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The Shareholder Value Myth: How Putting Shareholders First Harms Investors, Corporations, and the Public Paperback – 1 Jun 2012

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Product details

  • Paperback: 120 pages
  • Publisher: Berrett-Koehler (1 Jun. 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1605098132
  • ISBN-13: 978-1605098135
  • Product Dimensions: 21.6 x 14.3 x 1 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 279,807 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Review

"A must-read for managers, directors, and policymakers interested in getting America back in the business of creating real value for the long term."--Constance E. Bagley, Professor, Yale School of Management; President, Academy of Legal Studies in Business; and author of Managers and the Legal Environment and Winning Legally "A compelling call for radically changing the way business is done..., The Shareholder Value Myth powerfully demonstrates both the dangers of the shareholder value rule and the falseness of its alleged legal necessity."--Joel Bakan, Professor, The University of British Columbia, and author of the book and film The Corporation "Lynn Stout has a keen mind, a sharp pen, and an unbending sense of fearlessness. Her book is a must-read for anyone interested in understanding the root causes of the current financial calamity."--Jack Willoughby, Senior Editor, Barron's"Lynn Stout offers a new vision of good corporate governance that serves investors, firms, and the American economy."--Judy Samuelson, Executive Director, Business and Society Program, The Aspen Institute

About the Author

Lynn Stout is the Marc and Beth Goldberg Distinguished Visiting Professor of Law at Cornell Law School. Her work on corporate theory was cited by Supreme Court Justice John Paul Stevens in his dissent in Citizens United.

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Customer Reviews

4.2 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

2 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Angus Jenkinson VINE VOICE on 15 Feb. 2014
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
There is a very strong body of analysis that shows that the thinking about shareholder value and ownership is screwing up the modern economy. Clearly, shareholders have important rights and good shareholders deserve good returns. The problem is when the theory gets loaded with ideology and the ideology is actually antibusiness and bad for the economy. This is an important book because it provides a rigorous legal foundation freeing up the mind and in this new space and understanding of what is appropriate begins to emerge.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Giannis Platis on 14 May 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Nicely written book that successfully doubts the authority of the shareholder value doctrine in corporate governance law. It is a worth reading book especially if you consider its low price. Enjoy it!!
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1 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Paul Simister on 23 May 2014
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
One well known approach to investing is based on looking for quoted companies where the share price under-estimates the inherent, underlying value of the firm in terms of net assets, profits and cash flows. By buying low and being prepared to wait until the market catches up with the true valuation, the investor can then sell at a profit.

This makes it clear that there is scope for a big difference between today's share price and the price that may be achieved over the longer term.

This book is caricaturing shareholder value thinking as focused on the short term share price. That bothers me because it risks throwing the baby away with the bath water.

It confuses issues to do with stock market valuations and bubbles, governance and management incentives with long term planning for the future prosperity of the firm.

The book talks a great deal about legal issues but it's the law of the USA. This inevitably means that in any other legal jurisdiction, what it says is unreliable and may be wrong.

Firms make mistakes. BP (with the decisions around the Deepwater Horizon oil platform in the Gulf of Mexico, Union Carbide with the terrible events at Bhopal, Enron etc. It's hard to see that these were done to improve shareholder value and if they were, the people involved got it badly wrong.

If there aren't obligations to consider other stakeholders, there should be. Each imposes constraints on viable actions. There is a genuine economic issue where society picks up costs when they are outside of the benefit of transactions. The classic example is pollution that is responsible for climate change. Those costs need to be passed back to the decision makers.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Miss FJ Boulding on 21 Mar. 2013
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I am using this book for research for my own dissertation topic, and feel it provides a solid foundation for the shareholder value argument. It is interesting and engaging.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Silke Machold on 25 Feb. 2014
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Informative, insightful and compelling logic - this book should be a 'must read' on all business and management curricula; easily accessible to the lay-person, too
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