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Ed FreemanIn Person

In Person

World Class Teacher

R. Edward “Ed” Freeman is a prolific educator, consultant, and speaker, best known for his work on the topics of Stakeholder Management and Business Ethics. He also teaches Leading with Meaning, helping organizations create a culture that brings out the best in everyone.
Freeman is perhaps best known for his award winning book, Strategic Management: A Stakeholder Approach, first published in 1984 and reissued in 2010 by Cambridge University Press. It is a landmark book, said to have helped to define and shape our understanding of how good management practice really is based on relationships—relationships with the stakeholders who both comprise and affect or are affected by the business.
In addition to several books he has authored, Ed was an editor of the 15 volume Ruffin Series in Business Ethics published by Oxford University Press. He is the co-editor with Mette Morsing and Jeremy Moon of the new series, Business, Society and Value Creation, published by Cambridge University Press, which currently contains ten volumes.

Ed Freeman joined the Darden Graduate School of Business Administration in 1987 where he is currently University Professor and Elis and Signe Olsson Professor of Business Administration. Concurrently he serves as:

  • Senior Fellow of the Olsson Center for Applied Ethics

  • Academic Director of the Business Roundtable Institute for Corporate Ethics
  • Professor of Religious Studies and a Faculty Advisor to the University’s Institute for Practical Ethics

  • Academic Director of the Institute for Business in Society

  • Adjunct Professor of Stakeholder Management at the Copenhagen Business School in Denmark

  • Visiting Professor at Nyenrode Business School (Netherlands)

  • Adjunct Professor of Management at Monash University (Melbourne)

  • and Visiting Professor at the International Center for Corporate Social Responsibility at Nottingham University.

He has held honorary appointments as the Welling Professor at George Washington University and the Gourlay Professorship at University of Melbourne. Prior to coming to The Darden School Mr. Freeman taught at University of Minnesota, and The Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania.

Ed Freeman has been well recognized and awarded for his work.

  • Recipient 6th Annual Outstanding Teaching Award from the Wharton Advisory Board

  • RecipientTop Ten Teachers Award from the Wharton MBA Program

  • Teacher of the Year Carlson School of Management, University of Minnesota

  • Selected by the graduating class of the Darden School to be a Faculty Marshall six times.

  • 1993 Outstanding Faculty Award by the Darden student body

  • 2001 Pioneer Award for Lifetime Achievement by the World Resources Institute and the Aspen Institute

  • 2005 Outstanding Faculty Award recipient from the Virginia State Council on Higher Education

Ed has a Ph.D. in Philosophy from Washington University, and a B.A. in Mathematics and Philosophy from Duke University. He was recently awarded an honorary doctorate in economics (DHC) from Comillas University in Madrid for his work on stakeholder theory and business ethics.

Personal Interests

Theater. Music. Food. Martial Arts. Ed Freeman has interests and experiences from all over the world, and participates in several notable groups and activities.


Leadership and Theater

What does theater have to do with business ethics and leadership? In the spring of 2009, 24 MBA students at the Darden School of Business in Charlottesville learned more about the connection as they took Professor Ed Freeman’s “Leadership and Theater: Ethics, Innovation, and Creativity” class. In addition to acting and directing exercises, the student’s final project was writing, directing, and acting in a full-length play. Watch the documentary that follows students throughout the class, with the grand finale performance.

Red Goat Records

Ed is a co-founder and keyboardist in the house band of Red Goat Records, a record label modeled after those pioneers from Motown and Stax who combined great artists with creative songwriters and a high energy house band. Red Goat Records was formed in 2011 by Ben Freeman, a professional musician who attended the Berklee College of Music, and Maureen Wellen, an MBA from the Wharton School with 30 years experience in marketing and finance. Red Goat is bringing the joy of original rhythm and blues and soul music into the 21st Century. For more, visit

Iron Chef

Ed Freeman loves to cook, and has been know to create masterful meals for his students. He also competes annually with other Darden School of Business professors in the Darden Iron Chef competition.

Contact Us to request a copy of R. Edward Freeman’s CV.

Recent Tweets


On Friday, 15 November 2013, Ed Freeman spoke at Charlottesville, Virginia’s first TEDx event, TEDxCharlottesville—The Difference That Makes a Difference. His talk explained how business and business people can make a difference in the world, and why it's time for a new story about business as a difference maker.

Featured Publications

thumb-strategic-management-a-stakeholder-approach Featured Publication: Ed Freeman’s 1984 award winning book, Strategic Management: A Stakeholder Approach was reprinted in 2010 by Cambridge University Press. This book has served to define a starting point for subsequent scholars and executives and continues to inspire scholars and students concerned with a more practical view of how business and capitalism actually work.