Stakeholders Versus Stockholders and Financial Ethics: Ethics to Whom?

Uric Dufrene (Assistant Professor of Finance, Indiana University Southeast, School of Business and Economics, 4201 Grant Line Road, New Albany, IN 47150)
Alan Wong (Associate Professor of Finance, Indiana University Southeast, School of Business and Economics, 4201 Grant Line Road, New Albany, IN 47150)

Managerial Finance

ISSN: 0307-4358

Publication date: 1 April 1996

Abstract

Corporate finance is under attack. Commentators mention that corporate managers have enriched themselves and shareholders, and in the process have failed to consider the interests of all stakeholders (Hennessy, 1989, Alkhafaji, 1989, Newton, 1989, Dunfee, 1989, Steidlmeier, 1989, Jones and Hunt, 1991). They cite the active corporate control market that produced hostile takeovers, leveraged buyouts, and corporate restructuring activity, all presumably causing a reduction in social welfare. This view is now beginning to permeate itself into the financial education debate. For example, Hawley (1991) suggests that financial educators are abdicating their responsibility of helping prepare corporate managers to recognize and deal with business ethics‐social responsibility effectively. Hawley proposes that the shareholder wealth maximization model for corporate management rationalizes the commission of unethical or socially irresponsible actions. Because of this ongoing criticism being levied against the practice of corporate finance, financial educators are now moving to incorporate ethics in the finance curricula. Although this move may be welcomed, we suggest that financial educators proceed with caution.

Citation

Dufrene, U. and Wong, A. (1996), "Stakeholders Versus Stockholders and Financial Ethics: Ethics to Whom?", Managerial Finance, Vol. 22 No. 4, pp. 1-10. https://doi.org/10.1108/eb018555

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Publisher

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MCB UP Ltd

Copyright © 1996, MCB UP Limited

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