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Shareholder Wealth Maximization, Business Ethics and Social Responsibility

Geoffrey Poitras
Journal of Business Ethics
Vol. 13, No. 2 (Feb., 1994), pp. 125-134
Published by: Springer
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/25072513
Page Count: 10
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Shareholder Wealth Maximization, Business Ethics and Social Responsibility
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Abstract

The primary objective of this article is to develop a framework for analyzing the ethical foundations and implications of shareholder wealth maximization (SWM). Distinctions between SWM and the more widely examined construct of profit maximization are identified, the most significant being the central role played in SWM by the market mechanism for pricing the corporation's securities. It is argued that empirical tests concerned with evaluating the ethical implications of SWM will almost surely involve a joint hypothesis. A number of recent empirićal studies aimed at testing hypotheses with explicit ethical content are reviewed.

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