The Shareholder Paradox: Towards a theory that never was
Speaker: Prof. Mikko Ketokivi (IE University)
Time: Thursday, 11th May at 10am (US Eastern) / 3pm (London) / 8.30pm (Delhi). This webinar is scheduled for 90 min.
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Which theories (of law, economics, management, or organization) suggest that shareholders want their wealth maximized? Which theories consider shareholders the principal whom the board of directors serves as the agent? Which theories consider shareholders to be the owners of the limited liability company? We do not have a theory of the shareholder. And if we do not have a theory of the shareholder, how could we possibly have a theory of shareholder wealth, let alone its maximization? Therefore, when management scholars criticize the idea of maximizing shareholder wealth, what exactly are they criticizing? In this webinar, we will explore the Shareholder Paradox by examining the legal and economic aspects of the shareholder.
Shareholders of the limited liability company present us with an intriguing paradox. While we seem to assume that we know everything there is to know about shareholders, we are hard-pressed to think of theories that have explicitly tried to understand shareholders (instead of just making assumptions and declarations about them)? Can you think of an empirical article that surveyed shareholders and asked them what their objectives were? Did those surveyed all answer in unison, “I want just one thing, and that is maximal returns on my investments”? You may be a shareholder yourself—is this what you would answer?
About the speaker:
Mikko Ketokivi is a Professor of Operations Management and Organization Design at IE University. His research focuses on the economics of organization, governance, and operations management; of particular interest are governance structures that foster sustainable efficiency. Dr. Ketokivi’s latest project is the book Efficient Organization: A Governance Approach (Oxford University Press, 2023), in which he examines, among other issdues, this webinar’s topic (with co-author Joseph T. Mahoney). Dr. Ketokivi’s research has been published in journals such as Administrative Science Quarterly, Academy of Management Review, Strategic Management Journal, Journal of Operations Management, and Production and Operations Management.
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Cranfield School of Management