In search of an alternative to shareholder value maximization
This paper argues that mainstream economic theory, far from providing an indisputable plea in favor of shareholder value-maximization, offers striking arguments showing quite the opposite : profit-maximization cannot be a legitimate goal for private firms. This opens the door for a widening of a company's goal. We argue that it should include the concern of all the stakeholders of a company, and cannot be adequately addressed uniquely by Pigouvian taxes or by property rights. Coming to terms with this broad understanding of a company's goal should imply the internalization of the stakeholders' concern within the legal structure of the firm -- as in the case of the SCIC in France or the CIC in the UK.
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