In recent years, increased attention has been paid to issues of responsibility across the entire product lifecyle. Responsible behaviour of organizations in the product chain is dependent on the actions of other parties such as suppliers and customers. Only through co-operation and close interaction between the different parties involved is it possible to come to a specified form of responsible chain management. Drawing on stakeholder theory and literature on the resource-based view of the firm, this article presents a framework for assessing the organizational capabilities of responding to claims from internal and external parties. Interpretations of stakeholder interests, integration into business processes, monitoring these processes, and communication with stakeholders are the central processes in this framework. The application of this framework to three cases of responsible chain management illustrates the functioning of the framework as a tool for assessing organizational capabilities. Copyright © 2002 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd and ERP Environment.