American CEOs of about 200 corporations issue a joint statement in support of stakeholder value maximization.

Becky Berkman

2019-10-23 15:39:00 Wed ET

American CEOs of about 200 corporations issue a joint statement in support of stakeholder value maximization. The Business Roundtable offers this statement of corporate purpose in 300 words. The first 250 words focus on stakeholder value maximization before the statement mentions shareholder wealth maximization. In accordance with this joint statement, the main purpose of a corporation should be investing in both the welfare and productivity of employees, delivering key value to customers, and dealing ethically with suppliers. Also, it is practically important for U.S. corporations to promote better diversity and inclusion in the workplace. These corporations should further support social communities in America. Moreover, the corporations should help protect the environment amid substantial economic policy uncertainty, climate change, and environmental degradation.

This landmark U.S. CEO statement represents an important change in business purpose away from the prior thesis of Nobel Laureate Milton Friedman in support of solo shareholder wealth maximization. This latter emphasis reveals drawbacks and impediments to long-term sustainable business development and corporate social responsibility. In a nutshell, it is essential for U.S. corporations to serve in the best interests of employees, customers, suppliers, regulators, and other major stakeholders before these corporations disgorge cash returns to shareholders.

 


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