Chapter

Corporate Power

J. E. Parkinson

in Corporate Power and Responsibility

Published in print April 1995 | ISBN: 9780198259893
Published online March 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780191682018 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198259893.003.0017

Series: Clarendon Paperbacks

Corporate Power

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This chapter defends the claim that corporate social decision-making power must be exercised in the public interest. It specifically discusses some of the ways in which companies exercise power and explores the relevance of the possession of power to the concerns, or what should be the concerns, of company law. It starts by briefly surveying the corporate economy. It provides a background for the consideration of the nature and scope of corporate power. It also supports the claim that the possession of power by companies is justifiable only in so far as they promote the public interest, and accordingly that society is entitled to demand that corporate policies serve that interest. Moreover, it sets out a provisional theory explaining how companies best further the public interest and the implications of that theory for company law. This brief survey reveals some of the difficulties of establishing that shareholders are morally entitled to control companies by virtue of their legal property rights, and hence of attempting to legitimate corporate power by reference to those rights.

Keywords: corporate power; public interest; company law; corporate economy; corporate policies; legal property rights

Chapter.  25966 words. 

Subjects: Company and Commercial Law

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