Reflections on the Corporation as a Social Invention
Michael C. Jensen
Harvard Business School; Social Science Electronic Publishing (SSEP), Inc.; National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER); European Corporate Governance Institute (ECGI)
William H. Meckling
Simon School, University of Rochester (Deceased)
September 30, 1983
Midland Corporate Finance Journal, Vol. 1, No. 3, Autumn 1983
Harvard Business School NOM Unit Working Paper No. 1983
The corporation as an organizational form is an enormously productive social invention. Partly because of its success it is under increasing attack from various quarters, often under the guise of protecting investors from self-interested managers. Some of these attacks are successful simply because the corporation is a poorly understood entity. This paper discusses what the corporation is, what it is not, and how certain misconceptions about the corporate form are fostered by its critics as part of their attack.
Number of Pages in PDF File: 22
Keywords: Social responsibility, survival, definition of corporation, corporate democracy, federal chartering, Corporate Democracy Act, corporate control, government involvementAccepted Paper Series
Date posted: December 16, 2003 ; Last revised: May 18, 2013
© 2013 Social Science Electronic Publishing, Inc. All Rights Reserved.
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