An Analysis of Companies' Business Objectives
Company and Securities Law Journal, Vol. 32, No. 6, pp.438-447, 2014
10 Pages Posted: 3 Sep 2014 Last revised: 11 Sep 2014
Date Written: September 1, 2014
The authors analyse the business objectives of the top 100 companies listed on the Australian Securities Exchange (ASX) to determine to what extent stakeholder interests are taken into account in the objectives. The objectives are classified according to whether the company prioritises the interests of shareholders, prioritises the interests of shareholders but takes into account the interests of other stakeholders, or prioritises the interests of stakeholders. For those companies that prioritise the interest of shareholders, the authors examine how this objective is described. The findings of the authors are then compared to those of other researchers who have interviewed directors to determine what interests they take into account when making decisions. The authors also compare the results to what courts have said should be the interests that directors consider to satisfy their duty to act in the interests of the company. The rationale for this research is the ongoing debate regarding in whose interests companies are managed.
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