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Economic Policies for Innovative Enterprises: Implementing Multi-Stakeholder Corporate Governance

Lenore Palladino

Review of Radical Political Economics, 2022, vol. 54, issue 1, 5-25

Abstract: Large corporations dominate economic and social life in the United States and around the globe. The mainstream corporate governance ideology of “shareholder primacy†claims that the exclusive purpose of a corporation is to generate returns for shareholders, which means that governance decisions should be exclusively in their hands. However, shareholder primacy lacks a theory of how companies innovate, and instead focuses solely on allocation of corporate profits, misunderstanding the relationship of shareholders to the twenty-first-century corporation. The theory of the corporation as an innovative enterprise—engaged in productive innovation by producing higher-quality goods and services for lower unit costs—is an accurate way to understand what makes corporations successful producers. Stakeholder theory from progressive legal scholarship illustrates specific corporate governance institutions that can assist innovation, including fiduciary duty, stakeholder participation in decision making, and equity ownership. This article contributes to the growing literature refuting shareholder primacy by utilizing the theories of the innovative enterprise and multi-stakeholder governance to propose reshaping US corporate governance to better to serve innovation in production and a balance of power in distributional decision making. JEL classification: B50, D21, G30, G35, K22

Keywords: corporate governance; economic democracy; employee ownership; financialization; innovation; innovative enterprise; shareholder primacy; stakeholder governance (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2022
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DOI: 10.1177/04866134211026691

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