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Corporate democracy and the rights of shareholders

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Abstract

Some have argued that because of weaknesses in corporate democracy, there is widespread abuse of shareholders' rights in American securities markets. I describe a number of “horror stories” that shareholders might tell to support this claim. Then I argue that despite appearances to the contrary, there is not widespread abuse of shareholders' rights in American securities markets. This is because (i) corporations, when doing things that look abusive, are generally violating neither the legal rights nor the “charter” rights of shareholders and (ii) shareholders — in their role as shareholders — have no other rights than these.

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William B. Irvine is Assistant Professor of Philosophy at Wright State University. He is the author of ‘The Ethics of Investing’, Journal of Business Ethics, vol. 6, no. 3.

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Irvine, W. Corporate democracy and the rights of shareholders. J Bus Ethics 7, 99–108 (1988). https://doi.org/10.1007/BF00382003

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Keywords

  • Economic Growth
  • Security Market
  • Horror Story
  • American Security
  • Widespread Abuse