Enlightened Shareholder Maximization: Is this Strategy Achievable?

Journal of Business Ethics 127 (3):683-694 (2015)
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The role of a corporation is often debated as a mutually exclusive choice between economic responsibility to shareholders and social responsibility to society. An evolving viewpoint embraces an integrated approach focused on long-term value creation for shareholders which benefits other stakeholders. Maximizing long-term shareholder value as a corporate objective can be compatible with stakeholder theory when an enlightened shareholder maximization strategy is embraced. Firms implementing an enlightened shareholder maximization strategy are expected to make decisions and use resources which achieve long-term value-creating outcomes. However, critics of enlightened shareholder maximization as a corporate goal contend this strategy conflicts with maximizing shareholder value. This study explores whether firms which embrace a balanced enlightened shareholder maximization strategy indeed create long-term value which does not sacrifice shareholder wealth



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