We want to demonstrate our commitment to your privacy. In support of the changes to the EU data protection law, we’ve updated our privacy notice effective May 25, 2018.

Request Information from Booth

Loading...

  • Select
  • Submit
  • Success

Milton Friedman said that companies’ sole social responsibility is to make profits and put their shareholders first. But fights for social and economic equality are playing out across the United States, and companies are finding it near impossible not to weigh in.

Steve Kaplan, the Neubauer Family Distinguished Service Professor of Entrepreneurship and Finance and the Kessenich E. P. Faculty Director at the Polsky Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation argues that the pursuit of profits has helped shareholders, but it has also played a part in lifting billions of people around the world out of poverty. It would be hard to measure companies’ performance by any other gauge, he notes.

But Luigi Zingales, the Robert C. McCormack Distinguished Service Professor of Entrepreneurship and Finance and director of Booth’s Stigler Center for the Study of the Economy and the State, says that being a good steward of employees, communities, and the environment can help maximize shareholder value. But he further argues that shareholders are concerned about more than just making money, and that companies should focus on maximizing shareholder welfare, not shareholder value.

What looks like corporate altruism is frequently something else, finds Marianne Bertrand, the Chris P. Dialynas Distinguished Service Professor of Economics and a Willard Graham Faculty Scholar. Her research demonstrates that corporate charitable giving is often designed to curry favor with influential politicians.

Capitalisn’t: Shareholders vs. Stakeholders


Dive Deeper

Email icon

Booth Insights and Inspiration.
Delivered to Your Inbox.

YOUR PRIVACY

We want to demonstrate our commitment to your privacy. Please review Chicago Booth's privacy notice, which provides information explaining how and why we collect particular information when you visit our website.

Email Sign Up

Explore More Research from Chicago Booth

Questioning Answers in the Classroom

The Chicago Approach to business education—Booth’s educational philosophy—will teach you how to turn any business challenge—no matter how small or large—into an opportunity. Learn how our transformative curriculum helps our students ask better questions and discover better answers. No matter which MBA program you pursue—Full-Time, Part-Time, or Executive—you get the same transformative academic experience, the same world-class faculty, the same influential network, the same dynamic community.

MBA Programs

More Resources

Women networking at an event

Companies

Recruit the world’s top MBA students, support academic research, sponsor an event, and more. Our corporate partners have many opportunities to engage with Booth.

Companies

The Executive MBA Program is registered under the Hong Kong Education Bureau. Registration No.: 262427. It is a matter of discretion for individual employers to recognise any qualification to which this course may lead.