Volume 4, Issue 3, 2016
Hasko von Kriegstein
Armchair versus Armchair
Let’s Not Try to Guess the Social Value of Corporate Objectives
Jones and Felps claim that social welfare would be enhanced, if corporate managers adopted the goal of directly improving the happiness of their stakeholders instead of profit maximization. I argue that their argument doesn’t establish this. They show that a utilitarian case for profit orientation cannot be made from the armchair. But neither can the case for Jones and Felps’ preferred alternative. And their defense of it relies on empirically unsubstantiated assumptions.