v4 n3 von Kriegstein on Jones and FelpsPosted: February 27, 2016 Filed under: Business Ethics Quarterly Leave a comment
“Armchair versus Armchair: Let’s Not Try to Guess the Social Value of Corporate Objectives” by Hasko von Kriegstein
A COMMENTARY ON Thomas M. Jones and Will Felps (2013), “Shareholder Wealth Maximization and Social Welfare: A Utilitarian Critique” Bus Ethics Q 23(2): 207–238. http://doi.org/10.5840/beq201323215
Jones and Felps claim that social welfare would be enhanced, if corporate managers adopted the goal of directly improving the happiness of their stakeholders instead of profit maximization. I argue that their argument doesn’t establish this. They show that a utilitarian case for profit orientation cannot be made from the armchair. But neither can the case for Jones and Felps’ preferred alternative. Moreover, their defense of it relies on empirically unsubstantiated assumptions.
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