Award for Lifetime Achievement; and in 2005, he received the Outstanding Faculty Award from the Virginia State Council on Higher Education.
In 1991, 1998, 2002, 2004, 2007 and 2008, he was selected by the graduating class of the Darden School to be a faculty marshall. Freeman teaches the popular "Leadership & Theater: Ethics, Innovation, and Creativity" course each spring. Visit the course webpage and watch the documentary on the spring 2010 course.
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Learn more about Darden Professor Ed Freeman in this profile feature.