An Analysis of the Business Objectives of the Largest Listed Companies in Australia, the United Kingdom and the United States

Company and Securities Law Journal, Vol. 36, No. 1, pp. 98-110, 2018

17 Pages Posted: 21 Jun 2018

See all articles by Ian Ramsay

Ian Ramsay

Melbourne Law School - University of Melbourne

Belinda Sandonato

University of Melbourne - Law School; Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC)

Date Written: August 1, 2017

Abstract

In this research note the authors analyse the business objectives of the top 100 companies listed on each of the Australian Securities Exchange (the S&P/ASX 100), the London Stock Exchange (the FTSE 100) and the New York Stock Exchange (the NYSE 100) to determine to what extent stakeholder interests are taken into account in the objectives. We classify the objectives 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 interests of shareholders, we examine how this objective is described. The objective of the research note is to provide a comparison of the business objectives of the largest listed companies in three countries. The rationale for the research is the ongoing debate regarding in whose interests companies are managed. Because we expect the board of directors to approve the company’s business objective, the objective represents the view of the board and is therefore a useful way of determining to what extent the interests of stakeholders are taken into account.

Keywords: stakeholder interests; corporate objectives, corporate social responsibility

Suggested Citation

Ramsay, Ian and Sandonato, Belinda, An Analysis of the Business Objectives of the Largest Listed Companies in Australia, the United Kingdom and the United States (August 1, 2017). Company and Securities Law Journal, Vol. 36, No. 1, pp. 98-110, 2018. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3195689

Ian Ramsay (Contact Author)

Melbourne Law School - University of Melbourne ( email )

University Square
185 Pelham Street, Carlton
Victoria, Victoria 3010
Australia
+61 3 8344 5332 (Phone)

HOME PAGE: http://law.unimelb.edu.au/about/staff/ian-ramsay

Belinda Sandonato

University of Melbourne - Law School ( email )

University Square
185 Pelham Street, Carlton
Victoria, Victoria 3010
Australia

Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) ( email )

Sydney
Australia

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