The limits of shareholder value

Journal of Business Ethics 27 (1-2):137 - 148 (2000)

Abstract

Shareholder value orientation has been introduced as a means to improve the performance of the corporation. The paper investigates the theoretical justification for the claim that increasing shareholder value is the purpose of corporate governance. It demonstrates that shareholder value is the control principle, not the purpose of the firm. The idea that shareholder value is the only goal of the corporation is a mistaken transfer from the financial to the industrial firm. The paper also questions that the merger of manager interests and owner interests introduced by the remuneration of managers by stock options improves the management performance. The self-apportioning of stock options by the management is in danger of becoming a form of insider trading.

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