Stakeholder Capitalism: The Case For and Against

The virtual event was hosted by London Business School’s Centre for Corporate Governance, in partnership with the Program on Corporate Governance, Harvard Law School and ECGI.

About the event

As part of the ECGI’s recent series of events on the topic, this debate by two ECGI Fellows, Alex Edmans (LBS) and Lucian Bebchuk (Harvard Law School) explored in-depth views on stakeholder capitalism, providing an opportunity to gain different perspectives on this widely debated issue. Professor Edmans presented the case for corporate leaders serving goals other than shareholder value, and Professor Bebchuk questioned this approach. They challenged each other on their positions. Gillian Tett (Financial Times) moderated the debate and Q&A.

Speakers:

Alex Edmans, Professor of Finance and Academic Director, Centre for Corporate Governance, London Business School, ECGI Fellow and author of “Grow the Pie: How Great Companies Deliver Both Purpose and Profit”

Lucian Bebchuk, James Barr Ames Professor of Law, Economics, and Finance, and Director of the Program on Corporate Governance, Harvard Law School, ECGI Fellow and co-author of “The Illusory Promise of Corporate Governance” and “For Whom Corporate Leaders Bargain.”

Moderator:

Gillian Tett, Chair of the Editorial Board and Editor-at-Large (US) of the Financial Times, and Co-Founder of FT Moral Money

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ECGI Series on Corporate Purpose

Should corporate leaders manage their business for all their stakeholders, or should shareholders’ interests come first?

This has remained the primary question since the Business Roundtable adopted a new statement on the purpose of the corporation declaring its commitment to lead their companies for the benefit of all stakeholders. Many prominent ECGI Fellows and research members have contributed to this dialogue, including Oliver Hart (Harvard University), Luigi Zingales (Chicago Booth School of Business), Colin Mayer (University of Oxford), Edward Rock (NYU Law), Jennifer Hill (Monash University), Jill Fisch (Penn Law), Steven Davidoff Solomon (Berkeley) and others. A conference dedicated to the topic of Corporate Purpose was co-organised by ECGI and hosted by IESE Business School in October 2020. Lucian Bebchuk (Harvard Law School) has presented work that has challenged popular opinion in several forums, including the University of Oxford organised debate with Colin Mayer in June 2020 and most recently, in September 2020, at the Chicago Booth School of Business online event. Alex Edmans (LBS) argued against some of these views at this event which opened an opportunity to elaborate on this engagement in the debate that is now scheduled. Alex has presented his views at many events and forums, having published a book which addresses the subject. This dialogue demonstrates the meaningful contribution of evidenced-based research and expert insight into an otherwise speculative debate. ECGI will continue to collect resources and make them available on the ECGI website. Below are some of the materials currently available. Interested parties will have an opportunity to pose questions to the speakers at the debate on 10th December 2020.

Click below to visit the conference page